Silent – Abbey Theatre (Peacock Stage) – Review by Frank L.
Fishamble: The New Play Company in association with the Abbey Theatre – Silent
Written and performed by Pat Kinevane
From Thursday, 30 March 2017 To Saturday, 15 April 2017
Showing on Peacock stage – Running time: 95 minutes with no interval
In Silent, one of Kinevane’s trilogy of plays, the narrator looks back on important events in his life. These include the discovery that his younger brother was a “faggot” the term used at the time, his failure to protect him from bullying, their family, his own marriage, the birth of a child, the failure of his marriage and then a social decline. He brings to life not only the main players but also a host of others, a splendid crew, including Foxrock fannies, repetitive funeral goers and gossips who deal in nods and winks.
He starts with himself in the earth and that is where he finishes, the classic bookends to a life lived. But it is the journey that he travels between the two which is the essence of this piece. The events which he describes are those about which society has a tendency to be silent. He uses them to expose human nastiness and kindness. We meet various types whose behaviour and attitudes reflect an accepted social norm. He interfaces, along the way, with one or two members of the audience of his choosing and has a little repartee with them to bring an immediacy to the story. He is never sentimental and at times he even rages against certain aspects of society such as the apparent inability to handle the need for housing of all citizens.
Kinevane has developed his skills to a high level so, for instance, he is able to transfigure the brown piece of cloth, which had, at the beginning, represented the earth covering him, into a bride wearing her wedding gown, achieved by some mysterious mastery of his right hand in holding the piece of material at just the right spot and in a particular way… theatrical magic.
The journey lasts about an hour and a half and at all times Kinevane commands the audience’s attention. He has a magnetism. All his characters are unique but each seems to be a well-known and familiar type. His bravery in making them flesh and blood, warts and all, is what makes his performance so compelling. The result is that Kinevane creates his own stage and plays each part with compelling poise.
Pat Kinevane – Written and performed by
Jim Culleton – Director
Denis Clohessy – Sound Design and Composition
Catherine Condell – Costume Stylist
Gavin Kostick – Dramaturgy by
Eva Scanlan – Produced by