Infinita at the Peacock Theatre
“The loss of the face can be the beginning of a great freedom,” says Hago Schüler, director and performer of Infinita, in a recent interview. He goes on to explain the power of masks for both the artist and the spectator in the productions created by the Familie Flöz, and more specifically of Infinita, brought to England as part of 2016’s London International Mime Festival.
Infinita’s masked characters are a fascinating spectacle that proves both mesmerising and inexplicably disturbing. Their use of exaggerated movement and hyperbolic gesture quickly dismisses the necessity of speech in the exploration of the most basic of human concepts: life and death. We are presented with characters at the beginning and the end of their lives, through which certain parallels are created, most notably between the physical extremes demonstrated by both babies and the elderly. Their relationships, despite having substantially developed over time, remain fundamentally the same as they move into the final stages of their lives, all of them experiencing love and loss.
A series of sketches depicting mournful tragedy in one instance, and clown-esque slapstick comedy in the next, catapult the audience between fits of laughter and the unavoidable urge to cry. The music of the piece is a key tool used to transport us between the two extremes and create contrasting atmospheres, as well as provoking differing interactions between the characters. Interaction with the audience is encouraged, as one scene sees two babies playing with a giant ball that is batted in and out of the crowd, a scene particularly appreciated by the younger members of the audience. Death, however, is an ominous presence throughout, with tombs looming around the perimeter of the stage and imagery of shadowy funeral processions cast by screens in the background.
A stunning piece of visual art, Infinita says so much without saying anything at all. The artists behind Familie Flöz are a unique and wonderful talent creating a profound insight to the world around us in a way that is accessible and greatly enjoyed by both adults and children. Keep an eye out for future UK performance dates and be the first to discover something new.
Infinita is on at the Peacock Theatre from 28th until 30th January 2016, for further information or to book visit here.