Suitcases and signposts symbolise hello, goodbye and "where the hell are we going?" Some partings and greetings involve such mixed emotions that the moments are beyond words, and it's these wordless moments that Mimbre have captured in Until Now. We were completely swept away by the three Mimbre women tumbling, soaring, climbing and whirling through a series of poignant, amusing, delightful scenes.
The acrobatic theatre trio perform wordlessly for an hour, with only five suitcases and the aforementioned signpost. They tried to go separate ways, they urged one another to stay, they packed and unpacked their cases then made a washing line that was the most evocative prop we've seen in a long time. Mimbre use circus skills - they balance, tumble, mime and occasionally include slapstick - but Until Now is not of the flashy, trendy circus shows currently proliferating London theatres. Neither are they strictly theatre, using far too many backflips and too few spoken words to qualify.
Director Leandre Ribera has developed something unique with Mimbre, a dance theatre that has equal space for narrative and amazing acrobatics. Mimbre are outstanding physical performers: Lina Johansson's precarious human / suitcase Jenga and Emma Norin playing extraordinary tumbling tricks with Silvia Fratelli inside an expandable trunk show the strength of their skills. That they can convey the emotional subtleties of parting, staying, arriving and leaving at the same time makes Until Now a deeply satisfying, unique and above all extremely joyful experience. Book for one of the performances at Jacksons Lane to see for yourself.
And... do accept their offer of tea and cake. That's all we're saying about that.
Until Now by Mimbre at Jacksons Lane on Wednesday 21, Thursday 22 and Saturday 24 April (two shows on Saturday). For more information and to book tickets, go to the Jacksons Lane website. Londonist reviewed the Tuesday 20 April performance at the Laban Centre