London Mime Festival will cause another quiet revolution
- Credit: Archant
Puppeteers, circus entertainers, acrobats and performance artists will come together this month for one of London’s biggest festivals of visual theatre.
The London International Mime Festival (LIMF) – which includes shows at The Barbican and the Platform Theatre, in King’s Cross, will see all kinds of non-verbal theatrical performers unite for the 37th year in a row.
Joseph Seelig, co-founder and co-director of LIMF, said: “We don’t do dance but we do pretty much everything else that involves what happens on a stage without any text.
“So that’s all sorts of things. It can be circus theatre, puppetry, performance art, a huge range of non-verbal theatre. And obviously it appeals to a very large number of people in a multi-national cosmopolitan place like London where many people don’t have English as their first language.”
The festival has been changing people’s perceptions of mime since Seelig and co-founder Nola Rae established the festival to attract larger audiences and more attention for visual theatre shows in the 1970s.
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“I think it’s true to say that it’s the longest-running annual theatre festival in London,” Seelig says. “And it’s gone that long because there is a demand for it and it constantly reinvents itself a bit so that it keeps fresh and you can keep going.”
Seelig and his co-director of 25 years, Helen Lannaghan, say they select “work of the highest quality that we like, that we can afford, that is stageable” from all over the globe to perform in the festival.
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Fifteen companies, from 10 different countries as well as the UK, are performing in this year’s festival until January 27.
The Barbican, in Silk Street, will host an animatronic puppet show by Amit Drori from Tuesday to Saturday, January 22-26, and a puppet show by Yeung Fai about “a boy’s journey to freedom in the West,” a juggling tribute to late German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch by Gandini Juggling runs from Tuesday to Saturday, January 15-19.
Both performances start at 7.45pm each night with tickets costing £16.
Platform Theatre, at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design, in Handyside Street, King’s Cross, will show British aerial theatre group Ockham’s Razor’s Not Until We Are Lost which takes the form of a series of immersive short stories bringing the audience into the heart of the action. Graham Fitkin has been specially commissioned to compose the score for the show, which also features a live choir. Performances will take place tonight (Thursday) at 8pm, Friday at 6pm and 9pm and on Saturday at 5pm and 8pm, with tickets costing £16.
n For more information or to book tickets, visit www.mimelondon.com