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Mime Festival returns with family fun

Published October 31, 2014

The 2015 London International Mime Festival will be offering families the chance to banish their post-Christmas blues with a plethora of family-friendly entertainment on offer as part of the 24-day event.

The longest established annual theatre season of its kind, the festival will take place from 8 to 31 January, bringing shows from across the globe to venues including the Barbican, Sadler’s Wells and the Southbank Centre.

The majority of the shows taking part are suitable for children aged eight and older. At the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, Lonely Circus will present a physical dialogue about balance and the art of falling on 10 and 11 January. The collaboration between wire-walker Sébastien Le Guen and electroacoustic musician Jérŏme Hoffman will be joined at the venue later in the month by Mat Ricardo’s marvel of object manipulation and clever patter, Showman (19 to 21 January), and the maddest tea party since Alice visited Wonderland, Oktobre (23 to 25 January). Next door in the venue’s larger Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belgium’s Circus Ronaldo mixes Adam and Eve’s classic love story with clowning, opera and circus in Amortale from 16 to 18 January.

Also suitable for ages eight and older are Theatre Re’s Blind Man’s Song (21 and 22 January) and Joli Vyann’s Stateless (24 to 25 January). The former is a story of love, courage and hope inspired by René Magritte’s paintings, the dead-end world of Samuel Beckett and interviews with blind and visually-impaired people, while the latter tackles the subject of refugees and immigration through theatre, dance and circus. Both play at Jacksons Lane.

At the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre Gandini Juggling will present 4 X 4 (13 to 15 January), a meeting between ballet, juggling and live classical music for ages eight and older, while Barely Methodical Troupe will take over the Platform Theatre with Bromance (8 to 10 January).

For slightly older children, the Barbican Pit will host Basil Twist’s Dogugaeshi, a spectacular visual journey inspired by the Japanese art of creating illusions through perspective, from 28 to 31 January, and Aurélien Boy’s Plexus – set in a forest of brilliantly lit strings – will play at Sadler’s Wells on 22 and 23 January. Both are suitable for children aged 10 and older.

For young theatregoers in or approaching their teens, there is a quartet of shows for ages 12 and older. Performer Iona Kewney will take her body on an incredible journey in Knights Of The Invisible’s Black Regent (12 and 13 January) at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room. At Jacksons Lane, Chris Lynam will present the world premiere of ErictheFred, the poignant story of an old trouper coming to terms with a fading career. Theatre Ad Infinitum will conjure an Orwellian future in Light (20 to 24 January) at the Barbican Pit, and in the Barbican’s main theatre space Peeping Tom’s 32 Rue Vandenbranden combines cinematic set design, an evocative soundtrack and extreme physicality in a dance show that promises to “plunge audiences into a foreboding universe of cold, wind and ice”.

At the Linbury Studio Theatre from 17 to 20 January , children aged 14 and older can also catch Institute, a new piece by the company behind 2013’s Mime Festival hit Missing, which explores a world in which everyone relies on someone else for support.

Finally, for the youngest of theatregoers, contemporary circus solo The Pianist (14 to 18 January), which is suitable for ages five and older, plays at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, and NoFit State Circus’ Noodles (27 to 31 January), which is suitable for all ages, brings a chaotic world of knots, wires and spaghetti to Jacksons Lane.

For full details about the shows and to book tickets visit the London International Mime Festival’s website.

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