/ ADLFringe16

Underneath by Pat Kinevane

Confronted with a striking man covered in black and gold paint, you are lead to believe that this will be an intense experience. Pat Kinevane, however, is immediately and strangely disarming. This is the story of a young Irish women, disfigured by lightning, rendering her in a uniquely different position: that of the obviously different. This story is told post mortem, so you know from the outset that you will confront a tragedy.

Despite this, the story weaves much light and shade into the drama. Light in the tongue-in-cheek reference to the Channel 4 television series A Place in the Sun, and shade in the exploration of loneliness, stilted development, and the perception of one's self worth through beauty – or the perceived lack there of.

The setting for this show is minimalist, stark and black, yet gold props dotted along the stage allow Kinevane to transform himself into an Egyptian pharaoh with a mere twist of a sheet. Kinevane doesn't need an intricate backdrop: the stage was completely filled by his performance, and the simple use of lighting to create silhouette was raw and mesmerising.

An actor needs an honest talent in order to take an audience from laughter to heartbreak. This story, reminiscent of the feelings stirred by Arthur Miller's The Price, was all the more touching for its humour to contrast against the despair. Kinevane shows that he has a commanding understanding of storytelling, as well as physical performance, while also captivating the audience through the use of his voice – even extending to song. His mellifluous tones guided us through the journey of this woman’s life, her struggle with the world, and the beauty when she finds herself graduating from merely existing to actually living.

This really is just damn good theatre. If you want to get away from the glitz and glam of the Garden to see something real and authentic, then head slightly south west to the German Club and you will find yourself in another world.

★★★★

Gretchen Haines

Gretchen Haines

Gretchen Haines is the alter-ego of a mild mannered public servant. A music nerd, and abandoned-architecture geek, Gretchen is all about coffee, wine puns, and off-key karaoke.

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