It’s time to shed a tear because the current edition of the London International Mime Festival is its final one. It’s a crying shame because it has opened up British theatre’s eyes to both the possibilities of visual and physical theatre and also to the thrilling work being produced beyond these shores. A good example is Flesh, a show made by rising Belgium company, Still Life, which was a hit at Avignon last summer and which might never be seen in this country but for the festival. It’s a genuinely big loss. But now is not the time to mourn but rather to enjoy the final programme which this week besides Flesh, a burlesque style meditation on identity and our needs for others, also includes the great Mossoux-Bonte Company with the UK premiere of The Great He Goat at the Place and David Glass Ensemble at Jackson’s Lane. The latter collaborates with Italian company, Topi Dalmata, on The Brides in which seven women in bridal gowns awake in the Palace of Survival.
This UK début by rising stars of Belgium’s acclaimed contemporary theatre scene forces us to think about who we are and how much we need others. Still Life’s wordless dark burlesque in four short acts makes us lose all sense of proportion as we try to stifle appalled but helpless laughter. From the awkwardness of a hospital visit, a sophisticated celebration party for two, an embarrassing Titanic movie VR experience to a bizarre, post-funeral family gathering in a pub. FLESH was conceived and directed by Sophie Linsmaux and Aurelio Mergola. Still Life is a Brussels based company making playful, disruptive drama about our need for affection and recognition. This UK premiere follows an acclaimed run at the 2022 Avignon Festival. Age Recommendation: 14+