The Story of A Sinking Man

11825075_10155894771740416_16364531585806115_nAndrew Chandler gives a virtuosic performance in the solo show The Story of A Sinking Man (1994) by Morris Panych at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival.

Nash is in trouble. He is stuck in a puddle of quicksand, alone except for birds and insects, and he has realized that he is sinking down into it. This is a beautifully constructed monologue by Panych, filled with his signature Absurdism and dark humour, that comments, subtly, about metaphoric sinking while playfully exploring literal sinking.

Chandler’s comic timing here is precise and sharp and he manages to walk the fine line between creating a character that is engaging to the audience and allowing Brechtian distance as to not turn the play into a tragedy. He also creates an especially fun character in Gustav, sort of Pessimism Personified, with great physicality and vocal work. Director Dorian Lang makes great use of light, darkness, silence, and keeps the play moving with perfect pacing. We get a clear sense of time passing, and how time is intrinsic to the play’s mounting tension.   

This play is a Fringe gem. Go see it.