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    LONDON, January 10th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alexander Smotrov) - The 24th international pantomime festival is opening tonight in the British capital.

    As members of the fortnight-long event's organising committee have announced, pantomime performers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Spain, Russia, and other countries will be presenting their shows at several venues across London, including the Royal Festival Hall, on the southern bank of the Thames.

    According to the organisers, the shows will involve many innovative elements of visual theatre, such as masks, acrobatics, circus acts, animation, and puppet skits.

    The St. Petersburg-based AHE will be among the seventeen participating companies. It identifies itself as a "Russian engineering theatre," and seeks to create on stage what it calls Ideal Space, Ideal Light, and Ideal Sound. At the London festival, Petersburg's mimes are going to show their "White Cabin," a surrealistic production with elements of black comedy.

    AHE has achieved wide acclaim in Russia, and is a winner of the nation's top theatrical award, the Golden Mask. The group is also well known abroad as it figures prominently at international theatrical festivals, including ones in France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Finland, and the Czech Republic.

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