The Argus: Brighton Festival Fringe launches today

First things first: you had to be there. This was not a show, it was an experience. This is not a cop-out or a lazy recommendation; in this case, really, none of the usual superlatives will do for an original, creative, unusual, extraordinary performance like this one.

For all the attempts at “total theatre” in the Fringe, this one by Theatre Ad Infinitum truly broke down the barrier between performers and audience: we were immersed, palpably spellbound, breathtaken.

The show, too, was absolutely wordless. Here, body language was elevated from passive teacher to its true capacity to deliberately communicate something. That something was bereavement. Far from morbid, however, this was a physical odyssey to love and romance and was just beautiful to be wrapped up in.

With masks and mime, the Lecoq-trained pair George Mann and Deborah Pugh took us on a poignant journey with William, first sighted at an empty table, stuck in contemplation. We learned he mourned his life-long wife, lost now to his physical existence, although she positively haunted his silent world of memories.

The simple ritual of making a cup of tea – always for two – was perhaps the most evocative reminder of her absence, although William’s careful rummage through a suitcase spurned scenes much more moving than mere enumeration here might conjure.

Kim Heron on accordion was far from a mere accompaniment, and the tunes she whistled were almost more evocative than her playing.

Her sensitive facilitation of the drama was an art in itself.