London International Mime Festival

Every week, hundreds of performers go out into the world to become mimes.

Never to be heard from again.

Luckily, the London International Mime Festival is around to sing their praises and toot their own trumpets for them, and it’s very slowly rolling its (invisible) wagon into town for the 44th edition of the annual festival this very month.

Taking place at venues scattered across London, it’s an eclectic mix of eccentric, athletic, jaw-dropping, intimate and generally excellent performances plucked from the vast range of disciplines that come under the ‘mime’ umbrella. Featuring performers from around the globe, expect everything from large scale productions by award winning troupes, to intimate puppetry on a boat – or, more specifically, expect:

  • Ockham’s Razor, a beautiful show about life, death, and everything that happens in between, performed on specially built aerial equipment that has literally been invented for the show;
  • Only Bones, a minimalist and radical one-mime show by the ‘rubber-limbed’ Trygve Wakenshaw, created in response to the challenge of making a show with “no story, no language, no set, no props, and only one light”;
  • 3D, another show made with a brand-new contraption which is essentially a rideable, super-sized archer’s bow;
  • The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, an homage to two great clowns set to live piano in Wilton’s Music Hall;
  • Optraken, a show in which five acrobats constantly battle with the set falling down around them;
  • Cold Blood, in which hands dance around miniature sets and are projected onto cinema-sized screens.

Ockham’s Razor © Mark Robson

But that’s not all. Because – besides a host of other exceptional shows incorporating acrobatics, mask performance and puppetry – you’ll also find stuffed into their programme post-show talks and discussions; silent movie screenings with live soundtracks; and workshops on everything from ‘Understanding Visual Vernacular’ to ‘How to Be a Stupid’.

Apparently it all comes down to thinking inside the box.


NOTE: The London International Mime Festival takes place between 8th January and 2nd February 2020 at various venues across London. You can find out more about what’s on, and book tickets, right HERE.

Main image: Compagnie HMG – 3D

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