Put the blame on mime 0.00
The words ‘French mime’ might not encourage the average modern theatre audience, and no doubt conjures up the image of endless companies and street performers who blighted the lives of fringe-goers in the 70s and 80s. Try to get over the prejudice, though, for this little ensemble provides an afternoon of genuine entertainment. A significant difference in approach from work of this kind you might have seen is a genuine through-line, with a sense of narrative that carries you through an hour of well worked physical routines.
The story is simple. A young couple arrive for a holiday in a remote seaside town. The natives, though, aren’t particularly friendly. A group of fisherman do a kind of French Whisky Galore job on them, making the lives, and indeed relationship of the couple, hell on wheels. From an early deliberate misdirection to their hut, to succession of nasty pranks involving the couple’s newspapers, to a string of intrusions into the couple’s private business, the boys have a high time with the naive city slickers.
Didier Guyon’s clever creation sees him perform with six physically very slick actors in a production that is alternately knowing and innocent about contemporary life. A set which recreates three cabins on the Breton coast, smothered with fishing and farming equipment, looks good and is lit well by Christophe Chaplain, and inventiver used by the cast. This is not a great thought piece, but it is splendid light entertainment.
I Gateway Thom/'0, 31/" 3935), until 26 Aug.
2pm, 5‘8 (lib).
78 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 2? Aug r'; 86:1; I’MULI