“Let There be Thistles” Draws More than Blood

By Ernest Kearney  —  There’s nothing quite like a show that sets me and my wife Marlene to arguing.  We don’t often argue about plays we’ve

seen.  We have other topics that tend to get our discussions a bit heated. *    *

But playwright/performer Joshua ThomasLet There Be Thistles got us going.

Marlene thinks Thomas’ character is an unhinged lunatic confined in an asylum somewhere.

I think he’s God.

And maybe we’re both right.

Director, Branda Lock (HFF2018)

Because when you look about at the present state of the world, the only conclusion about “God” one can possibly reach, if there is an “infinite father,” is that he’s gone off his meds.

One thing upon which we didn’t argue was the tour-de-force performance by Thomas as the “Madman/God” ruminating on creation, desperate for a second chance.

One feels at times that Thomas’ character is trapped in the stark, dark room in which we find him.

At other times it feels as if he’s afraid of leaving the security of his cell, which is understandable when you take into account what happened to his son: Three nails and suddenly he’s a piece of jewelry.

Thomas’ character tries to relive and improve upon Genesis; refashioning a new man, and calling out periodically, “Let there be cheesecake!”

But the old omnipotence is gone. So, he sits about recalling past glories: “Lambs – fluffy and juicy at the same time. Genius!”

There is a definite shade of Beckett to Thomas’ concept, so much so that at times you can’t help but wonder if somewhere by a road with a limp tree nearby, there aren’t two tramps anxiously awaiting his arrival.Platinum Medal

But this show is too good to let go of.

Thomas was last at the Fringe in 2014 with Angels and Whiskey, I hope he doesn’t stay away that long again, because he and director Branda Lock have crafted a true gem that deserves the first PLATINUM MEDAL of this Fringe.

(*   * Author’s Note:  Capital punishment (she’s for/I’m against), the movie Locke (she’s hates/I love), the value of the “double standard” (guess), whether Anais Nin was an airhead or not (guess again), and if the opportunity ever came to have dinner with Rasputin (She’d go off with the “mad monk” to find a hay stack and I’d be left eating the cakes with the potassium cyanide icing.)

♦    ♦    ♦


Let There Be Thistles

Is Playing During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018


Studio C
6448 Santa Monica Blvd.

For Complete Show Information, Tickets and Reservations Go To:


What is the Hollywood Fringe Festival? Click HERE to learn more.

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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 TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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