Dark Side of the Mime
A thrill ride of semi-silence with a keen eye for the depraved
This article is from 2015.
If your disposition veers in any way towards the genteel, it’s probably best if you avoid Dark Side of the Mime. For those with a bit more steel in their veins, a nervy but rewarding journey is ahead. Marc Gassot is your mime artist for the evening and his upfront style is in keeping with some of the more notable exponents of largely silent physical comedy at the Fringe in recent years such as Doctor Brown and Red Bastard. If you aren’t overly afraid of being touched by a man with greasepaint on his face (which appears to be slowly dripping off to the floor, making Gassot come across like some kind of pervy waxwork), then this might well be for you.
It all starts off quaintly enough as a man skips along without a care in the world, picking flowers for a loved one and generally being rather kind to animals. But when he encounters an arrogant fisherman, there’s only really one course of action available to our hero: dismemberment and murder.
From here on in, the show adequately mirrors director Aske Pettersson’s description of it as a ‘mime-porn-splatter show’. There is literally no safe seat in the house as Gassot clambers over audience members to reach his chosen victim to take part in, well, all manner of carnal obscenities on stage.
It’s difficult to see whether there is any kind of point to this stream of degradation, but in terms of an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, Gassot and his musical accompaniment, Karl Sinkkonen, have got it nailed.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 30 Aug, 11.15pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).