Périgueux Mimos: Festival International du Mime

Feature in Issue 4-4 | Winter 1992

A round-up of reviews from Mimos Festival, 3-12 August 1992.

Le Banc - Compagnie B, France

Girl meets and leaves boy! The only set is a park bench where the painfully funny rite is enacted by Herve Lebean and Marthe Helene Raulin. Raulin’s performance is sensational and Lebeau’s new company one to watch. The acute observation of everyday gesture, the use of repetition and accumulation, frenetic activity contrasted with touching moments of stillness, made for enthralling theatre.

Uniformes – Iota, Poland

Man meets woman. They unite and separate. The couple are swathed from head to toe in bandages and an initially interesting contrast between lyrical/balletic and harsh/robotic movement is set up. However, in a very literal – and insulting – portrayal of the power struggle between female castrator and male victim, movement ideas are undeveloped and tediously repeated. The man slowly bleeds to death; a womb-like semi-circle of white cloth encircles the performance area and on it a vein or arterial like design fills up gradually with red, yellow and blue paint, echoing the male’s deterioration. The piece ends with vein patterns complete, male writhing on the floor spattered in red paint and female ripping open her bandages to reveal bloodied breasts. It is hard to see what the point of Uniformes was.

Le Divan – The Sofa Trio, Hungary

Two characters on a huge sofa; a third plummets down from the ceiling and bounces on the sofa/trampoline. The promise of this visually arresting start is fulfilled by many other magic moments in a show based loosely around the journey of the three wise men. The Sofa Trio consists of an ex-footballer, a 120 kilogram ex-journalist, and an ex-dancer – a combination which has resulted in a humorous, energetic performance mixing buffoonery and some very tight choreography. The three men are both virtuosic and individual, and a refreshing, childlike delight in their mutual sense of play is readily transmitted to the audience. The show is charming, wistful, occasionally breathtaking, but left one somehow wanting a little more.

Face a Face – Malabar, France

Périgueux by night. Amid the narrow, medieval streets, huge white gargoyles on stilts shriek and taunt their way through the crowd, brandishing flame torches. Motorbikes from hell burst into the beautiful flood-lit cathedral square; searing rock music and brilliant pyrotechnics complete the picture. Theatre as both ancient and lively spectacle. A memorable ending to Mimos.

Reviews written by Jac Wilkinson and Sharon Kivity. With thanks to Tanz Affiche, Vienna for permission to reproduce the Mimos reviews.

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Issue 4-4
p. 14 - 15