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Five great shows at the London International Mime Festival

By Alice Saville

Yes, it has mime in the title; no, it’s not men pretending to be trapped in boxes. London’s annual visual theatre fest is packed with the world’s boldest, most forward-looking shows. These are the ones to watch.

1. Fauna

From leotard-wearing leopards to back-flipping gorillas, an international crew of young circus performers become a menagerie in this moody and magical show.

Jacksons Lane. Jan 11-Jan 14.

2. Je Brasse de l’Air

Telling the story of a kid who dreams of being able to fly, French artist Magalie Rousseau’s show (pictured) features an ingenious group of steam-powered flying machines. Icarus, eat your heart out.

Barbican Centre. Jan 23-27.

3. Different Party

Rubber-limbed Mime Fest regular Trygve Wakenshaw teams up with fellow Kiwi Barnie Duncan for a giggle-worthy physical-theatre vision of office life.

Soho Theatre. Until Jan 20. £9-£20.

4. WHS Lähtö

There’s smoke and mirrors galore in this enchanting show from Finland. Magician Kalle Nio conjures Victorian-style stage tricks, cinematic visuals and an ice-cool twenty-first-century soundtrack.

Platform Theatre. Jan 10-Jan 13.

5. Mother

This Lynchian physical-theatre show from Belgium explores the weirdness of birthing another human in a series of eye-bendingly surreal scenes. Parenthood never looked so scary.

Barbican Centre. Jan 24-27.

Check out our complete guide to the London International Mime Festival, which runs Jan 10-Feb 3.

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