Culture, Globe, Listings, On Stage, United Kingdom

The mime festival is back

This winter, this well-known international event will present the very best of contemporary visual theatre. The 2019 edition will see British artists at the forefront.


Marcella Via


During theatre plays, the transmission of a meaning or a specific message often goes deeper than the simple intonation of a sentence or choosing specific words. The body also plays a key role in communicating emotions and telling stories to the public.

And the relevance of the body in delivering messages in the field of theatre can be appreciated best of all with the work of mime artists.

The “London International Mime Festival” is an opportunity to get to know more about this field of performing arts.

Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig direct the festival. They explained that the festival represents “a unique event in the theatre calendar, a once-a-year chance to see the very best and newest contemporary visual theatre that embraces cutting edge circus-theatre, juggling, puppetry, live art, mime and physical theatre”.

UK artists are at the forefront in 2019. According to the press office, “Barely Methodical Troupe opens the festival with their latest acrobatic spectacular Shift at the Platform Theatre. Gandini Juggling with Alexander Whitley, make their debut at Sadler’s Wells while Gecko makes its  main stage debut at the Barbican; Thick & Tight delight at the Lilian Baylis Studio; Stan’s Cafe makes a rare London appearance with The Capital, whilst Green Ginger explores the inner reaches of the human body in Intronauts, both at Jacksons Lane. Theatre Re premieres its latest creation, Birth, a LIMF co-commission, at Shoreditch Town Hall”.

Of course, British artists will not be the only ones performing. In fact, Lannaghan and Seeling pointed out: “the festival’s international dimension brings companies from Belgium, Finland, France, New Zealand, Norway and Spain. Debut participants include performance artist, Olivier de Sagazan, ice puppeteers Théâtre de l’Entrouvert, and 2018 Total Theatre Award winners Focus/Chaliwaté with Backup.”

Companies returning with new productions include Plexus Polaire, Thomas Monckton, Les Antliaclastes and Olivier Award winners Peeping Tom. Xavier Bobés brings Things Easily Forgotten back to the festival, his atmospheric salon performance for an audience of five”.

And the festival includes more than plays. Participants will discover that  “a wide range of workshops, artists’ talks and discussion complements the performance programme, which also features two classic silent films with live music at the Barbican Cinema: Buster Keaton’s The General and Victor Sjöström’s He Who Gets Slapped”, according to the press office.

The “London International Mime Festival” will take place from Wednesday 9 January until Sunday 3 February 2019. The festival is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and it is supported by the Institut Français,  The Finnish Institute in London / TelePART, and Wallonie-Bruxelles International.

The festival will take place in different locations, including Platform Theatre, Central Saint Martins, UAL; Barbican Theatre; Barbican The Pit; Barbican Cinema 1; Jackson Lane; Sadler’s Wells/Lilian Baylis Studio; Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room and Shoreditch Town Hall.

For further information visit

(Photos MiMe website)

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