The London International Mime Festival, Europe's longest-established annual season of contemporary visual theatre, launches its 27th annual event on 15 January 2005. Running until 30 January, the 2005 festival features visual theatre companies and productions from around the world performing at venues across the capital. This year's line-up includes performers from France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Holland, Russia, Denmark and the UK, presenting leading exponents of mime, circus, clowning, juggling and puppetry.

Amongst the international highlights for 2005 are: France’s 24 year-old acrobat and hand-balancing virtuoso Jean-Baptiste Andre with Interieur Nuit; the clown duo Les Witloof from Belgium with Sous Pression; Catalan company Tricicle’s Sit; the first London appearance by Germany's mask-theatre experts, Familie Floez, with their 2004 Edinburgh Fringe sell-out hit, Teatro Delusio; Holland’s Individulas Juggling with a Touch of Tango , Russian Akhe with Mister Carmen; Camille Boitel Cie La Mère Boitel of France’s L’Homme d’Hus; Danish artist Kitt Johnson’s piece The Mirror which is inspired by Butoh and German expressionism; Germany’s Raimund Hoghe with Another Dream; and Inside trampolinist Mathurin Bolze's Fenêtres, amongst others.

British acts include: Nola Rae's latest wordless comic drama which is inspired by Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator, Exit Napoleon, Pursued by Rabbits; Stephen Mottram’s parable of a frightening social order, The Seed Carriers; Company FZ’s Loser; Gecko’s The Race; Tmesis from Momentum; and British/Korean company Sleeping Dogs’ Migrant Overtures.

In addition to the Barbican Centre, Mime Festival productions will be staged at the Royal Festival Hall, Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), ICA, Laban Centre, the Circus Space (pictured) and the Institute Francais. There will also be a number of talks and interactive workshops, for further information, visit the festival website.

- by Hannah Kennedy