Written by Bob Farquhar
14th January 2010
Liverpool-based theatre company Big Wow's fifth piece, The Friendship
Experiment, is a clever, funny production, the likes of which I had never
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.