Have you got the Star Wars X Factor?
Thousands turned away at open auditions after standing in the rain for hours.
News: TheatreCraft returns to help young people’s backstage careers
The 8th annual event returns to the Royal Opera House later this month.
News: The Bush Theatre’s new writing policy seeks new proposals
Writer/ performers and companies urged to submit ideas for new work.
London shows for just £10 in the New Year
Over 45 theatres sign up to the scheme that offers tickets at a fraction of the normal cost.
Blog: Films to study for inspiration
Watching great actors can often inform your own work.
Blog: Shakespeare experimenting with the limits of contemporary drama
Briony Rawle heads to Yorkshire and takes a closer look at Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
Blog: Lucy Kirkwood’s glorious Chimerica
The critical consensus has been overwhelming. Nobody needs to read another emphatic 5* review. So, reeling from the performance, Emily offers a response.
Blog: The Holistic Actor
Your mind, emotions and body are instruments and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life.
Review: Dickens Abridged, Arts Theatre ✭✭✭✭
Get yourself a ticket to the funniest show in town this Christmas, writes Amy Kirle.
Review: Unscorched, Finborough Theatre ✭✭✭✭
An uncomfortable play tackling a very dark online world, writes Briony Rawle.
Review: That Face, Landor Theatre ✭✭✭✭
A thought-provoking and brutally honest play, writes Laura Maclean.
Review: Blam! Peacock Theatre ✭✭✭✭
Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, the Neander Company comes to Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre bringing with it an inventive, energetic show.
Review: Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Southwark Playhouse *****
Amy Stow is dazzled by Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Southwark PlayhouseFrank McGuinness’ Tony award-winning play Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me first premiered in 1992, taking the 10 year hostage crisis in Lebanon, which began in 1982,as its backdrop. The play encapsulates the harrowing ordeal that is experienced by three men who are kidnapped and held hostage for an unspecified but undoubtedly long period of time. Thus the play begins, in a scenario that might otherwise simply sound like the beginning of a standard, albeit racist, joke: three men trapped inside a room, an Englishman,and Irishman, and an American. How these individuals negotiate their space, their endless hours, their sense of day or night, their bodily functions and, most importantly of all, each other, forms the basis of this astonishing play.
Taken from a true story, or rather, the stories of 96 foreign nationals from 21 different countries who were captured during the Lebanese hostage crisis, the setting for this play provides all that we need – or can – know about the characters’ situation, and their fate. A skillfully written three-hander, the journey of each man unravel as their individual sanity wanes, their despair mounts, and their energy diminishes, drawing the audience into the hope(lessness?) of their situation, their individual yearnings for freedom – and why.
The cast dazzle with their commitment to their characters, and at the close of the play the audience is left with a deep sense of admiration
Deftly directed by Jessica Swale of the Red Handed Theatre Company, the intricacies of the relationships between the three men are painted perfectly. The action, or what little the characters’ can partake in, is at once haunting, and excruciatingly funny. The cast dazzle with their commitment to their characters, and at the close of the play the audience is left with a deep sense of admiration, for both character and actor. Billy Carter as Edward (Irishman) in particular shines for his comic genius and turn of phrase, and silly scenarios (horse racing, the ladies 1972 Wimbledon final, movie-making, to name but a few of the mimed delights) are all hilariously executed by the three.
The setting for this play is apt; a triangular stage jets out towards an audience-in-the-round, and screens meet at perpendicular angles to further enhance the feeling of claustrophobia. Lights glare from behind the actors, to signify changes of scene, which momentarily blind the viewer, and provide a tiny taste of the uncomfortable experience -the perpetual headache – that Edward, Michael and Adam must endure. The eerie setting of the Southwark Playhouse is also a particularly choice location for this production, heightening tensions as the trains rumble all around.
Despite being a fairly long play – the length of which in reality adds to the sense of tedious waiting that these men must endure – Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is a hard-hitting account of an era that most of us cannot imagine. A production like this is a rare treat and a must see for all those who wish to be transported into a world which, thankfully, the vast majority of us will never have to experience.
***** (5 stars)
Runs until 12th May
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