Silent has the kind of performance that sticks around like a stain- impossible to scrub off. Pat Kinevane, writer and performer of this blistering monologue, has created something incredibly special here- not for no good reason is it the winner of many awards- from a Fringe First to Herald Angel, and last year’s Olivier Award.
Named after silent movie icon Rudolph Valentino,Tino McGoldrick, a large Irishman with a capricious nature and twinkling but gimlet eyes, is the kind of person others ignore- a vulnerable homeless man making his bed outside lapdancing clubs and shop doorways. The audience is sucked into his backstory- one of parental abuse, mental health problems, alcoholism and witnessing firsthand the homophobic attacks on his brother Pearse, which turn out to be fatal.
Kinevane is utterly breathtaking, directed with immense vigour and grace by Jim Culleton. He bruises like a pugilist but sashays like a showgirl, incorporating physical theatre and dance sequences into Tino’s surreal whirlwind life. Like a radio that needs re-tuning, he slips between brutal, tender moods, aided by a brilliant soundscape by Dennis Clohessy.
Steeped in raw lyricism and black and blue humour, the play wraps itself around the tropes of silent movies and Irish archetypes, without ever losing sight of the more unsavoury aspects of Tino’s nature. Yet, for all of this, the play has a humane and compassionate eye, bringing flesh and blood to a character so many would be all too ready to stigmatise, even in these supposedly enlightened times.
Photos by Pat Redmond