King – Pavilion Theatre – Review
Dates: Thu 23 – Sat 25 Mar, 8pm
Fishamble: The New Play Company
King – Written & Performed by Pat Kinevane
Directed by Jim Culleton
Photos: Maurice Gunning
The return of Pat Kinevane is enough to put a smile on the face of most theatre enthusiasts! Kinevane has written and performed a number of one-man shows, with some considerable success. His play Forgotten won the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement as an Actor and a Writer in 2016. The association between Fishamble and Kinevane dates back to his first play The Nun’s Wood in 1998.
This latest work, King, is his first in five years. It tells the story of Luther, a middle-aged man that is troubled by mental health issues. He hears mysterious voices that tell him tales of a bygone age, but the voices are mostly under control due to his medication. Luther tells the audience the story of his life and upbringing in Cork. He’s a lonely man, but there is hope for companionship, as he has a date planned for later this evening. That is if everything goes according to plan…
The stage is almost entirely bare, with a small number of props, mostly of a utilitarian nature, including a mop, a bucket and an ironing board. Kinevane carries out these menial tasks such as mopping the floor as he tells his stories. The character in the play has a love of dance and in particular the Tango. He shares fond memories of his parents moving around the dance floor. There are some impressive costume changes, along with a flamboyant ending that will catch you off guard!
While Kinevan is on stage alone throughout, he does have some assistance in the form of recorded voices. Some are messages on his answering machine, whereas others are more mysterious in nature.
This short run of this play is already sold out and before the production started last night, the crowd was somewhat excited. Many knew his previous work and there was much talk of how it would compare with what went before. The main difference is that there is more of a musical element, with several songs. There are also prolonged sequences of dance and movement that work well, especially with the impressive lighting, adding a touch of glamour and drama. The essentials are still there from previous productions, including his ease with the audience and his wit and charm.
There is a simplicity and honesty to his work which is quite unnerving. He exposes the soul of his characters to the audience, and tells their story with much humour. It is a production which is easy to recommend as it has something for everyone.
Approx. Duration: 75mins (no interval)
Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review
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