How a Man Crumbled, throws the audience into the absurd world of Russian surrealist poet Daniil Kharms. Three bouffonesque characters attempt to tell the story of ‘The Old Woman,’ about a writer who kills an old lady and attempts, with great (and comic) difficulty to dispose of the body. Part of Mimetic Festival, held in The Vaults under the Waterloo Station, the trains rumbling overhead aren’t the only things taking you out of the story, as the narrative is frequently distracted by the trio’s series of comic vignettes, abstract ponderings or to just hit each other over the head with vegetables.
The main narrative is acted out like a silent movie, with the stage lights dimmed and a flickering torch emulating the crackle and shadowy atmosphere of the old films. The effect is completed through the miming of lines and a projection of the lines on the back of the stage.
How a Man Crumbled and its slapstick stylings, slapdash narrative and nonsensical humour may not be for everyone. At times I didn’t really know what I was watching, but to be honest I didn’t care as I found it profoundly funny and entertaining. The characters sneeze, push and beat on eachother, cluck like chickens, grab each others private parts and I never really knew why. But why isn’t important when it is so funny! It is an hour of madness that thrills, confuses and amuses, which I think Mr Kharms would’ve wanted. 4/5
Review written by Evan Parker.
How a Man Crumbled is currently showing as part of this year’s Mimetic Festival at The Vaults until Saturday 22nd November. For more information on the production, visit here…