Review: The Art of Falling Apart at The Unity, Liverpool

Posted on 26 June 2015
By Janie Philips
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There is nothing but a single chair on the stage as you walk into the auditorium; there is no set, nothing visual at all that can give you any clues as to what kind of show The Art Of Falling Apart – currently running at The Unity Theatre, Liverpool – might be. In fact, it has become writer and director Robert Farquhar’s trademark sign – an almost bare stage – that way the audience will not anticipate what is about to happen and nor can they as this show opens with a bang and continues pretty much at break neck speed for the full 80 minutes.

It appears that Callum might be having a mid-life crisis at 36. He’s walked out on his girlfriend Suzie, and everything is simply getting too much. As the pressure builds Callum finds himself asking, what is life really about? What is happiness? In one night, Callum experiences just how other people find their own happiness and embarks on a journey – mainly a drug and alcohol infused binge – that will stay with him for a very long time.

Actors Matt Rutter and Tim Lynskey both deliver highly polished performances. This show requires incredible endurance as Farquhar’s script has the pair running around the stage, morphing from one hilarious character to another. The physicality needed to play the plethora of characters has to be commended here and both do so with apparent ease. So to are the assortments of accents, which happily are consistent all the way through and change as quickly as the characters do.

Farquhar’s style of keeping it simple and not using set, props or costume means that Rutter and Lynskey can really shine and show off their incredible talent for characters, voices and comic timing. It also reminds us that going to see a show does not always have to be all glamour and glitz and that sometimes a little imagination can go a long way.

From the moment the lights go up, The Art Of Falling Apart has you literally falling
apart with laughter. There are a few moments when Farquhar’s script also pulls on the
heartstrings, but as always there is a perfect balance, and both Rutter and Lynskey do
a tremendous job in performing another triumph from Farquhar.

The Art Of Falling Apart
The Unity Theatre, Liverpool
June 25 – June 27
Writer / Director: Robert Farquhar
Producer: Big Wow
Cast: Matt Rutter, Tim Lynskey
Running Time: 80 minutes
PR Rating: *****
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