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Dorothy James & Andy Manjuck: Bill's 44th

London International Mime Festival

Bill, a large puppet with a moustache, is moved by two puppeteers dressed in black. There are balloons and a happy birthday banner behind them.

This poignant, puppet tragicomedy for grown-ups is a wordless spectacle about the ingenuity of the mind and having to make do for so long without the people we wished would surround us.

The streamers are hung, the punch has been poured and the cake is just begging to be eaten. Our anxious host Bill has planned his party to the last detail - choosing the perfect music and dreamy lighting and he’s worked tirelessly on his disco moves. Now all that remains is for guests to arrive. Desperate to fill his apartment with camaraderie and celebration, Bill’s imagination runs riot.

Bill's 44th was originally conceived in 2016 by Brooklyn-based puppeteer Dorothy James and artist Andy Manjuck. It features an original, recorded score and this UK premiere follows acclaimed performances across the United States.

Running time: 55 minutes, no interval

Age guidance: 14+
Contains smoke effects, flashing flights, sudden loud noises, direct audience contact with latex balloons and use of water-based haze. Plus, references to alcohol consumption and marijuana smoking.

LIMF: Our Puppet Families, Wed 1 Feb
Pre-show talk for Members

Post-show talk, Wed 1 Feb
Hosted by Cheryl Henson. Free to same-day ticket holders (BSL-interpreted).

Presented by the Barbican in association with London International Mime Festival

This engagement is supported in part by Mid Atlantic Arts through USArtists International, a program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding

Made possible through the support from Cheryl Henson and The Jim Henson Foundation.

With thanks to The Jim Henson Foundation, Cheryl Henson, St. Ann's Warehouse, the New York State Puppet Festival, and Dixon Place

Image credit: Richard Termine



‘Buoyant, mesmerising, joy-inducing… This isn’t the party that Bill had hoped to have. But for the audience his 44th is a gift.‘
New York Times
‘Shrewdly designed and delightfully staged…‘
‘One party you will not want to miss‘
Hi! Drama


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