Mummenschanz: The Musicians of Silence
No music. No singing. No words. Silence.
The concept of Mummenshanz was created by Floriana Frassetto when she met clowns Before and Lost (Andres Bissard and Bernie Schürch) in 1972.
Four performers (Floriana Frassetto, Philipp Egli, Raffaella Mattioli and Pietro Montandon) use a variety of generic objects to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, creating short mysterious stories that each audience member interprets differently. One creation had us guessing spider, mint humbug and finally squid, although we’re still not entirely sure!
These four talented (and extremely flexible) performers manage to make a giant PacMan like creature look cute, create incredible humour from faces covered in clay and portray a romance with toilet roll faces. Not many people can enchant an audience without uttering a single syllable.
Although the show is wonderfully bizarre, there are times when the illusion is almost lost because the performers are too clearly visible. Plus at various points the performance takes place in the stalls and everyone in the Dress Circle has to stand up to see what is going on. This slight audience participation, although fairly amusing, is a bit pointless and detracts from the main show.
The show itself is also slightly long, because although each sketch is completely different, they are ultimately the same and after an hour I was ready to leave. With this sort of show it’s much better to leave the audience wanting more.
Mummenschanz is entertaining, clever and funny – a performance that transcends age, language and nationality – but it should be capped at no more than one hour.
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
Mummenschanz: The Musicians of Silence is playing at the Peacock Theatre until 27 July. Click here for more information and to book tickets.