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Photo Credit: Crispian Chan

“… a surreal meditation on the empty promises life makes, the way experience never lives up to the weird and awesome fact of being. But it is also, in its odd, bewitching beauty, an affirmation of life's worth.”

—Heather Taylor Johnson, InDaily

“The audience is left both dumbfounded and in awe at the end of this hour of theatre. It has been a mighty trip into a hideous hypothetical. It has been a display of masterful acting, it has been a graphic lesson in humanity and an unforgettable experience.”

—Charles Isherwood, Life’s a Gift? Quick. Exchange It, review of Will Eno’s THOM PAIN (based on Nothing), The New York Times, 2 February 2005

Thom Pain is trying to save his life to save your life, in that order.

Filled with biting humour, desire, and lost innocence, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated show THOM PAIN (based on nothing) by Will Eno depicts one ordinary man’s extraordinary search through the wreckage of his life.

Hailed as “astonishing ... a small masterpiece” by The New York Times, this insightful and at times surreal production catalogues the eternal agonies of the human condition with wit and makes one last ditch plea for empathy and enlightenment.

Directed by Edith Podesta and choreographed by Yarra Ileto, THOM PAIN (based on nothing) is performed by students from the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Performance Making programme at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Co-presented with the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.
Post-show dialogue on 19 January 2024, with speech to text interpretation available upon request. Please email your request to [email protected] before 15 December 2023.

Artist Statement
THOM PAIN (based on nothing) delves into the profound human experience of loneliness and the intrinsic yearning for connection. It encourages contemplation on the value of authentic human bonds, empathy, and self-discovery. Eno’s work explores the depths of loneliness, vulnerability, and the quest for meaning, prompting us to confront the unfiltered realities of existence, where life’s fluctuations and fleeting connections clumsily guide us toward meaning. This play challenges us to reassess the narratives we construct, sparking fundamental inquiries about our identity, sense of belonging, and the essence of what truly matters. Eno adeptly weaves a rich tapestry of the human condition, beckoning us to explore the shadow realms of isolation, vulnerability, and the relentless pursuit of human significance.