Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Thom Pain (Based On Nothing)

Photo: Trent Suidgeest

Will Eno’s one man monologue, performed online, live by Toby Schmitz combines comedy and the often grim realities of life.

All throughout, Schmitz speaks directly to the camera, as though having a conversation. He uses metaphors to speak, which forces the audience to think about and listen to the ideas presented.

He consistently switches between metaphors, of the young boy, the woman, and the bee sting.

The simple design of the stage, costuming, and noir aesthetic removes distractions, giving the audience nothing to pay attention to except Schmitz, which I found to be effective and engaging.

While the performance is very well made and Schmitz plays the character phenomenally, the play is complex and is not conventionally engaging for the casual viewer. It takes time to understand, and can become very confusing if even one line is missed.

Staring into every one of the nine cameras, acting like the audience is there, the performance is very well directed and mimics a real theatre experience. Schmitz regularly addresses the audience, which makes it all the more engaging.

He switches between light hearted and serious topics, “What would you do if you had only one day to live?” and “Spoke to her in the language of love…English.” I thought this was effective, as it kept it unpredictable and you had no idea what was coming next.

Review by Rida Babar

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