Thom Pain (Based On Nothing) — A Perfect Storm of the Matrix Of Language

By Ernest Kearney Will Eno’s Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) began as a one-man show performed at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe and from there went on to performances in London and New York and eventually arrived on the short list for the Pulitzer Prize.

It has been called one of the best monologues ever written, and it very well might be.   Though a monologue about what exactly is hard to say.   But what one can say is that it is a dazzling display of English word play.  Puns, non-sequiturs, double entendres, cavorting catachreses, jarring juxtapositions, elevated enallages, a deluge of decoying assumptions, a slew of spoonerisms all pressed into play as one-liners, proverbs or perhaps both, constantly dangling between profundity and absurdity.

  • You’re all so wonderful I’d like to take you home, leave you there, and go somewhere else.”
  • “We’ve had some laughs too…maybe three.”    
  • You’ve changed she said right away the night we met.”
  • “Love cankers all.”
  • “Important things will happen now.”

It is the verbal equivalent of Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole.

John Patrick Yoder performs this crashing deconstruction of language with great skill and perfectly dead pan, sensibly allowing the script to do most of the heavy lifting for him.


Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

Thom Pain (Based on Nothing)

Is playing During Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022




The Broadwater (Second Stage)
6320 Santa Monica Blvd.

Wednesday June 22 2022, 5:00 PM
Saturday June 25 2022, 12:30 P

For Additional Information and Tickets

Learn More at


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.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.