He tells us a joke: ¨A horse walks into a bar, and the barkeep says Why the long face?´ The horse says, Well, I´ve got AIDS...´¨ He teases us with a raffle. He demands things of the stage´s lighting rig and is ignored. And he digresses -- endless digressions, ending in rapture or terror or both, long soliloquies that never conclude but expire, Durkin´s synapses hitting dead ends, brick walls, falling into silences that are quickly filled with noise, which itself resolves into stories that decay into digressions, which work themselves into frenzies before hitting their own walls, and then . . .
Thom Pain is a scared little animal, and everybody who watches him for seventy minutes will begin thinking much the same thing about the people sitting next to them in the theater. Afterwards, when the lights come up, people should talk to one another, freed suddenly to inquire after the small and tragic moments that dog the lives of perfect strangers. This is not what happened the night I went, and I was disappointed. That´s why Thom Pain is, after all, only theater. That´s also why we need it.