Visual Short Stories
- Adeline Amar
- 22 August 2018
Two mimes take on various characters in this entertaining show
Visual Short Stories is a series of unrelated mime vignettes performed by the Berlin-based Duo Mimikry. The stories range from a stalker and its victim, to the retelling of the tale of Rapunzel, and are the proof the entertaining factor of mime acts goes way beyond the old white-face, white-glove stereotypes.
With an empty set, with the exception of a screen for costume changes, and the occasional wig or plain dress and suit as props, the focus is on the duo's spectacular performance and comic timing. The carefully measured moves and facial expressions are compelling and easily convey a whole atmosphere without falling into grotesque overacting.
If the routines occasionally fall into stereotypical descriptions or lose their focus — Rapunzel tends to drag on, without much happening — the duo's impressive onstage presence and humorous impersonations remain consistent throughout. The anxious stalker breathing down the phone, or the funeral directors competing for 'customers' strike the right level of humour macabre.
Thanks to the mimes' superb performances and physical comedy, Visual Short Stories is thoroughly entertaining and reminiscent of an old Chaplin or Keaton movie. It makes an hour fly by and is likely to turn unsuspecting audiences into mime aficionados.
French Institute, until 27 Aug (not 24 & 25), times vary, £10 (£8).