Sometimes, when you walk down the busy streets of London and many other cities, you will see a mime artist performing on a street corner. Did you know that they have an International Mime Festival in London each year? The first one was held in 1977, and it’s been held every year since.
The first time I attended was totally by accident. I was in London on business in 2009, and one of my colleagues mentioned it. We were only able to attend one performance, the Buchinger’s Boot Marionettes. The performance was amazing, done with recycled objects ranging from bones to insects and plants. I swore then that I’d have to get back to see it again, but this time I wanted to take in more than just one performance. For 2013, the festival takes place from 10 January through 27 January. In 2014, it will be held from 15 January to 30 January, so you can plan your own visit next year.
A performance to remember
There are quite a few performances that are memorable to say the least. I tried to catch as many as I could, and my favourites were the Collectif Petit Travers with their juggling, trapeze and dance routines, and the Figuren Theatre Tubingen with masked and costumed figures seemingly appearing out of thin air.
My favourite part of the festival was the interaction with the performers. After each performance there is a period of about 30 minutes where the performers will discuss things with the audience. They will also host mime and theatre workshops. This year I was able to take part in a couple workshops, and I’d highly recommend you try it when you are at the festival.
Where do I go?
The venues for this year were the Barbican, Jackson’s Lane, the Platform Theatre, the Roundhouse, the Royal Opera House, and Southbank Centre. All of the venues are pretty easy to get to, and there are some amazing hotels close to each location. Tickets for the festival are available online, but if you miss out, or spot a shop you want to see, you can usually get a ticket at the entrance.
If you have attended this festival this year, did you have a particular favourite performance?