Silent Rocco bringing the art of mime, live music and a human robot to China’s Shenzhen Fringe Festival

Fall 2015. Musician Miss Walker and I were just at the end of a work-in-progress tour with our theatre fairytale THE GREATEST THING, when our wonderful colleague JOHNman told us to get in touch with the Fringe Festival in Shenzhen. We immediately did so, and a few weeks later – including a long but successful fight for visas – we were siting in a plane to China, having our new show and a MENSCHINE costume in our bags. And we could not have wish for a more thrilling international kick-off.

Together with JOHNman and the Mirror Family, we were the international artists of the festival. We performed on all small and big stages and squares of the Fringe, and even played at the nearby shopping mall several times, always gathering big crowds during sound check already. 10 days later – after a huge and colorful closing parade – we went back home to Berlin, rife with with endless beautiful memories. Even many months later, we are still thinking back to this unique trip and this great event.

We are so happy that THE GREATEST THING touched the spectator’s hearts even on the other side of the globe. And each time my MENSCHINE robot appeared, the crowds gathered instantly. Miss Walker was even awarded “Queen of Fringe”. But the most beautiful moments were those when different acts met during their performances. For example, when my human robot visited JOHNman’s brilliant BLANKO show:

A few weeks after the festival, the Fringe team sent me the following two video trailers of our performances. The third video is a cute little scene we filmed with a mobile phone capturing my robot having fun with the kids of Shenzhen:

The Shenzhen Fringe Festival was the very beginning of a long international festival tour in 2016. And we will also be on the road again this year. THE GREATEST THING as well as the MENSCHINE are going to be part of many festivals all over Europe. But at the same time, I’m already looking forward to the next big journey, knowing well that my mime creations don’t face any age limits or language barriers.

Many thanks at this point to Eric and the whole Shenzhen Fringe Festival team for their great organization. We felt super comfortable during our stay and would love to come back any time! Also, thanks again to JOHNman for the recommendation!

If you are organizing a festival or any similar event, and you are looking for a touching show or a truly unique act, just send me an email to rocco@berlin.de and tell me about your plans. I might have a few ideas.

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