Thom Pain (based on nothing)

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Thom Pain (based on nothing)
Written by Will Eno
Characters Thom Pain
Date premiered 2004
Place premiered Soho Theatre, London
Original language English

Thom Pain (based on nothing) is a one man show written by Will Eno. It is a rambling monologue in which the protagonist, who has suffered a lot in his life, tells the story of a bee sting, a boy with a dog that died, and his experience with a woman.

Production history[edit]

The play started as a reading at the Soho Theatre[1]and was then performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004. The play next opened in London at the Soho Theatre, running from 3 to 24 September 2004.[2] It received the First Fringe Award.[3]

Thom Pain (based on nothing) then premiered in the United States Off-Broadway at the DR2 Theatre on February 1, 2005 and closed on September 4, 2005.[4] The original production starred James Urbaniak, and was directed by Hal Brooks. Urbaniak was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for his portrayal of Thom Pain.[5]

The play was revived in London at the The Print Room, running from 15 September to 13 October 2012, where it was said: "Receiving the highest acclaim in both London and America, where the Telegraph declared 'it's hard to imagine more dazzling writing on any stage'."[6]

The play was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

The play received enthusiastic reviews. The Theatre Journal wrote: "Why did this production receive some of the strongest reviews of the season and a twice-extended run in the heart of New York City? The production aesthetics seem to work against popularity."[8]

Charles Isherwood, in his review for The New York Times wrote: "It's one of those treasured nights in the theater - treasured nights anywhere, for that matter - that can leave you both breathless with exhilaration and, depending on your sensitivity to meditations on the bleak and beautiful mysteries of human experience, in a puddle of tears. Also in stitches, here and there. Speechless, in any case."[9]

The Theatremania.com critic wrote:

At its conclusion, audience members may not know exactly what they just saw or what it was supposed to mean. Is Thom Pain a meditation on disappointment? An exercise in futility? Perhaps both. One thing is certain, however. Even if the piece is based on nothing, as its subtitle proclaims, its unconventional style makes it far more interesting than many other plays that are currently on the boards.

[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Eno Play 'Thom Pain (based on nothing)' Published by TCG for April Release" playbill.com, March 14, 2005
  2. ^ Paddock, Terri. "Reviews. 'Thom Pain' " whatsonstage.com, 23 August 2004
  3. ^ Parikh, Shawn (2007-10-11). "Firestarter Productions presents Thom Pain (based on nothing) for one night only on October 12". Pegasus News (Fisher Communications). Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  4. ^ "Overview" The New York Times, accessed January 9, 2014
  5. ^ Somensky, Amy (2005-05-23). "Drama Desk Award Winners". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  6. ^ " 'Thom Pain (Based On Nothing)' Listing" the-print-room.org, accessed 9 January 2014
  7. ^ Simonson, Robert (2005-04-04). "John Patrick Shanley's Doubt Wins 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama". Playbill News (Playbill). Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  8. ^ Thom Pain: (Based on Nothing) Theatre Journal, Volume 57, Number 4, December 2005. pp. 754-756 (excerpt, muse.jhu.edu)
  9. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review. 'Thom Pain (Based On Nothing)' " The New York Times, February 2, 2005
  10. ^ Bacalzo, Dan. "Reviews. 'Thom Pain (based on nothing)' " theatermania.com, February 2, 2005

External links[edit]