- Gareth Vile
- 14 August 2008
This article is from 2008.
Poignant Czech mime
This drama of two men lost in the Antarctic is in danger of giving mime a good name. Using very few props, a howling soundtrack and jumping between human and animal, Vojta Svejda and Jan Benes-McGadie relate their impressionistic story with winning humour and pathos.
A series of thematic sketches, Polaris gradually becomes more tragic, as the two heroes freeze to death. Conjuring a lonely wilderness through discreet lighting and a minimal set, their interludes as animals expand the sense of danger and wonder. Their versatile and expressive characterisations demonstrate the potential of mime as a serious dramatic genre, combining a lightness of touch with high seriousness.
Willing to play for laughs, Czech company, Adriatic also brings out the nobility of their adventurers, making their slow failure painfully poignant. The episodic structure allows them to escape the heaviness of a straight plot, weaving a moving meditation on old fashioned heroism.
The Zoo, 662 6892, until 25 Aug, 6.35pm, £7 (£5).