The Fairytale Forest

Sometimes I find myself disco dancing. Sometimes I find myself acting as head nurse to a laughing-gas happy surgeon. Then, of course, there are times when I find myself swimming away from a shark! Somehow I did all three of these things in one night at the bizarre and silly and very funny mime-comedy show brought by the Polish company, Kabaret Mimika. “Mime-comedy?” Yup.

In my regular life, I’m a performer and director and (perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not) I hate audience participation as much as the next person who hates audience participation. If I’m seeing your show I’ll leave the performing up to you, thank you very much. However, the zany, generous and very low-pressure atmosphere cultivated by performers Slawek Furtak and Grzesiek Mucha brings out the inner five-year-old in even the shyest audience-goer and makes you want to play along. It’s like karaoke, but for comedy sketches. They hand you everything you need to know.

Most of the bits are simple – the mime equivalent of a one-liner – staying in the conceptual realm of “a guy walks into a bar” kind of joke. However the complexity and brilliance of the show comes in the active imagination implicit in its presentation. The whole point of mime is that the audience mentally fills in whatever object, activity, or character is encountered by the performer. Once you are already imagining, it’s not such a big step toward joining in and the results, both as a “performer” and as a witness, are somehow heart-warming as well as funny. There’s no derision in this show, just an inclusive and universal understanding for the silliness of the everyday and the comedic potential in the mundane. Furtak and Mucha know that in comedy the audience is everything and they reward theirs with staring roles.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Blurb

Gummi Bears forest, gym obsession, clubbing till 5am, Olympic Games, drunk doctors... Two Polish mimes, performing since 2004, have prepared, especially for their Fringe debut, a good portion of European humour - making the most serious faces laugh.

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