Pat Kinevane is something of a perfectionist. That or he just really likes to dance. The Cork man is on the phone from Dance Base in Edinburgh where he is perfecting his moves from his current show “Silent” which he will bring to the Riverbank later in the month. The honorary Kildare man - he spent a number of years living in Naas - is being put through his paces on a bewildering number of different dance styles, writes Kevin Forde.
“I’m working with a flamenco dancer today and I’m working with a ballroom dancer on another day and I’m working with a belly dancer this afternoon. It’s just to perfect it, to get the choreography as tight as I can.” Not that he sees this as anything like hard work, as he adds in his strong Cork brogue “I’m delighted with it. It’s great. I’m blessed.”
“Silent” written and performed by Kinevane, tells the story of Tino McGoldrick, a man who has to come to terms with the death of his brother through suicide. While once successful is now homeless, having lost his family, his home and his mind. It is pretty dark stuff and it is clear Kinevane feels a certain sense of duty in dealing with such social issues in his work.
“To be honest with you when I started off working, especially with my solo work with Fishamble over the last five years, I didn’t want to just do pieces of dramatic presentation unless they made a difference to somebody, even if it was just one person that it helps to understand something better in their own life.”
Tino is named after the silent comedy star Rudolph Valentino and McGoldrick’s story is told in part through cinematic “Rudolph Valentino territory” hence the dance lessons. Kinevane is a big silent movie fan and is quite comfortable with the “suggestion of silence” in the show, having once studied another fast disappearing silent art form.
“I’ve always been comfortable with gesture. I trained as a mime when I was a much younger man... I don’t practice anymore but it’s something that stays with you and informs the way you perform as an actor.”
Kinevane is not a humorless social provocateur, he is talkative with a quick sense of humour and an endearing line in self-deprecation. But can writing a one man show which such dark themes affect the mood of its author? He insists that while it does lead to self-analysis, ultimately it is an uplifting endeavour.
“It’s very cathartic. Because when you’re dealing with it, you’re facing up to fact that you are a human being and you go through these things too. You go to darker places but when you throw the light on darker places they suddenly aren’t as scary as you thought they were.”
Having taken a break from theatre for a few years around the time of the birth of his son the actor and writer says he now feels a new appreciation for his work and is clearly relishing his return to the stage, having also toured Kildare last year with his acclaimed show “Forgotten.”
“Certainly I do feel very fulfilled and very lucky. I feel like I’m starting all over again. I’m 44 now and feel like I’m 22.”
His tour of “Silent” will see him return to familiar ground in Kildare, having lived in Naas some 25 years ago now at a formative stage of his life, working in the Naas Post Office and also acting in the Moat Theatre. He still speaks fondly of his days in the county, about his digs ran by the “brilliant woman” Peg O’ Rourke from Our Lady’s Place, and in particular the Moat.
“I had five mammies and daddies there looking after me. I lived and slept it, I was there night, noon and morning. Socially it was an amazing time too, I fell in love down there, fell out of love down there and then I made the leap from the Moat to doing it full-time in the Abbey. I have a huge connection to the place.”
He has come along way since the days in the Moat and yet it is a testament to a humble character that he still struggles to class himself as either a writer or an actor, despite considerable success in both fields.
“Even though I’ve written quite a few plays now I still don’t think of myself as a writer or a playwright. I suppose I found it hard for years to call myself an actor. If taxi men asked me what I did I said I worked in advertising or I was a plumber,” he adds laughing.
After a bit more thought he finally settles on “performer” as his chosen job description, which suits him just fine.
“Silent” will be on at the Riverbank Theatre on Saturday March 26 at 8pm. Tickets are E15 from 045 448330