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Fishamble’s Silent Screams Loud With Pain and Intensity

Fishamble’s Silent Screams Loud With Pain and Intensity

For the first few moments, I was as lost as the central character turns out to be in this intensely moving one-man theatre piece streaming out for the world to see from Ireland’s new play company, Fishamble. Written and performed with utter connection to the material, Pat Kinevane (The Nun’s Wood) brings noise, confusion, and internal chaos, most brilliantly, to his Silent with a special filmed version, streaming July 9 through July 11 at (L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is Fishamble’s artistic home on the West Coast). It dares us all to sit up, take notice, and throw our two cents of change into the ring with a clang. Kinevane’s brave soul stomps and flutters around the bare stage with a grandiose edginess, finding despair and grief in abundance at every turn. He shuffles about in this bleak troubling tale asking to be heart, even when we don’t want to listen, in a production so chaotic with heartfelt pain that it rightfully won Fishamble and Kinevane a 2016 Olivier Award.

Pat Kinevane in ‘Silent’
Photo by Ste Murray

Etched inside of this stunningly complex struggle for internal redemption, Kinevane delivers us a wounded soul that has a lot to say. It took me some time to grasp the inner turnings of the wheel that push this homeless man by the name of McGoldrig forward. Lost in the fog of pain and dementedness, he turns and spins. He had a life, and a structure that he might have taken for granted, but through tragedy and blood shed, all was lost, including his hold on reality, slipping and gliding into a fantastical black and white world of Rudolph Valentino and the silent era of filmmaking. 

Directed with an easy breezy chaotic feel by Jim Culleton, with music composed by Denis Clohessy and costumes styled by Catherine Condell, Silent is anything but. It’s tense and powerfully dynamic, driving forth with erratic energy, scratching at that camouflaged itch from the first moment onwards. Kinevane crawls forward, wrapped in mystery, disease, and trauma, reaching out for us desperately from behind a grey veil of mental illness and tragedy like a demented Shakespearian character looking for salvation. With a twisty awful tongue, something he got from his mother, the lesser gorgeous version of his brother Pierce, wraps us up in the despair of murder by way of giggles, heckles, and bullying. “All he wanted was to be wanted, ya know,” and deep down in this tale of a tortured soul, burned by tragedy, and dragged about by alcoholism, Silent screams out the pain we might want to turn a blind eye to. But if we don’t, and we stop and take in the entirety of the silent picture, maybe even throw him a coin, the connection and insight gained will ring true, far beyond my confused initial response. “If anyone asks, I’m not here at all,” he says, with a secret power that digs deep. That weight and emotionality is as heavy and engaging as that perfect movie star hero and his short soft faggot life. An image and a tale that will be hard to forget. “I wanted it all, ding dong.”

Pat Kinevane in ‘Silent’
Photo by Ste Murray

• Written and Performed by Pat Kinevane
• Directed by Jim Culleton
• Music composed by Denis Clohessy
• Costume styled by Catherine Condell
• Co-Producer (London, New York and Los Angeles) Georganne Aldrich Heller
• Produced by Eva Scanlan

Streaming July 9, July 10 and July 11,  2021



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Out of Town

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to

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