photo: Patrick Redmond
I was surprised by the emotional power and the striking theatricality of this solo show, in which writer-performer Pat Kinevane alternates flawlessly between 4 characters 80 years and older. The people he plays are living out their sunsets in Ireland, but Kinevane has punctuated the piece with some conventions of Japanese theatre. The juxtaposition of more naturalistic monologues with scenes of stylized Eastern movement proves to be both thematically valid and theatrically dynamic; it also frames the collection of stories in a way that allows them to gather a greater emotional resonance than they might on their own. Given the show's title, it's not surprising that the elderly characters are linked by loneliness; what is surprising given the theme is that Kinevane's writing is often as unsentimental as his characterizations are captivating. The piece plays like a ritual to honor the forgotten elderly that does, in fact, truly honor them.