New York | 1h 30m | Already closed


From 7 critic and 6 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Original, Great lighting, Dark

About the show

Irish Arts Center presents the US premiere of 'Underneath', a solo show about a woman who was struck by lightning, and whose life is shaped by the disfigurement that resulted. More…

'Underneath' is a tale of a life lived in secret, and a testament to the people who live on the fringes, under the noses of everyday life. A woman lies dead in her freshly dug grave in the Tumbledown cemetery, Cobh, County Cork. From here she tells the story of her life: her happy childhood and the mother who loved Cleopatra; being struck by lightning and then missing school for a year; her night shifts in hotels washing and mending laundry; up to her ultimate and untimely demise in a north Dublin flat; all via a series of unlikely encounters and heartbreaking betrayals. Is beauty really only skin deep? Does ugliness hide somewhere deeper?

The Irish Echo

"Kinevane is a master performer, as much mime as actor, and a fine singer, too, it emerges from this show. Under Jim Culleton’s perfect direction Kinevane changes mood on a razor’s edge, whether bottling corrosive emotion or being deadpan, almost distracted about catastrophe." Full Review

The New York Times

"'Underneath' is an amiably meandering diversion for those who regard Halloween as a time for embracing the ghosts we run from the rest of the year...The attendant moralizing can feel a bit obvious and earthbound. But there are extraordinary spectral moments, both visual and aural, throughout that summon the beauty in conventional ugliness and vice versa." Full Review

The Public Reviews

for a previous production "Bold and unafraid of going where others have only dared to look, 'Underneath' explores the eternal and yet extremely contemporary conflict between skin-deep beauty and those that go through life without it. Everything in this production pushes us to question these tenets, to re-evaluate superficial priorities, highlighted by the contrasts embedded within all aspects of the show... It promises to be a crowd pleaser judging by the reaction of last night’s audience and standing ovation." Full Review

The Red Curtain

for a previous production "One entertaining evening, that had the audience on their feet by the end of the performance. It is enjoyable and will have you laughing one moment, and thinking the next, but always taken in by Kinevane's performance, both dramatic and comic, intense and easy going, but always likable and compassionate." Full Review

No More Workhorse

for a previous production "There is a great deal of laughter from the audience and Kinevane likes to give the impression that he is taking one or two members of the audience into his confidence. He tells anecdotes which are of a homely type, some of which may have a double entendre which may seem a little juvenile. He is however trying to reveal the part of the human psyche where pretence, the words 'should' and 'ought' have no place...His 'underneath' is a fragile world and he mines it with deft gentleness." Full Review

The Irish Independent

for a previous production "The show keeps scrabbling up the slopes of the sublime but slipping back down, as it repeatedly sabotages its own emotional build. This is a charming and engaging ninety minutes however, and Kinevane is a virtuoso performer. Whilst a bit more chill would be welcome, basking in his warmth is a delightful experience." Full Review

Irish Times

for a previous production "Why does this play, which might have been Kinevane’s masterpiece and still could be, lose its way?Just because Kinevane has too close an identification with his character, you suspect...It’s comforting fantasy, but it doesn’t seem genuine...Still see-sawing between traumatic tales and leavening gags in the third act, the pace judders and drags. Kinevane’s striking performance, not to mention Denis Clohessy’s excellent sound design, really deserves the consideration of a lighting designer." Full Review

Brilliant acting. fantastic story. must see., Exquisite, Great acting, Absorbing, Enchanting

See it if You appreciate unbelievably brilliant acting, a story that will move you to tears. Irish culture and solo shows. Absolutely riveting.

Don't see it if You have problems with Irish accents, or don't like somewhat experimental theater.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you want to see a heart breaking & hilarious story examining the physiological effects of bullying, kindnesses, deformity and betrayal.

Don't see it if you are not interested in a monologue, however diverting, from beyond the grave.

Original, Entertaining, Dark

See it if You enjoy interesting, original pieces even if they are a bit uneven.

Don't see it if You don't like one person shows or find direct address annoying.

Uneven, Disappointing, Original, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You like experimental theater and "autobiograpical" tale-telling of a trauma victim who suffers terrible bullying and worse.

Don't see it if Unevenness offends. I like one-man stuff, Irish tale-telling, and inventive sets, but this didn't deliver consistently. Too many off-notes.

Excruciating, Overrated, Great lighting, Experimental, Bad writing

See it if you like SUPER experimental stuff with strange "dance" interludes, extremely loud sound effects, failures at being profound, and odd props.

Don't see it if you value your time. i checked my watch every 5 minutes. it was noisy and weird. don't go if you can't understand Irish accents.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you are interested in seeing a dazzling performance.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy one-person shows.

Cast & Creatives (7)