Mummenschanz: The Swiss Mime Troupe
Mummenschanz : Theatre of the Absurd
Mummenschanz is an amazing Swiss mime troupe that have been around since the seventies. Their creative approach with unexpected props make their performances extraordinary.
With Mummenschanz, mime is so much more than a man in an invisible box. Sometimes the characters are so charming and interact with each other in such a way that you truly feel for them. The characters have so much personality and are preformed so precisely, that every show is sure to be an extraordinary experience.
Expressing personality through their puppetry is not always easy...especially when the puppet is a tube or a ball, but they are able to inject vibrant and emotional life into any object.
Modern performances, such as America's Got Talent's Tape Face, clearly have taken some inspiration from Mummenschanz. They moved mine forward using props and puppetry in new, unexpected, and creative ways.
Watch how expertly the masks are manipulated throughout the sketch. The amount of practice it much have taken to perfect this routine just shows how much commitment they have to their craft. The clay masks characters have such personality in them!
The Official Site
Learn more about Mummenschanz on their official website:
- MUMMENSCHANZ: Official Homepage
Tour schedule, photos, history, shop, ...
Playing with a Ball
Did You Know?
In 1977 Mummenschanz made it to Broadway. The show lasted three years there. That's longer than any show in history with no words or music!
It seems so simple. Just tear off the papers on the eyes and mouth to change expressions, right? No big deal, right? But just watch the endearing scene that unfolds. Mastering the timing for this routine was clearly no easy challenge.
Quick, what do you think of Mummenschanz?
To gain some insight into this group (and human nature) I highly suggest this DVD. It has a great overview of some of the most popular Mummenschanz sketches.
More Mummenschanz Videos
Meet the Mimes - See the faces behind the masks
Want to see under the costumes as to who the mimes are? Kermit introduces you.
The Muppet Show - Season One
This season includes an entire episode with Mummenschanz! It is a great introduction into what this group is all about. All ages will LOVE it. Our family sure did!
Includes an entire episode with Mummenschanz including:
Mummenschanz- notepad faces
Mummenschaz - crawlies
Kermit "talks" to the Mummenschanz
Mummenschanz - clay faces.
Also includes episodes with: Charles Aznavour, Kaye Ballard, Candice Bergen, Ruth Buzzi, Phyllis Diller, Sandy Duncan, Bruce Forsyth, Joel Grey, Valerie Harper, Florence Henderson, Lena Horne, Harvey Korman, Rita Moreno, Jim Nabors, Juliet Prowse, Vincent Price, Avery Schreiber, Connie Stevens, Twiggy, Peter Ustinov, Ben Vereen, Paul Williams
Here is an example of how this group takes the mundane common items a person sees every day and gives them a new life by using them in a new way. A bucket and some bubbles? They have never been used quite like this!
Andres Bossard, Floriana Frassetto & Bernie Scharch
What do you think of mimes in general?
SYDNEY, NSW - JANUARY 31: A member of Mummenschanz performs during a rehearsal at the Sydney Theatre on January 31, 2006 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)
Inspired By Mummenschanz
This clip is not by one of the members of Mummenschanz, but rather another performer inspired by their style and technique. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all.
Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...
What do you think of mimes in general? What do you think about Mummenschanz? Have you seen their work reflected in another's? Please let us know!