Mum’s the word: Q&A with mime troupe Mummenschanz
What’s On speaks to Mummenschanz co-founder Floriana Frassetto ahead of the Swiss mime troupe’s show at Emirates Palace on Sept 4 and 5.
The three-month long Abu Dhabi Summer Season comes to a close this Saturday, September 5, with a performance by Swiss mask theatre troupe Mummenschanz. The non-verbal theater performance will see mimes use everyday objects to perform playful sketches. Co-founder Floriana Frassetto tells us more.
Tell us about the show.
What we will be presenting here in Abu Dhabi will be the best of our 40 years. So it starts in 1972, when Mummenschanz was first founded and goes up to today. So it is about 30 sketches. It has beautiful lighting that allows you to see what you are suppose to see and not see what you’re not suppose to see. It’s very interactive and it’s very adequate for people from 6 years to 106.
How would you describe your artistic process?
We work in the idea that you first create the mask, the shape, and then you improvise. And as soon as you find the thing, you keep it and present it to the audience. That is when the true work starts.
Why should people come and see the show?
It is a little voyage in the imaginary that people need to experience, at least once in your life.
The group has been performing for over 40 years. Why do you think has your act has resonated with so many people?
Well, because it is clean, it’s poetic, it’s interactive. It has no music and no words but it speaks to your imagination, to your heart, to your fantasy. You practically don’t talk to people anymore, you write emails, and I think this kind of basic communication is loved and cherished all over the world.
Is it hard to express the ideas you want, without any sound?
We have plenty of sounds. In the sense we have the audience’s reactions. We are like the orchestra director, and you, the audience, are giving us the rhythm. Sometimes there are sounds of the props or objects we are using, your reactions, the oohs and aahs of surprise.
The costumes in the show are made from everyday objects, transformed into new things. Can you tell us more?
If we see an object, or material, and feel we can marry something to it and give it a life, give it a story, then we take it home to our atelier in Switzerland. We adapt it so that we can manipulate it, whether from the inside or from the outside, and then start the improvisation.
Is this your first time performing in Abu Dhabi?
Yes it is. We are very excited and very curious and looking forward to having a full house of people with four generations of people together, enjoying and letting go for a couple of hours.
September 4 and 5
Emirates Palace, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, 4pm and 8pm, Dhs95 to Dhs195. Taxi: Emirates Palace. abudhabievents.ae