Monday, March 14, 2005

Mummenschanz Next

The silent kiss of the fluffy balls

The man-woman conundrum

Its a nice feeling to just sit in an auditorium to watch a performance without a single expectation. As we sat there waiting for Mummenschanz Next to start, we knew that it was mime theatre, but nothing prepared us for what followed next. In simple terms- it was a brilliant show. It was brilliant in all its parts and it was brilliant as a whole.

It started with a thin stream of light going round and round in circles on its own; just a streak of light making a thousand revolutions and suddenly there were an array of objects coming on stage and going away. There was a box that suddenly came to life and started acting bossy with the other "live" boxes. There were two snakes involved in an elaborate, prehistoric yet pleasant courtship and suddenly the snakes consummate, and their detachable eyes start whirring around. There was a huge monolithic mossy mass that crawled around the stage and sometimes perilously on the edge, to the horror of people in the first row and to the delight of the others. There was a squid that seemed to glide on its own with a school of fish swimming around it.

It was an act beyond comparison. The exceptional use of lights to bring out those subtle expressions on the faces of balls made of various materials and to hide the people behind these objects was exceptional. Every aspect of the lights was neatly and meticulously executed. The act itself was innovative and left the audience gasping and thinking that such things are also possible, that theatre does not necessarily have to be throwing one's voice and clarity of speech; it can just as well be silence and expressions, all with a little innovation.

It was an evening well spent and the applause was thunderous when the four performers, John Murphy, Raffaella Mattioli, Bernie Schürch and Floriana Frassetto appeared on stage. Mummenschanz next- can't wait to see you again.


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