Gandini Juggling – Smashed – Royal Opera House Linbury Studio – Review

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9 clever jugglers - no idea how many apples were used, I lost count!

9 clever jugglers – no idea how many apples were used, I lost count!

What a great start to my theatrical year, in this sublime, witty, skillful and above all fun show Smashed.

The show sees the 9 jugglers perform highly choreographed routines to various pieces of music. Some are strikingly beautiful, others emotive, and some just riotous fun.  One of the routines, saw one of the group with a rolled up newspaper hellbent on disrupting the rest of the group who were juggling 5/6 apples each. His techniques and ruses became more and more elaborate  – he succeeded in his objective to stop everyone, juggling, but I was amazed how long they kept going – not sure I could juggle three apples, let alone 5 or 6 whilst being “thwacked” over the head repeatedly!

Smashed pic2

This was part of the London International Mime Festival, and was the only show of it I could get to this year unfortunately, but I’ll be back next year, as the performers they get, always expand my theatrical experience and expectations, one word for me sums up this show – joyous.

STARS : * * * *


Snow And Wardrobes, But No Narnia In Sight

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It’s all systems go for An Evening at Muldoon Manor or should that be all systems snow?

The UK weather has meant rehearsals have been postponed but we’re hoping for an intense weekend of rehearsals ahead, so we’re on schedule.

We went and got our costumes sorted last weekend, it’s always fun rummaging around, trying costumes on and finding what you feel your character should wear, we’ve gone for a 1970’s look for my character Moon and the other critic Birdboot. So I’ve some gorgeous checked flares to wear and shoes that will I feel go down into the theatrical annals as “legendary”.

The second cabaret act is coming along too, Dominick Zwolinski has been busy working on new tricks and finally managed to source an outfit for his assistant this week, you’d never believe how hard a magician’s assistant costume that was appropriate and suitable was to locate.

All this has meant I’ve not been to the theatre to see anything yet this year, (apart from The Exorcism but I was Production Assistant for that, so that doesn’t count!), that’ll all change this Friday when I’m off to the London International Mime Festival to see Gandini Juggling. Review will follow at the weekend.


London International Mime Festival 2013 – I’ve got my tickets, have you got yours?


Now I know that for the last two years I’ve raved about the London International Mime Festival (one post is here , the other here )and said “I was going to go”, and then never quite made it the last two years, much to my chagrin.

HOWEVER I’m pleased to say I’ve booked up for a couple of the shows for 2013’s and I can’t wait.

As I’ve said previously, this is a real highlight of the theatrical calendar and a great start to the year. It also gives me a chance to catch some international theatre, which I think is really important as it is so easy to get caught up in the UK (and London) centric theatrical world sometimes. Although it’s great to see some of the UK’s top talent too.

Back by popular demand Gandini Juggling

I’m off to see The Gandini Jugglers show Smashed, which is coming back by popular demand. I managed to catch 10 mins of them this summer outside the National Theatre and that was enough for me to make them top of my list for this festival.

Wolfe Bowart’s piece Letter’s End, looks just like the sort of physical theatre play I enjoy.

Australia’s Wolfe Bowart is the only other one I’ve currently got tickets for as his show Letter’s End looks like just my cup of tea. Others I’m hoping to catch are Switzerland’s Zimmermann & de Perrot in Hans Was Heiri and the UK’s Invisible Thread’s, Les Hommes Vides also looks like an interesting piece.

Zimmermann & de Perrot’s set for Hans Was Heiri looks fantastic.

The full line up can be found here. It usually sells out so get your tickets asap. See you there!

London International Mime Festival 2012 – Lineup Announced

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Claudio Stellato

Exciting news, the lineup to the 2012 London International Mime Festival has just been published (go here for full listing) . As I’ve previously mentioned I love the LIMF, this year was the first year in ages I couldn’t make any of the events – booo!! So I’ll definitely be rectifying that in 2012.

Top of my list to see are Claudio Stellato in L’Autre. The Gandini Juggling performing Smashed. The Swiss Baccala Clowns performing Pss Pss.

I love the freshness and new ideas I see at the LIMF and it’s always a pleasure to see theatre that uses techniques other than just language to communicate.

One of the Baccala Clowns tries on a new hat for size

The Awesome Gandini Jugglers

Best way to start the year – London MimeFest 2011

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Josef Nadj & Akosh S will be appearing at the 2011 Mimefest

I know, I know, we’ve not even finished 2010 and I’m talking about the new year!

For the last few years I’ve made my first theatrical trip of the year to the London International Mime Festival. It’s a great way to start the year as I always see something brilliant and from a physical and visual theatre perspective as opposed to the more text-based work I spend most of my year immersed in.

Tickets have been released for the 2011 festival and I recommend booking asap as these SELL OUT FAST.

Personally I just take a plunge a see at least one or more that take my fancy. It’s always interesting and different and sometimes quite strange! That’s all part of the fun of theatre though.

I found out about this festival which has been running since 1977, a few years back through an article in the Stage, and I’m so grateful I did, it’s a real gem of an event and a highlight for me each January.

Details on the 2011 festival are here. I recommend you take a look and take a chance and go and see something.

Previously I’ve seen Pep Bou do amazing and beautiful things with bubbles I never thought were possible, accompanied by a beautiful classical pianist. I saw two clowns (argh I hear you cry, but no these were really GOOD!) who enchanted us all – they were called Okidok. I’ve also seen jugglers and physical comedians performing really creative pieces, all while transcending the language barrier.

I wrote a blog post recently on the importance of images in theatrical pieces and this festival has left many implanted on my mind and no doubt will continue to do so.

I’m not 100% certain which event(s) I’ll get to yet, but there’s a great and varied selection. Les Corbeaux appeals the most. The two pictures are from that production.

Once I’ve confirmed what I’m seeing I’ll let you all know.

Here’s to 2011!