5/9/2013 1:16 PM
Frank McGuinness’ Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is a remarkable script, in that it upholds the test of time as much today as when it was originally staged in 1992 as well as capturing the complexities of human characteristics from contradicting homelands under great emotional stress.
The emotional roller coaster which takes the reader or audience member through fear and horror, friendship and fellowship, humor and hope, life and death, carries itself effortlessly through use of well placed scene changes which are understood easily as the passage of time for the imprisoned men.
The characters themselves are complex and evolving, showing the biases of their home nations, their stereotypes and misconceptions all the while allowing for them to learn compassion, acceptance and find the human spirit which underlies the borders we are all born behind.
A key to the beauty and pacing of the script comes from McGuinness’ use of starting the script deep in the scenes with no real exposition, forcing the reader or audience to answer their questions quickly on their own. By also allowing for the representation of time through scene changes, he creates completely new emotional levels for the characters as the show progresses.
As we move further into human history, certain elements remain constant and appear as recurring themes throughout. Terrorism and kidnapping, cultural bias and conflict, innocent death even. We seem to accept these as natural elements with our headlines but rarely do we consider the emotional toll of those caught in the middle. McGuinness takes us there, fully and brazenly, and allows the reader or audience to experience the emotions involved, as terrifying as those can be while still showing the enduring power of the human spirit to guide us through troubled times and inescapable circumstances. The characters represent not individuals but entire emotional responses to international conflict, ones that every human can relate to and sympathize with.