It's easy to laugh at mime - the performers can't say anything back. But in the case of the London International Mime Festival, they could well leap off the stage on bungee ropes and encase you in a massive block of clay then make you a key part of an adult puppet show. This isn't a two week lovefest for tall chaps in stripy tops and white make up trapped in invisible glass boxes: this is the annual celebration of non-spoken performance, ranging from puppetry to aerial acrobatics to breath-taking contemporary juggling to modern clowns.
Running since 1977, this annual showcase of all that is great, good and extremely groovy in the world non-spoken theatre is the bright spot in January and fantastic international performances are scheduled for venues including the ICA, South Bank Centre, Barbican, Lyric Hammersmith and the Clore Studio at the Royal Opera House.
As the panto tide ebbs away with fading cries of 'oh no, it isn't!' it's good to see such exciting and innovative work replacing and refreshing theatreland. Get booking and prepare to be made speechless.
(See what we did there? Speechless? Mime? Yeah, we know, we know...)
London International Mime Festival, Saturday 12 to 27 January, various venues. For more information and tickets, go to the festival website here.