The threat has been noted before by Londonist: there may come a day post-7th July when visitors stay away in such high numbers that the city’s redundant entertainers are driven underground to wait for the day the tourists come back to be amazed by their mime act of standing really still while covered in gold paint.
That day is not yet upon us and London is due to be overwhelmed with real mime artists who can do more than the usual “walking against strong wind in a stripy jumper and white face paint” act. The London International Mime Festival returns with a programme of the best theatre without words in the world today and for two and a half weeks, audiences can have all their prejudices against mime very, totally, completely exploded. It's not all about loons trapped in imaginary glass boxes - aerialists, sculptures, "macabre animation theatre" (puppets, in other words), possessed mannequins and manic chefs all feature in the festival programme. There are no gags involving an invisible box that won't budge, we promise.
The London International Mime Festival starts Wednesday 11th January and continues to Sunday 29th January at various venues around London, including Battersea Arts Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the ICA. For more information and to book tickets, please check the festival website here.