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 Post subject: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:49 am 
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Location: London
Louder than words
Forget Marcel Marceau; the London International Mime Festival offers moving and profound theatrical experiences - and with not a white glove in sight, says Claire Allfree [The Independent]

Quote:
When Martin Bragg, artistic director of Canada's largest theatre company CanStage, was first approached with the idea of staging an adaptation of two Gogol short stories he was initially sceptical. "I hate negative theatre," he says. "I thought these two stories had the potential to be unbelievably depressing." He was even more doubtful when the directors added that they wanted to stage it without words. "I couldn't see how a North American audience could find it accessible." North America proved him wrong. Six years later CanStage have that most unusual theatrical contradiction on their hands: a mime blockbuster. Fusing the stories of The Overcoat and Diary of a Madman, and featuring only the music of Shostakovich and a cast of 22, The Overcoat has sold out across Canada and has since been made into an award winning film.
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Theatre: Actions speak louder
Stalingrad on a table, a bird doing time and a ghost-train trip in the street: Clifford Bishop picks 2004’s most intriguing physical theatre

Quote:
Taxonomy is the most seductive of the sciences, the one that seems bred into us from the moment we can talk and point and ask: “What is that?” Sometimes, though, it is a seduction that is best resisted. Alternative theatre — or physical theatre, or visual theatre, or mime, or why not invent your own dramatic subspecies — is not a comfortable place for lovers of the cut and dried. It tends to the chimerical, lumping together anything that has ever appeared on a stage, and much that hasn’t, to produce hybrid curiosities and one-offs: what a biologist would call sports. Picking out an evolutionary trend is impossible: almost the only generalisation you can make is that alternative theatre tends to extremes and eschews the middle ground.
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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:14 am 
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Location: London
White Cabin
By Donald Hutera
Mime
Purcell Room

Quote:
SMOKE swirls on a stage where a woman sits at an old-fashioned editing table. She rises, crossing to another chair. Her move signals a stream of theatrical images which seduce and baffle in equal measure.
Welcome to White Cabin by the Russian company Akhe, design-led theatrical innovators who offer up a crazy, wonderful gallery of haunting pictorial riches. Their 70- minute performance, presented until Sunday by the London International Mime Festival, was one of the hits of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:41 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Pandora 88, Purcell Room, London
Boxed in, claustrophobic... inspired!
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent

On the scale of human phobias, the fear of being trapped in a small space ranks pretty high. Broom cupboards, lifts, even low-ceilinged toilet cubicles induce panic the minute the door won't open. As for being holed up indefinitely, it's hard to imagine. Which is partly why the story of Brian Keenan and John McCarthy's incarceration at the hands of Beirut terrorists in the late 1980s has taken so long to evolve as a film (Blind Flight is still awaiting a release date).

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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:42 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Overcoat, Barbican, London
By Paul Taylor for The Independent

People are rarely at their best when they are on their best behaviour. You're reminded of that by The Overcoat, a show brought by the Canadian Stage Company to the London International Festival of Mime. It's fluent, accomplished and involving.

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The Overcoat
By Donald Hutera for The Times


UNQUESTIONABLY the biggest attraction of the 2004 London International Mime Festival is this co-presentation for the Barbican’s BITE season.

The Toronto-based Canadian Stage Company’s adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s titular short story features a cast of 22, most essaying multiple roles, on a handsome set dominated by a vast wall of opaque, mullioned windows.

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An unfortunate outbreak of niceness
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews the mime performance of The Overcoat at the Barbican


A Canadian staging of Nikolai Gogol's 1835 story The Overcoat is the main attraction of this year's London International Mime Festival, a generously well-styled, 90-minute production with 22 people playing 65 characters, splendid designs and music by Shostakovich.

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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:18 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A play without words - or rhythm
By Jann Parry for The Observer

The split-level stage fills with scurrying commuters, some bunched in a swaying line (a tram, not a tube), others striding or cycling to work. Their movements are synchronised to music: Shostakovich's Jazz Suite determines their pace and that of the scene-shifters, all members of the 22-strong Canadian Stage Company.

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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:47 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review of The Overcoat from The Independent.

Quote:
When does a ballet become a mime show? When it involves actors not dancers? And when does a silent play become dance? When music is the driving force? In Britain it was the genius of Matthew Bourne that taught audiences not to fuss over such distinctions, most conclusively in his visceral Play Without Words, recently revived by the National. Across the Atlantic the same boundary fences are being demolished by the Canadian directors Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling, and the latest of their hybrid productions arrived in London courtesy of BITE and the International Mime Festival.

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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:10 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Overcoat
Barbican, London
By Ian Shuttleworth for The Financial Times


London International Mime Festival directors Joseph Seelig and Helen Lannaghan have long maintained that the principal reason for retaining "Mime" in the title is brevity. As a descriptive term, it has broadened to the point where it almost encompasses any performance work with a significant physical and/or visual component. Thus, one of the flagship presentations of this year's festival, Toronto-based CanStage's production of The Overcoat, stands where the territories of theatre, traditional mime and dance meet. Directors Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling simply call it a "movement piece".

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 Post subject: Re: London International Mime Festival 2004
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:52 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I've consolidated two topics

Kings of Infinity
Preview by Donald Hutera for the South Bank Magazine

After more than a quartercentury’s exposure
to the London International Mime Festival, audiences
ought to have a pretty good idea of what mime isn’t.
First and foremost, as co-directors Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig
annually point out, it is not just the white-faced, invisible-walled routines
of Marcel Marceau.

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