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Punk circus, puppetry and physical theatre at London International Mime Festival

Yeung Fai's Hand Stories. Picture: Mario del Curto Yeung Fai's Hand Stories. Picture: Mario del Curto

Thursday, January 3, 2013
12:00 PM

Aerial acrobatics, puppetry and more will be on show at the annual London International Mime Festival.

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Simon Riccio's Nothing Moves If I Don't Push It. Picture: Ben HopperSimon Riccio's Nothing Moves If I Don't Push It. Picture: Ben Hopper

This year’s event opens on January 10 with the latest show from leading British aerial theatre company, Ockham’s Razor, in the Platform Theatre, part of the new University of the Arts complex.

Over the course of 18 days 15 British and overseas’ companies will entertain with a season of dynamic and unusual performances in venues including the Barbican Pit and Theatre, Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House, and Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Among the highlights is Yeung Fai’s Hand Stories at the Barbican Pit, which tells the true story of a young boy’s escape from China to the West, when the ancient craft of puppetry, handed down through five generations of his family, was banned as decadent during Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

Israeli visual theatre artists create a mysterious African landscape in Amit Drori’s Savanna at the same venue.

At Jacksons Lane, London’s centre for emerging circus-theatre artists, Italian performer Simone Riccio presents Nothing Moves If I Don’t Push It.

New work from two British puppetry and animation companies will be shown at Soho Theatre.

Blind Summit give the world premiere of The Heads, their follow-up to last year’s sold-out hit, The Table, while Invisible Thread (formerly Faulty Optic) give the London premiere of Les Hommes Vides, a 25 minute, low tech, eerie and comic performance featuring slapstick, object theatre, prizes and surreal table-top puppetry.

France’s dark and witty punk circus My!Laika will be at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room. Also at the same venue will be Wolfe Bowart’s Letter’s End, a dreamlike journey down memory lane and into physical comedy, illusion, shadow puppetry and interactive film.

Making its London premiere at the Purcell Room is the Edinburgh Fringe multiple award-winner, Circle of Eleven’s Leo, which takes physical theatre to creative and imaginative heights.

The Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall will play host to French visual theatre star Aurélien Bory’s Compagnie 111, who brings Plan B, his thrilling mix of circus, dance, video, sonic object manipulation and optical illusion, direct from a month-long run in Paris.

The artistic directors of the London International Mime Festival, which is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, are Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig.

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