London international mime festival: 40 years old and still contorting

(…) The LIMF programme constantly tempts us out of our comfort zones. Whispers, by festival favourites Mossoux Bonte, which I saw last night (and runs until 14 January), is at the the Lilian Baylis. This venue is perceived as a dance space, but the show goes beyond dance into object manipulation and live art, while employing complex visual imagery and sound.

In Whispers, a figure suddenly appears out of the darkness, caught in a shaft of light like a Vermeer painting. When her fingers brush against her shoulder there is a rasping sound. Eyes wiped with a cloth produce a squeak. A raised leg sounds like pebbles rubbing against each other. Suddenly, there is a growling angry sound. Is it just the woman’s stomach rumbling or is there an unseen beast in the room?

Alone on stage and yet apparently haunted by many versions of herself, Nicole Mossoux creates a strong sense of the uncanny even while demonstrating the manipulative tricks of the medium. Questions constantly arise. Who is in control? Who is haunting whom? Are we watching one woman through many centuries, or many women in the same crumbling room? Is this a manifestation of ghosts? (…)