Forgotten – Abbey Theatre – Review by Frank L.
Written by Pat Kinevane – Produced by Fishamble
Forgotten (2006) was the first of the one man plays that Pat Kinevane created for himself in collaboration with Fishamble. Silent, the third one, has recently won the UK Olivier “Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre Award”. Along with Underneath and Silent, Forgotten forms part of a trilogy that are now running at the Peacock stage in the Abbey.
Kinevane in Forgotten has created a piece of theatre which enables him to show the diversity of his theatrical talent. He utilises dance, mime, and a variety of accents and tones as he brings to life his four elderly characters, both male and female. He also interweaves into the performance, so that it is of its essence, the Japanese skills of Kabuki. He is a most physical actor. He uses his torso and his limbs in a controlled athleticism. Yet he is able to cross dress into the female characters with the use of a simple band head dress and a length of fine fabric. With elegant composure he sits, the fabric fetchingly draped around his torso, allowing his legs to be seen to best advantage. He tells the trials, triumphs and tribulations of his elderly dames with humour and gentleness. There is a sense of “knowing” about each of the characters as each tells their story.
There are moments of high hilarity when, for instance, one of his ladies, on her uppers, sashays into Arnotts to moisturise her skin in the cosmetic department. She uses the restorative contents of the free tester jars laid out for customers’ use to keep her skin marvellous. He delightfully complements this activity with the gradual creation, on stage, of a Kabuki mask. The whole scene is performed with a great deal of humour as the elderly lady has various stratagems so as not to be seen too often using these jars but also has a sharp eye on the other customers (that might be a too generous term) as she watches them in the department store.
Once or twice, Kinivane asks a member of the audience for a snippet of information about themselves. It is all part of the performance, weaving his audience into the stories which he is telling. His physical energy and skill as he moves his torso around the stage is in marked contrast to his contemplative sedentary pieces when he reveals his characters’ lives.
Kinevane has created his own world. It is a unique theatrical offering and Kinevane’s audience is clearly entranced by it. And now it appears the Olivier award judges are also captivated by it and Kinevane.
Dates: 1 – 14 April
On the Peacock stage
Saturday 1 April
Monday 3 April
Thursday 6 April
Tuesday 11 April
Friday 14 April