London International Mime Festival

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It’s the 40th anniversary of the London International Mime Festival. Each year world-class artists wow audiences with the inventive and imaginative things they can do with their bodies. There’s astounding juggling in Smashed; beautiful object manipulation in The Parachute + Watch The Ball; and trampolining as dance in Barons Perchés. This is theatre that will genuinely amaze and astound.
The Peacock Theatre, via Sadler’s Wells, get to host the world famous Gandini Jugglers. This show was first performed in 2010, and they’ve crafted a bumper edition for the 40th anniversary which more than doubles the number of performers. Based loosely on themes of relationships, barriers and afternoon tea, this is rhythmic, playful juggling, with a twist.
Stephen Mottram’s unique blend of mechanics, found objects and an unlimited supply of playfulness allows him to craft entire worlds out of the simplest tools. His puppet show at Jackson’s Lane is inspired by the way our brains allow us to see things which aren’t necessarily there - creating a story of love and loss along the way.
Theatre Re have taken inspiration from neurobiological research, avant-garde theatre-maker Tadeusz Kantor and interviews with dementia sufferers to create this melancholic blend of physical theatre and mime. Witness Tom’s preparations for his 55th birthday through his disappearing memories, complete with a moving live score, at Shoreditch Town Hall’s debut LIMF performance.
A totally unique mix of live film, hand puppetry and miniature props combine to tell the story of two lovers in the kind of multimedia work the Barbican Centre excel at. A team of cameramen, performers and prop manipulators work together to create the images projected onto the auditorium as it happens. The beauty of simplicity is the key here.
Mathurin Bolze’s previous LIMF work has always been popular, so he’s returned to Central St. Martin’s Platform Theatre with a sequel to his 2005 piece Fenêtres. A young nobleman, living in a tree to escape the trappings of society, is suddenly confronted with a doppelgänger. Using trampolines to play with aerial dynamics, this is thrilling and thought-provoking stuff.
Witness the incredible rubber face of Thomas Monckton. Lit with only a lamp, Monckton uses his hands to manipulate his face into a series of surreal and grotesque images. Soho Theatre hosts this award-winning work, which wowed audiences at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
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