As a basic rule of thumb it's not good to recommend things sight unseen. You stake your credibility on an assumption. But some things are worthy of assumption. To presume Pat Kinevane is presenting another outstanding show when he brings 'Before' to the Ramor Theatre is a short odds gamble. I mean it's coming from the team that brought you 'Forgotten', 'Underneath' and the Olivier Award-winning 'Silent'.
Last June Kinevane left Ramor audiences agog on three consecutive nights with those three plays. The dramatic dexterity he presented was overwhelming. Kinevane is a craftsman, his craft manifesting itself onstage in a myriad of ways; from pacing to positioning.
Now he brings his new show to the Virginia venue. 'Before' is set in Clery’s of Dublin, on the very day this iconic department store shuts for good. The protagonist, Pontius, is trying to choose a gift for his estranged daughter, whom he hasn’t seen for almost 20 years. He will meet her in an hour. This father’s journey is both beautiful and strange, from the isolation of his Midlands home, to the madness of O’Connell Street.
Each of the the three plays he performed last June was internationality lauded. 'Silent' won Olivier, Fringe First, Herald Angel and Argus Angel awards, 'Underneath' won Fringe First, LA Stage Raw and Adelaide Fringe Best Theatre awards, and was nominated for Offie/Off West End and Total Theatre awards while 'Forgotten' has also been acclaimed.
As the writer and the actor of the pieces Kinevan has an unusual level of ownership with the works.
Speaking to the Celt before his last visit to Cavan he said: “It's great to work with Fishamble and Jim Culleton, he is an excellent director.”
His dual role places a lot of emphasis on the director. His relationship with Culleton has helped Kinevan rack up that impressive trophy cabinet of awards: “He is a magnificent director. He's somebody I trust 300%. He pulls the work apart with me, and he's my third ear and third eye. That's how it works. Each rehearsal is a completely new experience. The most important thing is that we have a great sense of fun. We don't take it all too serious in rehearsal.”
Anyone who had the pleasure of of enjoying his last visit will certainly be looking to take in this play.
'Before' was commissioned by Fishamble and was developed with the support of the Arts Council, National Theatre Studio (London), Pavilion Theatre, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Georganne Aldrich Heller, Robert Leroy, and The Strollers Touring Network. It will be staged in Ramor theatre this Saturday April 27.