Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me
There is a certain sense of dread that pervades when you sit down and upon reading the programme realise you are about to watch a play you studied at GCSE. However, any fear that I was to be subjected to a hostage drama of the quality even I could aspire to were quickly allayed. This proved to be a highly affecting performance, that succeeded through its ability to make its content utterly engaging, and never worthy; the audience were immediately drawn into a drama that was highly believable.
The simplicity of the staging employed deserves praise. The sense of space that is created by ignoring half of the stage is annoyingly clever, successfully articulating the sense of claustrophobia and underlying menace so crucial to the hostage’s room, and the play in general. In his direction, Oisin Kearney has certainly succeeded in showing that less is more. Though there were moments where this simplicity was knocked, for instance a moment where the characters are beaten, which in context seemed slightly gratuitous if only because the weapons looked like socks. Yet Kearney clearly has the confidence to create a production that relies upon three highly skilful performances from Michael Campbell, Arthur Kendrick and Harry Baker.
The three actors each deliver a carefully considered and nuanced performance, and there is a clear attention to creating details of their characters that ensure that the continual shifts in tone never seem contrived or hackneyed. Michael Campbell as Edward certainly deserves a special mention here. In a highly energetic performance, he was able to present the extreme extrovert and deeply troubled in a happy balance. His ability to be incredibly funny and moving was seen in an audience member’s particular woman’s sobbing whilst still laughing, and it is testament to the professionalism of the cast that this rather strange sound did little to distract them.
For the sake of fairness and individual feedback, I particularly liked the self-consciousness of Michael and the often unexpected force of Adam. However, it is the relationship between the three that is most affecting throughout, and there was certainly believability in their progression between scenes that, in being broken so apparently randomly, heighten a menace that the cast succeeds in building throughout. For this, and to find out the ending, I can only recommend that the trip to King’s Parade be made.