The Man Who Fell to Pieces – February 2018

Tinderbox Theatre Company presents a comedy dealing with the profound themes of Mental Health in Northern Ireland….

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 of our friends and colleagues to suicide.

Tinderbox want to do something.  And that is to do what we do best. Create theatre.  We 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.

For this production Tinderbox are delighted to partner with Prime Cut Productions and The MAC to present EdgeFest in February/March 2018; a 3-week festival of explosive new theatre by leading theatre companies, that dares to take us to the very edge of who we are. Prime Cut Productions present two plays, Every Day I Wake Up Hopeful (15th Feb – 1st Mar) and East Belfast Boy (16th Feb – 2nd Mar) with a double bill of both running 17th – 3rd March. We are honoured to collaborate on Edgefest and help draw attention to mental health in Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the production and Edgefest 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.’

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, Anrtim; The Craic Arts Centre, Coalisland 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 play 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.


For more information and to inquire about interviews/ photo calls please contact:

Nicola Abernethy




Venue Locations and Tour Dates

The MAC, Belfast

6th-10th February at 8pm
Matinee performances 10th-11th February at 2:30pm

Tickets: 028 9023 5053 /

16th February at 8pm

Tickets: 028 7138 4444 /
20th February at 8pm

£15/£12 conc.
Tickets: 028 7012 3123 /


21st February at 8pm

Tickets: 028 2177 1318 / Tickets on door


22nd February at 8pm

Tickets: 028 8774 1100 /

23rd February at 8pm

£12/£10 conc.
Tickets: 028 4461 0747 /