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Bêtes de foire - Petit théâtre de gestes

London International Mime Festival 2018

photo of a group of scary masks

Welcome to an intimate circus, a space tinged with nostalgia, full of ‘charm, invention and fantasy’ (Télérama), where artistry, puppetry and object theatre combine in an endearing spectacle.

Surrounded by old clothes, mannequins and bric-a-brac, a seamstress tinkers with assorted fabrics in her workshop, reassembling materials of all kinds while her antiquated sewing machine provides musical cues for her fellow performer’s routines. He, a little down-at-heel but super-talented, launches into an eccentric dance, juggling precariously with hats, and props that disappear before your eyes. A supporting cast of mechanical characters, including tightrope walker, acrobats and one-man band, adds to the mystique of an itinerant fairground show.

Elsa De Witte and Laurent Cabrol performed with French street theatre and travelling companies before founding their own miniature circus universe, Bêtes de foire. With echoes of Tadeusz Kantor and Alexander Calder, and the sensibility of silent film, this is a feelgood performance of surprise, wonder, offbeat humour and exceptional skill. Roll up! Roll up!

Tagged with: Theatre & dance

1 hour/no interval
Age guidance 7+
This performance contains a dog

Thu 18 Jan
Post-show talk

Presented by the Barbican in association with London International Mime Festival. Produced by Bêtes de foire – Petit Théâtre de Gestes/Association Z’Alegria. Co-produced by Scène nationale d’Albi and Derrière-le-Hublot – Capdenac. With the support of DRAC Midi-Pyrénées and Conseil Régional de Midi-Pyrénées. This visit to London is supported by Institut français du Royaume-Uni


‘Poetic, funny, intriguing‘
La Marseillaise (France)


The Pit