Then a large man with an equally battered briefcase overfills what space remains. So begins an encounter between two very different men – one huge and be-suited though probably hitting hard times, the other whimsical, sly, slender and definitely a street survivor.
Their encounter starts with classic male competition - sneaking each others' slight possessions and showing off. But the tension grows until a fight erupts, bodies entwine, the big bloke decks and boots the punk, from nowhere they kiss and recoil aghast. Now they're connected.
So they explore that connection, console each other, play with the audience, deal with the elements and end up…well you'll have to go and see it.
There are no words, though the skinny guy keens and chatters. The two characters establish themselves quickly through physical presence, facial expression, and the way they use that cardboard box. Their story unfolds slowly until the tightly choreographed and danced fight sequence, which is in turn relieved by mime and comedy.
What's it about? Life on the street, male relationships, solidarity, the human condition...'Waiting for Godot' without the words. It's the kind of unexpected and quirky pleasure you happen upon at a festival and it's definitely worth 40 minutes of your time.
Catch Mano a Mano, by Dutch company Mr Saiqo, at Junkyard Dogs, Edward St, Brighton. Last show 25 May 6pm
Mr Saiqo is also presenting BARRERA at the Warren Studio 2 from 30 May-2 June.
Part of the Dutch Season at Brighton Fringe 2017