2014 London International Mime Festival Kicks Off Today

London's annual celebration of contemporary visual theatre -- the 2014 LONDON INTERNATIONAL MIME FESTIVAL -- will run today 8 January - Saturday 1 February. For more information, visit www.mimelondon.com.

The 38th London International Mime Festival (LIMF) features the return of visual theatre maestro Philippe Genty and company, with a new version of his classic, fantasy dreamscape, Forget Me Not at the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall and Compagnie 111/Aurélien Bory's What's Become of You? (Questcequetudeviens?) a flamenco-themed show with a difference, for the dancer Stephanie Fuster, at the Barbican Theatre.

Compagnie Non Nova/ Phia Ménard opens this year's festival at The Platform Theatre in King's Cross, with two productions in its own, custom-built, circular arena. L'Après Midi d'un Foehn is an exquisite dance for airborne plastic bag 'ballerinas' to music by Debussy, a shortened version of which won a Total Theatre Award and rave reviews at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. Vortex, its much darker companion piece, explores identity and pulls us directly into the eye of the hurricane.

At The Pit, Barbican, France's Man Drake bring an extraordinary piece of physical storytelling about a tense ménage a trois, based on actual events. FromItaly, Città di Ebla's The Dead uses movement and real-time photography in a show inspired by James Joyce's 1914 novella of the same name.

At the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio Theatre, circus-theatre expert Mathurin Bolze directs his Compagnie MPTA in a thrilling show in which it's the journey, not the destination, that's important. Also at the Linbury, Amit Lahav's internationally acclaimed Gecko brings Missing, its multi-media 2013Edinburgh hit about truth and memory.

At Jacksons Lane, London's centre for young circus-theatre artists, Britain's Vamos performs Finding Joy, a heart-warming, heroic and comic full-mask adventure.

In the very heart of the West End, the Leicester Square Theatre is host to 'gentleman juggler' and all-round variety showman, Mat Ricardo, famed for his fast hands, smart mouth and flash suits.

At the Southbank Centre's Purcell Room there's silent movie-inspired magic from Holland in Jakop Ahlbom and cult indie-band Alamo Race Track'sLebensraum, uproarious physical comedy from France's Patrice Thibaud and Philippe Leygnac in Cocorico and a male/female relationship played out through daring hand-to-hand acrobatics in Compagnie Fet a Mà's Cru. Concluding the Purcell Room season, Spitfire Company from the Czech Republicpresents a powerhouse vision of triumph and loss, physical combat and exhaustion, in One Step Before the Fall, inspired by Muhammad Ali's most challenging fight - his battle with Parkinson's disease.

As always, the line-up will be complimented by a full programme of workshops and artists' talks.

Full programme details, including workshops and after-show discussion dates are available online from 14 October and a free festival brochure in pdf, online and paper format will be available from 2 December at www.mimelondon.com, or by ringing 020 7637 5661.

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