Dark Side of the Mime by Teatteri Takomo is an interactive theatre show full of dark humour. Actor Marc Gassot is the mimic of the show, and music is by Kari Sinkkonen. We asked Gassot about what the audience at Brighton Fringe should expect.
How would you describe Dark Side of the Mime?
“The show pushes boundaries of a good taste. It also breaks the line between the audience and the performer, and plays with the dark side of a human mind. The audience will share my dirty imagination. The performance is influenced by, for example, sexuality, adult entertainment, and popular culture. We don’t do anything that hasn’t already been done in popular culture. It is interesting, how far you can go before it gets disgusting.”
What do you expect of Brighton Fringe Festival?
“We have performed in London, and in Edinburgh before. I’m under impression, that the programme at Brighton Fringe is different to Edinburgh Fringe, which I found surprisingly commercial. The theatre performances were pretty safe there, for example. They were really skillful, but kind of empty. I am pretty excited about Brighton Fringe Festival.”
How do different audiences react to your show?
“In London people are used to see different things, so it was a better audience for us than in Edinburgh. In Edinburgh people were provoked, and they questioned the show. I was asked if I was aware that I made the audience feel uncomfortable. At the beginning of the show it seems like a traditional mimic show. Then I will take people from the audience with me to the stage to do things with me. People haven’t really refused, they just suddenly find themselves there. Thus the shock effect works.”
How do you decide, who from the audience you take to the stage with you?
“An interactive theatre may really terrify some people. I will never put anyone in a difficult position, and I try to keep the experience as positive as possible. There is a scene in the show for which I pick as big man as possible. In the scene a police stops a car, but doesn’t ask for a breathalyze but for a blowjob I pick a big man for this scene, because I want to change the roles often seen in adult entertainment. Also, it would be awkward to pick a woman to this scene. No one has ever gotten mad because of the scene. Generally, people can laugh at themselves.”
How would you encourage people to come to see the show?
“If I feel someone can’t handle it, I won’t take them on stage. In Edinburgh, one woman compared the show to a roller coaster ride. During the journey it feels awful. But when it is over you feel like damn, is it over already? At first, people feel shy about interactive theatre, but afterwards they complain about not getting picked on stage. One viewer once said my show was the best sex for a while. I didn’t even pick them to join me on stage.”
Teatteri Takomo: Dark Side of the Mime. Address: The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove, BN3 1AS. Performances: 28/5 21:00, 29/5 21:00. Admission £8.50–£10.50.
Interview: Veera Heinonen
Photo: Jouni Harala