After two weeks of seedy basements and scruffy pop-up venues, the grandiose facade of the Institut Français d’Ecosse looks impressive from the outer foyer with its crenelated colonnades and spacious architecture, but once inside the well-fitted auditorium there is a serious noise bleed from the square outside, and wafts of a ladies’ rock choir and street performers juggling with chainsaws constantly interrupt the performance, which is disappointing.
And Visual Short Stories from Duo Mimikry is an equal disappointment. Its two performers – Nicolas Rocher and Elias Liermann – must easily be some of the most talented physical comedians at the Fringe this year, but, at seventy-five minutes, Visual Short Stories is far too long and this buries the sheer genius of the performers in overlong set pieces and even a lengthy closing speech.
Stories like “The Stalker” are original, striking and oftentimes surreal, but the narrative of the piece gets lost in over-long mimes of walking along what appears to be an endless corridor in a (Paris?) apartment, which, technically, wouldn’t really have a long corridor as it’s a flat; and the overall pacing of this genius piece of physical theatre is wasted for the sake of a few extra gags. Likewise, the final piece, “Rapunzel”, is overblown and needs serious editing to let the wonderful material contained therein come out and shine.
Rocher and Liermann possess the visual and physical skills to be another Tati or even a Chaplin or a Keaton, but they need to seriously look at their finished work and sacrifice a few of their lambs for the good of the whole ensemble.