David Haig  Rory Keenan  Adam Rayner

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me

By Frank McGuinness
Director Michael Attenborough

Minerva Theatre
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Engrossing, unexpectedly funny

Sunday Times

Three remarkable performances

Daily Mail

The evening achieves a rare poignancy and profundity

Daily Telegraph

‘We are in a decidedly perilous position, to put it mildly.’

Adam, an American doctor, Edward, an Irish journalist, and Michael, an English academic, have little to unite them beyond being human in the same small space. Yet somehow, together, they determine to ward off madness and forestall despair.

Somewhere lurk their unseen captors yet, in the cell, there are stories of adventure and love, there is song and laughter, and even a surge of writing, cocktail-drinking and movie-making.

Based on the experiences of those taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is playwright Frank McGuinness’s hymn to the defiant power of the human spirit and the creative imagination. First staged at Hampstead Theatre in 1992, it transferred to the West End before going on to win the 1993 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.

Director Michael Attenborough makes his Chichester debut. Whilst Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre between 2002 and 2013, his award-winning productions included Measure for Measure and David Eldridge’s The Knot of the Heart. From 1996 to 2002 he was Principal Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

David Haig returns to Chichester to play Michael, following his appearance in Festival 2014’s highly acclaimed Pressure, which he also wrote.

Rory Keenan and Adam Rayner both make their Chichester debuts playing Edward and Adam.

Supported by Someone Who'll Watch Over Me Commissioning Circle

Cast & Creatives


Cast List

David Haig


Rory Keenan


Adam Rayner


Creative team

Cast List

Frank McGuinness


Michael Attenborough


Robert Jones


Paule Constable

Lighting Designer

Fergus O'Hare

Sound Designer

Anne McNulty

Casting Director



Q&A with the cast

Find out more about Someone Who'll Watch Over Me from cast members David Haig, Rory Keenan and Adam Rayner.

Q&A with David Haig

Tell us about your character Michael?
Michael is a very English lecturer in Old and Middle English. Perhaps the last person you’d expect to bond with an Irish Catholic. But first impressions are deceptive!

When you first read the play what was the first thing that struck you?
That this was one of the finest and most humane plays I have ever read.

You wrote and appeared in Pressure last year. What do you enjoy about performing here at CFT?
I love the Minerva Theatre. Intimate, intense, the perfect size, attended by an incredibly loyal and appreciative audience, what more could you want!

Q&A with Rory Keenan

Tell us about your character Edward?
Edward is a fiery Irishman, a journalist by trade, who has found himself in this cell having come to Lebanon for professional reasons. He has a young family back home and gets increasingly frustrated at his absence from their lives.

Briefly tell us about the rehearsal process.
Rehearsals centred very much around the text and exploring the relationships in the piece. The scenes are quite lengthy set pieces so we were given the freedom to run them without stopping which benefited the dynamics of each section. We were also lucky to have a full five week rehearsal period.

Why did you want to perform in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me?
It has always been a favourite play of mine and I’m a fan of Frank’s. It was also a great opportunity to come and work at Chichester as I’ve often heard great things. It’s also a pleasure to offer audiences here something different.

Q&A with Adam Rayner

Tell us about your character Adam?
Adam is an American doctor whose attempts to maintain some kind of control over the situation gradually unravels until he is forced to accept his fate for what it is.

How did you prepare for the role?
Almost exclusively with work on the text which is very dense and contains most of the answers if you look for it!

What do you think audiences will take away from watching the play?
Hopefully a sense of the emotional truth of the situation – if that can ever be captured – with pain and humour constantly battling for supremacy.

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Running Time
2 hours 20 minutes including interval