Feature in Issue 14-4 | Winter 2002

Festivals, festivals… Is it really that time of year again? Like Father Christmas, the London International Mime Festival (LIMF) comes but once a year – unlike LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) which now flowers all year long…

The Mime Festival has always had a special relationship with Total Theatre Network: we’ve dropped the ‘mime’ tag, they haven’t – but we are both dedicated to supporting and promoting the best in physical and visual performance. To that end, we highlight LIMF visiting artists 33 Fainting Spells in our inbox Questionnaire (and see the Listings section for details of all LIMF performances). We will also be holding our traditional New Year Critical Practice discussion in collaboration with LIMF – except that now we have changed the name to Total Theatre Talks. Simple, succinct, to the point, that’s us.

Our theme on that day will be the role of design in theatre-making - and there is plenty related to that theme in this issue, with a report from a colloquium dedicated to the legacy of Edward Gordon Craig, and a special focus on the recent Visions Festival. We also have a feature from Ross Brown (head of undergraduate studies at Central School of Speech and Drama) who looks at another element of design – the sound. Sound design as a special theatre discipline may be relatively new, but as Ross makes clear a sensitive awareness of the element of sound has always been a part of the dramaturgical process.

Elsewhere in the magazine, you’ll find plenty of first-hand reports from artists on the frontline of theatre production: Emi Slater of Perpetual Motion is in New York, whilst Chris Goode of Signal to Noise is back at his home base in Camden People’s Theatre, grappling with the complexities of installation/performance in ‘The Big Room’. David Woods of Ridiculusmus gives academia a good kicking on his way to a stint at the Barbican, whilst ‘Silent Witness’ Alex Mermikides watches Forced Entertainment create their new work Travels. We also get to hear from Para Active on what they feel about cultural diversity, with Akua Obeng-Frimbong taking up the baton and asking what we can do to encourage young black people into performance.

We’ve come to the end of 2002 – the Year of Cultural Diversity – but the theme of diversity will resonate throughout Total Theatre Magazine in 2003. We will continue our internationalist approach, highlighting work that crosses boundaries of language, nationality and culture, and we will seek out innovative performance work of all sorts made by all sorts of people.

Wishing you all a happy and productive New Year!

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-4
p. 4