The Friendship Experiment

Written by Bob Farquhar
Unity Theatre
14th January 2010

Reviewed By Mari Jones

Liverpool-based theatre company Big Wow's fifth piece, The Friendship Experiment, is a clever, funny production, the likes of which I had never seen before.

This minimalist play features just two actors - Tim Lynskey and Matt Rutter. There is no real story to it. Just them, onstage, trying to act out various scenes of 'improv'. But this is where the genius lies with The Friendship Experiment. It plays like an unscripted evening with two guys acting out scenarios for us, until it becomes more about the actors themselves. Or the characters of the actual actors. Or something.

The script by Bob Farquhar is funny and inventive, picking apart the ideas and the rules that make up theatre, like not interacting with the audience and never breaking the fourth wall. But the pairing of Lynskey and Rutter is what makes it truly memorable. They play off each other flawlessly and effortlessly and are hilarious to watch – in fact I was crying with laughter pretty much the entire time!

So what starts as a supposed piece of improv quickly becomes a laugh out loud, riotous theatrical performance that left me wanting much more from Big Wow in the future.

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