Preview: Tinderbox Theatre Facing Mental Health Issues Head On With ‘The Man Who fell To Pieces’
January 28, 2018 Chris Caldwell 0 Comments
We face a mental health crisis in Northern Ireland. We have a 25% higher prevalence of mental health problems than England, and seem to be failing to find a solution. This year, the arts community has been shattered by the loss of too many friends and colleagues to suicide.
Tinderbox wants to do something. And that is to do what they do best. Create theatre. They see on a daily basis how access to creativity and imagination has a direct impact on mental health and studies are now backing up what we know to be true. After taking over as Artistic Director of Tinderbox in 2016, Writer and Director, Patrick J. O’Reilly (Here We Lie, Famla, What We’re Made of) is proud to present this production, which he has been working on since 2011, and it is based on his own mental health experiences. It is a physical, imaginative piece of theatre that watches the character of John fall apart, literally. The Man Who Fell to Pieces celebrates what it means to be broken.Tinderbox have teamed up with Prime Cut Productions to present EdgeFest at The MAC in February 2018; a 3-week festival of explosive new theatre by leading theatre companies that dares to take you to the very edge of who we are.
Speaking about the production Patrick J. O’Reilly said:
‘I am delighted to be given the opportunity to create The Man Who Fell to Pieces as part of the Edge fest. The story explores my personal struggle in dealing with Depression and the immense power of the Imagination to not only deal with the complexities of life but celebrate the beauty and fragility of being human. The Man Who Fell to Pieces will inspire, entertain and most importantly shine a light on Strength and Hope. I am very grateful to the Arts Council, Belfast City Council, Foyle Foundation and D’oyly Carte for their invaluable support.’
Gilly Campbell, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:
“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this new production from Tinderbox through National Lottery and public funding. The Man Who Fell to Pieces is a powerful drama which truly
demonstrates the value of the arts in exploring challenging issues and I would encourage everyone to go along.”
The Man Who Fell to Pieces, is written and directed by Tinderbox’s Artistic Director, Patrick J. O’Reilly, with stage design by Ciaran Bagnall and music by Katie Richardson and stars a number of NI’s leading actors; Shaun Blaney, Roisin Gallagher, Maria Connolly and Patrick Buchanan. It opens at The MAC, Belfast, on 6th February followed by a full NI regional tour to The Alley, Strabane; Riverside, Coleraine, Cushendall Golf Club, Antrim; The Craic Arts Centre, Dungannon and Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick. (see below for dates)
On top of the regional tour Tinderbox are proud to announce their first IN8 Outreach Programme as part of this production. Tinderbox will take this production to groups who wouldn’t otherwise have a platform to explore these problems through creativity or attend theatre performances. In this programme Tinderbox will be taking the production to residential care homes, Magilligan Prison, Inspire Residential Homes, Woodvale Community Centre and a community evening hosted at The Strand Arts Centre in East Belfast. These groups will be offered post-show workshops exploring the issues of the play and the themes of confidence, empowerment and hope – all of which can provide armour against the mental health demons.
‘The Man Who Fell To Pieces’ runs from 6th-11th Feb at The Mac and tickets are available here.
All other details and tickets for other dates are here.