For those looking to start 2012 with a difference, the London International Mime Festival has announced its line-up with cutting edge circus, magic and mime productions playing across London from 11 to 29 January, with plenty on offer for families.
The annual festival, which attempts to make visual and often unusual theatre as approachable as possible, kicks off its family-friendly programme at the Southbank Centre with two circus shows, Pss Pss and NoFit State Circus’s Mundo Paralelo.
Starring Camilla Pessi and Simone Fassari from Baccala Clowns, Pss Pss brings together the double act’s most loved numbers, blending classical and modern clown techniques. Hailing from Switzerland, Baccala Clowns’s circus show is suitable for ages five and older and plays from 14 to 16 January.
NoFit Circus follows its critically acclaimed show Tabu with Mundo Paralelo from 20 to 22 January. As the company’s acrobatic performers move from dollhouse streets to life-sized rooftop platforms, audience members from the age of seven will be drawn into a world of dreams, hopes and memories as the cast showcase their gravity-defying skills.
From 23 to 25 January, the Southbank Centre will host L’Autre, a magical show from Milan’s Claudio Stellato. An acrobat-dancer and magician, Stellato creates a mysterious world of illusion.
The Royal Opera House will also take part in the festival with Gandini Juggling’s Smashed playing at the Linbury Studio theatre from 18 to 21 January. Inspired by the work of legendary choreographer Pina Bausch, nine performers, 80 apples and crockery galore combine in a series of nostalgic filmic scenes in a show suitable for children aged seven and above.
Over in East London, the Barbican theatre will host the UK premiere of acrobatic show L’Immédiat from 18 to 21 January. During 60 minutes of orchestrated circus-theatre chaos, L’Immédiat features seven acrobats who overcome a tsunami of unstable forces that threatens to engulf them. At the venue’s smaller space, the Barbican Pit, Australian puppetry show 2 Dimensional Life Of Her will play from 24 to 28 January, conjuring a rich, alternative universe using animation, projection and paper. Both shows are suitable for children aged eight and older.
French company Théâtre Tête de Pioche will perform the UK premiere of Fragments De Vie at the Roundhouse from 24 to 28 January. An award-winning production, the show leads 40 audience members on an atmospheric journey to discover a rural world filled with curiosities and is suitable for children aged seven and older.
For families with older children, the Mime Festival is also showing several productions that are suitable for children aged 12 and older. These include Blind Summit’s puppetry show The Table at the Soho theatre, relationship drama Tell Me The Truth And Other Stories at the Southbank Centre and Translunar Paradise at the Barbican Pit.
For more details on these shows and a full list of participating shows, visit www.mimefest.co.uk