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The Play

The Play

A cell, Lebanon.


Three men are taken hostage by Arabian fundamentalists.

Why they have been kidnapped remains a complete mystery to them. No contact to the outside world, “that goes about its business”, nor to their captors, they are left to one another's fears, regrets, false motivations and the prejudices of their mutual history. When the lights go up we see two characters in a cell somewhere in the Middle East. Both have been kidnapped in Beirut by a group of Shiite Muslims, Adam the American four months ago, Edward the Irishman two months ago. Their main worry seems to be how to pass their time, but soon it becomes clear that they live in constant fear for their lives.

Later on, they are joined by a third hostage: Michael, an English university teacher. He was kidnapped shortly after his arrival in Beirut. Eager to get into contact with people, he had planned to give a dinner party. Rather naively, he had been walking through the war torn city to buy pears for dessert and so became an easy target.

Now they have to live up to their white lies, prejudices and shadows from the past. Three educated men, a journalist, a psychologist and a university lecturer with no one else apart from themselves to talk to have to confront the silence of captivity by reinventing communication as a means of survival. Yet, chained to a wall, all they can sometimes do is rattle the shackles… History.


„Someone Who'll Watch Over Me” is the true story of Brian Keenan from Northern Ireland, who was kidnapped in 1986 shortly after taking up his position as a lecturer of English at the American University in Beirut.

He was released in 1990 after talks between the Irish and the Iranian governments. Most of the four years he spent with John McCarthy, a British journalist, and various other American hostages.

The two men became close friends. When Brian Keenan was released, John McCarthy had to wait over a year until he was finally set free after five years in captivity.