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London International Mime Festival: what to see

The annual London International Mime Festival is back in 2017 with a line-up to leave you speechless

It's London! It's January! It's mime time! But the 40-year-old London International Mime Festival – the longest running of its kind – has a lot more up its sleeves than clowning and whiteface. Go for everything from spectacular circus and mask theatre to manga-inspired dance and taxidermy animal puppetry. This year's festival runs from January 9–February 4 2017 with shows in venues across London. Here's our guide to the astounding shows on offer at the London International Mime Festival 2017. 

London International Mime Festival 2017

Thomas Monckton - Only Bones

This ingenious show unfolds on a tiny, one metre square stage. Acclaimed circus performer Thomas Monckton creates a micro piece of physical theatre that uses the weird energy of his body to say a lot, in a very little space.

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Soho Theatre , Soho Until Saturday February 4 2017

Dewey Dell: Marzo

This surreal show from Italian performance group Dewey Dell is set inside a crater on a distant planet. March (Marzo) is time for fighting: so its characters are at war, in a manga-inspired, abstract battle between aliens and samurais.

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Tuesday January 24 2017 - Saturday January 28 2017

Nordic Puppet Ambassadors - One Suitcase Only

This micro-performance by Nordic Puppet Ambassadors is inspired by the story of Anne Frank. Outi Sippola directs a 15-minute glimpse into a tiny room where a girl is forced to leave behind everything she knows - a peepshow about what happens when a safe world becomes frightening.

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Southbank Centre , South Bank Friday January 27 2017 - Sunday January 29 2017

Plexus Polaire - Ashes

In 1970s Norway, an arsonist terrorised a small town for a month marked by burning homes and rising panic. Plexus Polaire use life-size puppets, projection, and actors to bring the story to life, based on best-selling Norwegian novel 'Before I Burn'.

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Jacksons Lane , Highgate Friday January 27 2017 - Sunday January 29 2017

Euripides Laskaridis - Relic

And the coveted award for weirdest show at London International Mime Festival 2017 goes to...the man in the cartoon muscle suit. Greek director and performer Euripides Laskaridis's solo show is a surreal look at body image, gender and transformation. Challenging your ability to accept the unknown through cabaret and slapstick, he morphs from housewife to diva.

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Tuesday January 31 2017 - Saturday February 4 2017

Charleroi Danses - Kiss & Cry

Two hands fall in love, in this whimsical piece of manual cinema. Belgian collective Charleroi Danses present a romance played out on a tiny stage, filmed, and projected live for audiences to delight in.

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Wednesday February 1 2017 - Saturday February 4 2017

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