Speech Marks: The things they say about . . . mime

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The Independent Culture
The London International Mime Festival runs until 30 January.

'I did not understand the frenetic gesticulations of the leading New Guinea aborigine any more than I have ever understood Marcel Marceau.' Woody Allen, A Little Louder Please, 1971

'Marceau has been so vulgarised and parodied that most people cannot tell the difference between him, Kenny Everett skits and Ronald McDonald.' Andrew Billen, Observer, 24 Jan 1993

'Mime at its best - as it seldom is - is all about the great beyond. It is to do with small hapless figures peeping around walls of technique at patterns of life.' Claire Armitstead, Guardian, 30 Jan 1993

'Britain's mime tradition has never compared with those of other European countries. For some, this gives no cause for regret.' Andy Lavender, Times, 12 Jan 1993

'A world wherein the unconscious interacts with the conscious interplay of word and movement.' Yves Marc, Hindustan Times, 7 Mar 1993

'An artily-dressed young man in a group of eight or nine like-minded lads aptly summarised this response, after seeing soul-scouring dance-movement by three Spaniards, with the question: 'What the fuck was that all about then?' ' Francesca Turner, Guardian, 31 May 1993

'It is still very difficult to say what mime is.' Pat Keysell, Sunday Times, 11 July 1993

'Mime is about demoting text to allow bodies to make visible the invisible processes within us. Mime is rather un- British.' Alicyn Marr, Guardian, 31 May 1993

'Mime is much like stage lighting: you're glad it's there, but you wouldn't want to watch it all night.' Nick Curtis, Evening Standard, 13 Jan 1994

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