After great reviews at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Dreamgun have brought their original comedy Mimes in Time home to Dublin as part of the Fringe Festival.
I was feeling sceptical about Mimes in Time since it prominently features two of my least favourite things; mimes (fact 1: nobody likes mimes) and time travel (fact 2: I have unreasonably strong opinions about why time travel should not be used a plot device). However, with the solid promise that the show “contains no actual mime”, I went along with an open mind.
Imagine my delight when what follows is a hilarious comedy about everything that is wrong with time travel as a plot device. Here, mimes are no longer just strange street-theatre acts, but instead the sole operators of the world’s many time machines which they use in the hope of creating the perfect timeline devoid of sadness and mistakes.
When one pair of mid-level mimes (only four promotions away from actual history changing) spill tea on their machine while trying to rescue the Russian Revolution from a naked basketball game, time and space as we know it implodes and they’re left in complete control…kind of.
The mimes quickly poke holes in the logic of the alternate realities they create and find that while continuously killing Hitler and changing their own memories may be entertaining, ultimately it leads to a mess of cosmic proportions and an infinite amount of difficult questions.
At a mere 50 minute run time, this is jam-packed with quick dialogue and creators Stephen Colfer and Heber Hanly bristle with energy while leaping around the stage with impeccable timing. Full of rapid-fire changes in scene and characters, this could quite easily have been a confusing disaster but the clever delivery, hilarious surrealism and just the right amount of self-awareness turn it into a wonderfully funny madcap adventure.
On the downside, it does in fact contain some mime, but I timed it at 30 seconds, so the poster wasn’t a total lie.
The Science Gallery studio also makes for a fantastic venue for a futuristic-ish comedy, complete with clean, white walls and flowing curtain. The minimalist backdrop draws all the attention to the animated faces of Colfer and Hanly while the occasional changes in lighting are used to great effect.
You should really go and see Mimes in Time before a bunch of monochrome clowns mess with this timeline, completely erasing you, your loved ones and any chance you have to laugh out loud at this show.
Mimes in Time is running at the Science Gallery from September 13 – 17 at 7pm with a matinee performance at 1pm on September 17. Tickets are €14 or €12 for a concession.