London International Mime Festival 2020 highlights
London's annual International Mime Festival, LIMF 2020, brings the joy of non-verbal theatre to the capital
Wilton's Music Hall debuts as a venue for LIMF to host The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel. The company Told by an Idiot spin their own fictitious web around a supposed collaboration between those two giants of early 20th-century comedy. The performance is accompanied by an original piano score by Zoe Rahman, played live. Full details here.
Told by an Idiot, Chaplin and Stan, © Hugo Glendinning
Unmissable hand puppetry from the Belgian Kiss and Cry Collective. In their new work, Cold Blood, nimble fingers travel through miniature sets to tell the stories of seven surprising deaths. A wide range of whimsical moods is accompanied by music by Ravel, Janis Joplin and David Bowie. Full details here.
Kiss and Cry, Cold Blood © Julien Lambert
Nick Lehane's Chimpanzee stands out in a festival heavy on puppetry. Three highly skilled puppeteers handle the life-size puppet of a chimpanzee, who escapes from the despair of her cage in a laboratory by reminiscing about the freedom of her youth. It's a heartbreaking tale from the Brooklyn-based Lehane, in its UK premiere. Full details here.
Nick Lehane, Chimpanzee © Richard Termine
Vamos Theatre, a troupe that can extract any number of emotions from papier-mâché masks, has become a regular of LIMF. For 2020 they bring us Dead Good, which follows the funny and poignant adventures of Bob and Bernard, both dying and both determined not to go down without a fight. Full details here.
Vamos Theatre, Dead Good © Graeme Braidwood
France's premier company of puppeteers, La Pendue, come to LIMF 2020 with Tria Fata. Here a woman who is approaching death discovers she can postpone the inevitable by giving the Three Fates an account of her life. In showing glimpses of the old woman's past, Tria Fata dwells on the unique relationship between puppet and manipulator. Full details here.
La Pendue, Tria Fata © Tomas Vimmr
Still Hungry company from Germany won the 2019 Edinburgh 'Fringe First" award with their show Raven, now set for its London premiere at LIMF 2020. The three exceptional female circus artists of Still Hungry offer their own humourous and poignant take on child-rearing. Their starting point is the expression 'mother raven,' which has become synonymous with bad motherhood, because raven chicks leave the nest before they're able to fly. Full details here
photo creadits: Still Hungry, Raven (c) Daniel Porsdorf
A truly transfixing show for all the family, The Water Babies takes its audience to a magical underwater world, to follow a little chimney sweep when he is transformed into a water baby. String Theatre use specially commissioned music and long-string marionettes to tell a story inspired by Charles Kingsley's famous novel. And you get to watch it all on a barge moored on the Thames… Details here.
The Water Babies © String Theatre
What makes a man? In BOYS the young all-male cast of The PappyShow explore the many facets of masculinity: tenderness, silliness, vulnerability, strength and, of course, heritage. Impressive physical performers all, the members of The PappyShow share their stories and experiences, to destroy preconceptions and explore all the possibilities of being a man. Full details here.
The PappyShow, Boys © Dinat
London had its first taste of juggler extraordinaire Wes Peden when he joined Gandini Juggling for their acclaimed show Spring in last year's Mime Festival. Now Peden comes to LIMF 2020 with his one-man show, Zebra, the aesthetic of which is described, intriguingly, as that of a futuristic chandelier with a sense of humour… surely you don't want to miss the chance to find out more? Full details here.
Wes Peden, Zebra © Avi Pryntz-Nadworny
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