Silent trio leave kids asking for more

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 July, 1998, 12:00am

AMAN walks on stage chewing a piece of gum. He finds more in his pocket which he shoves in his mouth. There is also some on his shoe, so he eats that too.

He spits it out, stretches it, skips over it, then blows a giant bubble which carries him off. It is tasteless and obvious and the more disgusting the scene gets, the more the young audience goes wild. Why are children such perverts? They had a real Friday night treat with the Seattle Mime Theatre's AnimOtion concert, part of the International Arts Carnival '98.

The children went mad when a little boy was carted off from his anxious mum by a mime monkey, they cheered when an actor tracked down a long rope only to find it attached to the back of his trousers, they listened, in as close to silence as a small person gets, to the charming Vietnamese folktale, The Story Of Truong Chi, performed to the music of Nguyen Vinh Bao.

The visual poem Red, subtitled 'The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time', was a witty way to stretch the imagination, with Bruce Wylie demonstrating 101 ways to interact with a massive red ball.

Dream was clever mime from Wylie with only the aid of a willful hula-hoop and Urubamba's music.

In a city that dines out so assiduously, Chez Pierre, in which Wylie and the two other members of the group, fellow founding member Richard Davidson and Mik Kuhlman, tell the slapstick tale of two love-struck diners at the mercy of a robotic waiter, went down a storm.

Rat - elusive rodent, useless mousetrap, man-sized mousetrap, man caught in mousetrap - was nothing new, but slick, well-timed and with a great finish.

They saved the best for last. Twentieth Century Vector Movement was one of the funniest mime sketches I have seen. The three actors go through revolving doors, up and down stairs, elevators and escalators with only the aid of a waist-high red screen.

In fact, their only slip-up came after the final curtain. 'Would a few children like to come up on stage for a mini-workshop?' they asked.

Every young person in the auditorium charged to the front. And a few adults seemed to be trying to push through the eager crowd, too.

Seattle Mime Theatre Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre Theatre Today, tomorrow, 7.30pm