Crashland (Hangman Theatre Company) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Hangman Theatre Company’s Crashland, playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, is a fluid and seamless example of how pitch perfect pacing can amp up the tension in any show.

I adore when plays begin the moment you step into the theatre. Whether it’s because there are characters shuffling around in the audience, clowning around, interacting, or if there’s already something intriguing happening on stage while the house lights are still up. In this case, Crashland’s four person ensemble starts on stage already, backed by a looping broken record of in-flight rules and regulations. They go through a set of repetitive motions, also on a loop, that continued until the lights dimmed.

The synopsis of Crashland covers only a bare minimum, it’s about much more than a devastating plane crash. It’s about death, what follows death, collective memory, forgiveness, regret and a slew of other things that I’m sure I must have missed. Except the words resonate so well, and the acting is so precise, that even if I couldn’t catch everything, I still walked away feeling the weight of what I had just seen.

What struck me as most impressive was the way the direction worked so well with the technical aspects of the show. Nathan Tanner MacDonald and Finn Archinuk did a truly incredible job. I hardly noticed when the lights changed, or when there was suddenly music playing. Everything meshed so well together, moved so smoothly, it was all very organic and complementary of the action taking place on stage.

I would ordinarily call out certain performers who made a specific impact on me, but I can honestly say that this was a group effort that remained especially well-balanced throughout the show. All four cast members brought something special and integral to the table to make Crashland one of the most intriguing pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a while.

Confusing at parts, completely clear at others, Crashland kept me curious and riveted the whole time.


  • Crashland is playing at the Factory Mainspace (214 College St., 3rd Floor).
  • Performances: July 10 08:45 PM, July 12 09:15 PM, July 13 02:15 PM, July 14 09:45 PM
  • All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
  • Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows


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