MIME APPEAL. Have you seen these runaway mimes in Durham?

Durham Drama Festival Director writes an emotional appeal for the safe return of his lost mimes

ddf Mimes Paul Moss

Last weekend, a great tragedy befell the Durham drama community.


During a routine publicity exercise for the Durham Drama Festival, which involved a duo of mischievous Mimes interacting with the public on a busy Saturday afternoon, this loveable twosome went missing, resulting in an ongoing search.


Missing since the early afternoon on Saturday 28th January, there are now serious concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the Mimes, Didier and Francoise. We catch up with Paul Moss, director of the festival this year and chief handler of the mimes, to hear more about Saturday’s events and the resulting search.

So who are the Mimes?

'They’re called Didier and Francoise, and were to be the faces of this year’s Durham Drama Festival. They are thoroughbred French Mimes, and are highly skilled in their craft.

With the recent decline of Mime Art as a form of entertainment in the UK, they’ve been travelling the country for the past year in an attempt to popularize the art form – we got in touch with them after seeing them perform at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, and thought that we could merge our efforts to promote both our festival and their craft.

Our aim was to use the event on Saturday to launch them into the public eye, and get some valuable publicity for the festival – but obviously this didn’t work out. Now, rather than publicize the festival, all our efforts are focused on finding them and making sure they’re safe.'

How did they get away?

'Saturday was a very busy day in town, and although they were taken out with a team of handlers to supervise them, we had not bargained on the fact that there would also be a Chinese Dragon on the prowl in Market Square. It sparked a minor lapse in concentration on the part of the handlers, and when they looked back, the mimes were nowhere to be found. This was the last time they were seen – we don’t know where they could be and it has been almost three days since the event.'

What do the mimes look like?

'They have white faces, black eyes and black and white striped clothing. Francoise was wearing a boater hat, and Didier was carrying a suitcase. It is of utmost importance that the suitcase is found safe and sound along with the Mimes. We’ve provided some pictures to show you who to look out for. They may be anywhere so I ask that anyone reading this keeps their eyes peeled, wherever they are.'

Posted above are photos of the mimes seen around Durham, for reports of sightings go to


The Mime Appeal is supported by Durham One