• Mime Theatre
  • Directed by Susy Firth, Michèle Guigon, and Patrice Thibaud
  • Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
  • Until 19th January 2014
  • Review by Caroline Perret
  • 17th January 2014
5.0Reviewer's Rating

A treat not to be missed!

Every year, the London International Mime Festival presents the crème de la crème of innovative, contemporary visual theatre. As part of its stunning program this year, is the purely entertaining award-winning “Cocorico” with two of France’s best-known and most talented comic performers.

Some of the production highlights include many nods to our media culture, not least the Tour de France and spaghetti westerns (in which Patrice Thibaud mimes no less than three characters); a mockery of contemporary music and its inaccessibility combined with the themed tune of “Jaws”; a timing problem with fireworks and a plastic ketchup bottle just too hard to squeeze; allusions to Auguste Rodin’s “Thinker” and the pomposity of some installation artists. We also make the acquaintance of a mischievous Majorette, an adventurous lion-tamer, and a naughty Brazilian dancer. With subtle transitions from one sketch to the next, the pacing of the show is perfect, and while being delirious, it is also sometimes poetic, magical, and tender.

Patrice Thibaud’s experience of ten years in various cabarets and theatres shows, as his presence on stage is mesmerising and his miming and clowning skills are rich in scope and nuances. As for Philippe Leygnac, he is a multi-talented musician, who can sing beautifully and expertly play the piano (on wheels!), the trompet and ukulele, with music ranging from music-hall numbers to jazz and classical tunes via lullabies at his repertoire. He is also a composer/arranger, and even a contortionist! Both Thibaud’s and Leygnac’s talents are just breath-taking without being overwhelming, their two extremely different temperaments working fantastically well together –or against each other!- to make us laugh.

Their show opens a generous space for the spectators to enter and engage in, and when my 9-year old son and I saw the show, the public’s reaction was immediate and spontaneous. There was no need for a warming-up, sheer laughter started from the moment the two performers were on stage, and came coming, with even tears sometimes, through and through until the very end, to the greatest applause I have ever witnessed in the capital. So, go and join in, you really do not want to miss out!


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