Feature in Issue 10-4 | Winter 1998

Amidst the cynicism that has characterised the media coverage of the Millennium Dome, it may have escaped your notice that The Circus Space is currently providing over 100 young performers with an intensive training in physical performance skills which they will showcase in the Dome throughout the year 2000.

It’s easy to scoff, but the legacy the Millennium Dome will create for new circus and physical theatre in this country could be greater than any of us can now imagine. Purists may not have high artistic hopes for the Millennium Show, but everyone working in the sector should be pleased that such an extravagantly physical performance will provide the central attraction of the world’s largest millennial celebration. In this issue, Ray Newe takes a look behind the scenes at The Circus Space as preparations for the Millennium Show move apace.

Another ambitious performance project that recently had tongues wagging in the corridors of power was staged by Augusto Boal at London’s former GLC building in November. Boal, famous throughout the world for his Forum Theatre techniques, brought his unique brand of political theatre to an event which tackled issues of social relevance in London, from housing and transport to education. Rebecca Brown interviews Boal in this issue.

Also in this issue Emi Slater gets to the bottom of what Butoh is all about; Ian Grant profiles the UK’s leading animated theatre company, Green Ginger; and Anne-Louise Rentell sets out to discover why more and more puppets and animated objects are appearing in contemporary theatre shows.

As always the year gets off to a good start with various physical theatre festivals throughout the country. Watch out for mac’s Moving Parts season next month and also for Beyond Words at The Hawth, Crawley and the Liverpool Unity’s Real Action Festival in the following months.

It wouldn’t be January in London without the International Mime Festival (LIMF). This year’s mime festival features work with few or no spoken words. As the definitions of ‘mime’, ‘physical’ and ‘visual’ theatre continue to expand and blur with each passing year, Total Theatre hosts its fifth Critical Practice Debate as part of LIMF on January 16, and asks ‘What is the new mime?’ I hope we’ll see you there.

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-4
p. 3