Pat Kinvane’s ‘King’ — Helping Us Find The Voice We Deserve At The Odyssey — Maybe….

By Ernest Kearney — A horizontal tango.

A wailing of loneliness.

A cleaning of the stage accompanied by a smothering profusion of lavender.

A poor soul named Luther.

“The Loneliness of walking into a Crowd.”

Other inmates.

Beautiful language:

 “All men are lower than a snake’s protruding belly;”

“Like a storm of hammers and a rain of nails;”

“ I can’t go there in my head;”

“Keep Ignoring Nasty Ghosts….”


An Elvis Impersonator.

Pat Kinevane, native of Cobh, County Cork, does the poetic ranks of the ancient Celtic filid proud, he certainly does.

This was powerfully proven by his previous shows Forgotten, Silent, Underneath and Before.

All the elements that made those shows exceedingly potent performances are present in King. Mister Kinevan claims that King is “inspired by the message of Martin Luther King Jr.” 

Where exactly that “inspiration” lurks in this riveting and intriguing sonnet of insanity was beyond the scope of this reviewer to discern.

And my effort throughout the evening to follow Kinevane’s mish mash weave of meditative, mystifying, and, yes, marginally magical threads through his thematic maze to the core of inspiration emanating from one of the great souls of the civil rights movement, fell short of that quest. To quote the playwright performer, “It doesn’t get any easier.”

While in this case, unlike Mister Kinevane’s others shows, the “parts” seem to betray the fact that there is no “whole”; the overall effect is not unlike standing before a large Jackson Pollack canvas. 

You may not discern the larger statement, but you definitely realize there’s a conversation going on.

Mister Kinevane not only echoes the stage with beautiful words but fills it with shimmering images by the artist, statements in a physical language etched both elegantly and emotionally.

A large, broad presence, Mister Kinevane, with an alchemist’s artistry, transmutes himself with grace, intelligence and compassion, and creates a sonnet of humanity’s insecurities and insanities.

Adding to the glorious illusions on stage are Denis Clohessy (composer and sound designer,) Pius McGarth and the Odyssey’s Katelan Braymer, Catherine Condell (Stylist,) José Miguel Jimenez (as the voice of “Tang,”) Kristian Chaloir and Julian Brigatti (choreographers,) Eve Scanlan (Fishshamble producer,) and Director Jim Culleton.  

The results are a performance that is part silent movie, part kabuki, a mirroring of Dylan Thomas’ Welsh village Llareggub; a stylish sigilism with a Tango pace.

Who needs a thematic destination when the trip is so rewarding.

Click HERE to see the final performance

Sunday, 2pm
May 5

Odyssey – Theatre 3
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. ,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Ernest Kearney - author
Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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