Culture, On Stage

International Mime Festival

Organisers warn audiences to “expect the unexpected” as London prepares to host this two week spectacle of events.

The best innovative and traditional power of theatrical mime from Europe will be showcased across various venues in the city from the 15th of January. It is a unique, once in a year chance to see the very best in cutting edge circus – theatre, adult puppetry and animation, physical and object theatre. Acts will be travelling in to the city from Italy, Spain, Russia, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland the UK and the USA to dazzle audiences at the Barbican, the ICA, Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre and Roundhouse.

The 2011 festival will open at the South Bank Centre with Spain’s famous “puppets of terror” who will be performing “La Maldicion de Poe”, based on stories of the celebrated horror writer Edgar Allan Poe.

To check out the latest work from young British aerial production company Upswing, the South Bank Centre will also be showing the premier of their production “Fallen”. It is a powerful story of what it means to be both a woman and a mother and promises to create “a dynamic and poetic portrait of eternal love, overwhelming loss and the resilience of the human spirit”.

At the Round House, audiences are spoilt for choice with the chance to see the UK premier of the one man circus Finish production “Un Cirque Plus Juste” or the world premier of the UK production “Flogging a Dead Horse”  by Faulty Opic – renowned for their haunting tales, visual theatre, strange animated figures and very dark humour.

Alternatively to sample the best of French mime visit the Barbican, where a new circus theatre production inspired by John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is being showcased; “Men Du Goudron et des Plumes”. It tells the story of five strangers, exiles or survivors of a storm, thrown together on a vessel adrift between earth and sky. Their tale of friendship, co-operation and trust is depicted through “thrilling acrobatics, bewitching lighting and heart-stopping tension”.

The ICA showcases Russian, Italian and French talent, including the Russian production “Gobo.Digital Glossary”– an absurdist take on the Everyman story, set in Akhe’s chaotic world of fantastic images and bizarre and quite literally explosive happenings. 

For more information on how to get tickets for these productions amongst the many others not detailed here visit

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