Dark Side of the Mime

Theatre, Drama
2 out of 5 stars
'Dark Side of the Mime'
Andreas Janett 'Dark Side of the Mime'

A excruciatingly awkward porno mime show.

This may be mime, but I’d wager you've probably never seen it like this before.  ‘Dark Side of the Mime’ takes the figure of the genial, white-faced, beret-capped, white-gloved mime artist who conjours up doors, windows and more from blank space, and X-rates it. This is, essentially, porn-mime.

The sole performer Marc Gassot mimes getting his cock out, getting other people’s cocks out, performing oral sex on men, women, anything. He’s really not fussy.

There's a lot of different skits with a lot of excruciatingly uncomfortable audience interaction in Finnish director Akse Pettersson show, but the most memorable moment the night I saw it was when an audience member staged a revolt. Gassot pulled up a woman watching to join him in a car with babies in the back (all mimed of course). When they got pulled over for speeding, the policeman demanded a blowjob from Gassot and then one from the woman audience member next to him.

At that point the otherwise fairly game audience member got out of the imaginary car,  kicked the imaginary policeman in the face, grabbed the imaginary babies and triumphantly walked off to sit back down in the stalls. It was the funniest moment in an hour of sometimes mild amusement, but mostly just squirm-inducing awfulness. It also  mucked up the rest of the show, because ‘Dark Side of the Mime’ was wrapped up rather rapidly after that. If you’re going to rely heavily on audience interaction, you have to be prepared for the night to take an unexpected turn.

Gassot's skills as a mime artist are pretty good. He’s not slient – it’s his incoherent babble and Karl Sinkkonen's music which bring to life some of the scenarios. But the show is just so wilfully disgusting, tiresomely repetitive and often awkwardly unfunny that, like the audience member the night I saw it, you’ll be miming for the exit.


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