Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me is on at Minerva Theatre, Chichester until October 10. Picture: Manuel Harlan
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me is on at Minerva Theatre, Chichester until October 10. Picture: Manuel Harlan
Gok Wan and musical stars  at Live at the London Cabaret Club

Charity cabaret event given the star treatment

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An Englishman, an Irishman and an American walk into a bar.

Replace the bar with a dark room and walking with being chained to the floor, and you have the basic plot of this show.

(Left to right) Adam Rayner as the American, Adam, Rory Keenan as the Irishman, Edward, and David Haig as the Englishman, Michael. Picture: Manuel Harlan.

(Left to right) Adam Rayner as the American, Adam, Rory Keenan as the Irishman, Edward, and David Haig as the Englishman, Michael. Picture: Manuel Harlan.

It sounds like a very dark joke, and in a way it is. On the surface, this seems like a political play – three westerners living in Lebanon are abducted by unseen Arabs and held hostage.

But in truth it is about how humans survive under extremity, and humour is the coping mechanism that is so well explored here.

From ‘flying’ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to re-enacting the 1977 Wimbledon ladies’ final, David Haig, Rory Keenan and Adam Rayner bring these absurd situations to life with energetic physical comedy.

But their skill is evident in how they silence the audience’s laughter with the bang of a fist or a pathetic whimper.

In the show’s climax, hair combing has never been more poignant

A wide spectrum of emotion is on display here – grief, love, anger, frustration – and director Michael Attenborough (whose father Richard is mentioned in the script) does a great job of sifting through the frenzy of human feeling. He focuses on the disenfranchised trio’s memories, which emphasises their shared desire to belong – whether it be to a nation, a family or a person. In the show’s climax, hair combing has never been more poignant.

This is a solid investment for the acting alone, but the set is also impressive. You’ll walk out of the space wondering where on earth the stage disappeared to. Until October 10.