London Mime Festival

For many people, modern mime isn't an artform, it's a con trick, perpetrated by weirdos who daub themselves in silver paint and hang out in Covent Garden, confident that an act of self-paralysis will pull on tourists' heart- and purse-strings. Every year, the London International Mime Festival endeavours to persuade people otherwise and the 25th, starting today, is as eloquent a statement as any that "mime" is just shorthand for "brilliantly inventive theatre". Highlights this week include a silent Woyzeck from France (Purcell Rm), two sublime adult puppet shows at the ICA - a German tribute to the Dadaist Max Jacob and the haunting Tunnel Vision from the UK's Faulty Optic - as well as the award-winning Once (right), a macabre fairytale from the possibly insane Russian clown troupe Derevo (Queen Elizabeth Hall). Give them all a big hand.

Festival runs today to 24 Jan at venues across London (info: 0171-637 5661)

Dominic Cavendish

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