Review: The Man Who Fell to Pieces

Patrick J. O’Reilly’s The Man Who Fell to Pieces artistically articulates what it means to be broken, quite literally, and the ways in which we and others try to put the broken pieces back together.

By Katrina Turchin: BTR Writer and Mispronouncer of Floccinaucinihilipilification

The emotional comedy follows John, whose body parts start falling off as his depression spirals. He’s got a job he hates and a fiancée who, despite planning their wedding, can’t stop arguing with him. His father left when he was a child, and his single mother has gotten into the habit of breaking everything around the house so she can call the handsome handyman. As John falls apart, so do the people around him.

The most intriguing aspect of the metaphorically charged play is the use of circus to convey the clownery that people use to mask their problems. Juggling, dancing, and acrobatics frame the most serious conversations in the show being a metaphor for how when you have a mental illness it can feel like you’re constantly juggling, just waiting for the ball to drop. The play itself acts as an umbrella, being a metaphor for depression and how it can make you feel like you’re physically falling apart.

The Man Who Fell to Pieces combines comedy, tragedy, soul, and the element of surprise to tell a realistic story of what it feels like to live with depression. The unconventional show is full of heart and complements the lighthearted shows of the Fringe perfectly.


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