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Someone Who'll Watch Over Me
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Someone Who'll Watch Over Me

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  13 reviews
An Englishman, an Irishman and an American are locked up together in a cell in the Middle East. As victims of political action, powerless to initiate change, what can they do? How do they live and survive?

Frank McGuinness explores the daily crisis endured by hostages whose strength comes from communication, both subtle and mundane, from humour, wit and faith.

Someone Who'll
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 20th 1992 by Faber Faber
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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Nick Jones
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
An Irishman, an Englishman and an American are chained to a wall of a cell in 1980s Lebanon. Frank McGuinness was inspired by Brian Keenan’s account of being kidnapped and held for four and a half years through the late 1980s – I don’t know Keenan’s book (An Evil Cradling), but I presume it was an inspiration for the play, not a source. Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is not a political play, the events are not placed into any historical context. The kidnappers are never seen and we don’t know thei ...more
Bobby Sullivan
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
A one-room play with three characters has got to be one of the toughest types of plays to write. On one hand, it simplifies the casting and the staging, but those aren't really the author's problem, anyway. This play is even tougher, because the characters are all chained to the wall. The "action" is therefore largely limited to what's going on intellectually and emotionally inside the characters' heads. I couldn't help but compare this play to Genet's DEATHWATCH and Sartre's NO EXIT. Unfortunat ...more
Andrew Lawston
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: performed
I played Michael Watters in a charity production of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me in March 2012. In order to learn the lines I had to spend about three months reading this book every day. And I never got bored with it. Switching from absurd comedy to high drama in the space of a line, this is certainly the best play I have ever performed in. When we were selling tickets, the director would tell people it was the best play written in the last 25 years. Hyperbole, to be sure, but it has to be a con ...more
"Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" is one of the best war plays ever written. This haunting, heartbreaking, and funny work tells the story of an American, an Englishman and an Irishman trapped in a Middle Eastern prison cell together. (Which totally sounds like the beginning of a racist joke.) This play is so beautiful and sad and the scene where the English guy and the Irish guy argue about what really caused the Famine is just hilarious. Everything about this play is brilliant.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, favorites
I attended the play in New York before I read it. It was powerful and poignant. I saw Stephen Rea, James McDaniel, and Alec McCowan. The production included a stark set, with part ofElla Fitzgerald's version of George and Ira Gershwin's "Someone To Watch Over Me" between scenes as the lights faded to a starlit "sky."
Sep 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
The 2005 revival (with David Threlfall, Jonny Lee Miller, and Aiden Gillen) was by turns incredibly poignant, funny, and tragic - a good text made fantastic in production.
Sarah Borden
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the all-time realistic, fantastic, sad, triumphant plays. Three characters you'll never forget in a situation you'll desperately wish you could.
Derek Fraser
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a challenge for three actors, but it would be so thrilling to make this play come alive.
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 50-new
A wonderful exploration of human nature. How do we deal with isolation and loneliness? With loss? Hoe big are our imagines?
May 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
i guess it wasn't too bad, but it seemed that these 3 characters could have as easily be sitting in a bar talking instead of being chained to a wall in a windowless room somewhere in Lebanon.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brilliant. Clever, funny and moving.
Suspect this plays much better than it reads but would make for a harrowing evening's entertainment. Thought provoking.

Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Might be my favorite play of all time. If not, top five.
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Frank McGuinness is Professor of Creative Writing in University College Dublin. A world-renowned playwright, his first great stage hit was the highly acclaimed ‘Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme’. He is also a highly skilled adapter of plays by writers such as Ibsen, Sophocles, Brecht, and writer of several film scripts, including Dancing at Lughnasa, and he has published sever ...more