Pat Kinevane’s King Review – Reaching for the Light

Pat Kinevane in KING - Photo by Maurice Gunning
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Writer and solo performer Pat Kinevane returns to Los Angeles with KING, his latest one-man study of a man on the fringes of society who struggles to connect with the world. KING tells the tale of an isolated individual from County Cork who was born on the day of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Named for his grandmother’s hero, Luther has become a reclusive individual whose behavior borders on agoraphobic. He almost never leaves his apartment except to work as an Elvis impersonator – obviously a safe choice since his identity is merged with another’s.

Pat Kinevane – Photo by Maurice Gunning

To quote Jim Culleton, artistic director of Fishamble and director of KING, “King is about a reclusive man who is in his apartment getting ready to go out for the evening…over the course of 80 minutes, you get to know about him, his life, and his mental health struggles. There’s lots of fun and lots of darkness and singing and dancing through it all…it’s about hope and freedom and living your full life…the word “king” has a couple of meanings that you’ll discover throughout…We’re both (Pat and Culleton) interested in characters on the fringes of society, the people that we don’t often get to meet and only get to know when we go to the theater.” Culleton also remarks on Kinevane’s style: “Pat thinks very visually. He’s always thinking about dancing and moving and how we can tell the story through movement and music as well as words…he’s very charismatic and always has audiences in the palm of his hand. You’re always entertained. It’s very visceral. It keeps you very involved all the way through.”

Pat Kinevane – Photo by Ste Murray

KING premiered in Ireland in 2023, transferring to Dance Base as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for the Mental Health Foundation award and named a “Pick of the Fringe.” A native of Cobh, County Cork, Kinevane has worked as an actor in theater, film, television, and radio for 33 years. In 2016, he won a Laurence Olivier Award for outstanding achievement as an actor and a writer, which was shared with Fishamble and Culleton, integral contributors to all four of his earlier solo shows. The Odyssey Theatre has become Fishamble’s home on the West Coast and featured all four of his solo shows (“Forgotten,: “Silent,” “Underneath,” and “Before”).

Pat Kinevane – Photo by Maurice Gunning

Some might consider KING – and Kinevane’s style itself – an acquired taste. At the same time, Kinevane has drawn devoted fans over the years to see him and share his insights. Kinevane’s visceral and visual style, peppered with movement and dance, has won him multiple followers and many awards. KING is no exception. The show is carefully and impeccably done by a master of the art. Culleton helms the show with careful consideration of all the elements which have made Kinevane a star. His production team has also engaged in an excellent use of both negative and positive space with skilled application of light and darkness courtesy of lighting by Pius McGrath and Katelan Braymer. Choreographers Kristina Chaloir and Julian Brigatti and sound designer Denis Clohessy have worked in tandem with Kinevane and Culleton to create an original piece of art.

Pat Kinevane – Photo by Maurice Gunning

KING runs through May 5, 2024, with performances at 8 p.m. on Thursdays (4/25, 5/2) Fridays (4/19, 4/26, 5/3), and Saturdays (4/20, 4/27, 5/4) and at 2 p.m. on Sundays (4/21, 4/28, 5/5). The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Tickets range from $15 to $30 on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and Pay-What-You-Can on Fridays (reservations open online and at the door starting at 5:30 p.m.) For information and reservations, call 310-477-2055 Ext 2 or go online.


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