KING is a corker of a one-man play set in Ireland that focuses on mental health, dance, impersonation, political and personal strife. Pat Kinevane’s fifth play, programmed by Dancebase in collaboration with Assembly supported by Culture Ireland, is about Elvis impersonator, Luther, who is visiting his seemingly dying father daily despite his struggle to leave his apartment.
Luther from Cork, named so by his Granny Bee Baw after her idol – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – is preparing for a wedding where he’ll play Elvis tracks to impress the bride’s friend, Flossy. Reflective monologues that highlight his family history, previous unsuccessful relationships, and mental health concerns are told with panache and impact, incorporating tango and contemporary dance. This, along with intense spotlighting, makes room for the quiet. His patter holds your attention despite it being a tale we’ve often heard before, exploring prejudice, privilege, and stoicism. Luther is resilient despite his existence being tied up in struggling to survive.
Written and performed by Kinevane, KING is a play that has mere moments of humour interjected in this harsh reality. A must-see, especially for Kinevane’s performance and masterful in parts, it’s an interesting take on a story we’ve heard oftentimes afore.