The Man Who Fell to Pieces – October 2018

The Man Who Fell to Pieces puts mental health centre stage at The Crescent

With overwhelming responses from audiences NI theatre company Tinderbox is back with the hugely successful The Man Who Fell to Pieces at The Crescent 16th – 27th October. Premiered as part of EdgeFest at The MAC in collaboration with Prime Cut Productions in February, The Man Who Fell to Pieces explores the stigma of mental health in Northern Ireland.

The play is written and directed by Tinderbox Artistic Director, Patrick J. O’Reilly, with stage design by Ciaran Bagnall and music by Katie Richardson.  It also includes a stellar cast featuring some of NI’s leading actors; Shaun Blaney (John), Roisin Gallagher (Caroline), Maria Connolly (Alice) and Patrick Buchanan (Henry).

The Man Who Fell to Pieces is a comedy which tells the story of John, a man who is literally falling apart. It is a physical, imaginative piece of theatre that celebrates what it means to be broken.  The play also reflects the personal experience of Artistic Director Patrick J.O’Reilly who used his own struggle of coping with depression to show strength and hope.

Tinderbox Artistic Director Patrick J O’Reilly said;

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to create The Man Who Fell to Pieces at The Crescent. 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 inspired, entertained and most importantly shone a light on strength and hope back in February and I am delighted that it has the opportunity to empower people again in October.”


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 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 and see it.”


Director of The Crescent, Roger Courtney added;

“Having seen the show earlier this year, I am immensely proud to collaborate with Tinderbox to bring this play to The Crescent and to play our part in helping to reduce the stigma attached to mental health in Northern Ireland. If you missed out on seeing this play at The MAC in February we strongly recommend you don’t miss the opportunity to see it at The Crescent. We guarantee you will be moved and inspired by this incredible production.”


The Man Who Fell To Pieces will run at The Crescent  16th – 27th  October; 2.30pm &  7.45pm. For further details visit


What the critics said:

The Man Who Fell to Pieces is a rare feat of theatre making.  Jane Coyle
Explosive, gritty theatre with passionate and innovative staging, scoring, scripting and acting. The Big List
A moving celebration of brokenness and a call to action about well-being and mental health.  Alan in Belfast.

**** The Stage

What audiences said:

 “Incredible moving and Inspiring”

“Honest expression of Mental Heath – Beautiful Imagery”

“Poignant, unique and an important story told through comedy”

 “The Man Who Fell to Pieces is genius; just go”


We are also delighted to be able to continue our IN8 Outreach Programme, which previously premiered with the first The Man Who Fell to Pieces in February. Tinderbox will work with groups interested in participating in post-show workshops, exploring creativity, the issues of the play and the themes of confidence, empowerment and hope – all of which provide armour against the demons of mental health.  

For more information on IN8 workshops please contact: