Forget walking against the wind and picking up incredibly heavy imaginary suitcases, there’s much more to mime than that. Next month sees the ancient art form celebrated at the London International Mime Festival, with a hugely varied program of events from internationally-acclaimed performers. Over 24 days there’ll be a total of 64 performances by 18 companies.
From Belgium comes Peeping Tom with a ballet-infused show called 32 Rue Vandanbranden set in a run-down snow-dusted trailer park. Then there’s Plexus, in which French director Aurélien Bory sets Japanese dancer Kaori Ito the challenge of negotiating a forest of 5,000 cords. From America comes Basil Twist who creates illusions of perspective (the Japanese art of dogugaeshi) using 100 hand-painted gilt and paper panels. And for a taste of old world charm try Circus Ronaldo’s Amortale (also from Belgium), which recreates the magic of a travelling fairground, mixing marionettes and “a touch of arson” to tell a distinctive version of the Adam and Eve story. There are a fair few London premieres too including NoFit State's new foodie fantasy Noodles about a cooking show that gets overrun by the ingredients. Here's a clip:
This exceptional festival has been running since 1977 and is the longest-established event of its kind. As well as watching the shows there are also opportunities to meet the performers and learn the skills by booking a place on one of the excellent workshops and courses that run throughout.
It’s different, distinctive and will open up a whole world of imaginative possibilities especially if you have kids to take.
The London International Mime Festival 2015 runs from 8-31 January at venues across London including the Barbican, Central St Martin’s Platform Theatre, Jacksons Lane, the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, Soho Theatre and Southbank Centre. Tickets range in price. The full program of events is available on the festival website.