Irene’s Books and Magazine Articles

Finding information about which books Irene wrote, and when they were published, is quite difficult.

My research on-line just leads me to modern companies who are re-publishing what seems to be every book in the world, at a price. Unhelpfully, all of their books are listed as having been published in 2012 – obviously some technicality to do with how the system works when the book is published to an individual order ‘on demand’.

Below is a list of my best guesses at what are the published books written by Irene Mawer.

Please do contact me if you can give any information on Irene’s books. Thanks.

1. Mime as an Educational Force.

2. The History Of Mime and Symbolic, Expressive and Dramatic Movement – with descriptions of the characters of the Harlequinade and Commedia Dell’Arte.

3. The Art of Mime: it’s history and technique in education and the theatre (1932 – I think this is the first edition).

4. Four Commedia Dell’Arte Plays with Stage Direction.

5. Twelve Mime Plays: a collection of wordless plays arranged to music (1933?).

6. A Technical Study Of Mime – learning to control your body to convey emotion.

7. The Dance of Words (1925 – I think this is the first edition).

8. Rhymes and Plays for the Bobblies. Circa 1920. This is a very unusual book, and I can not make out whether it was a ‘normal’ book, published in the usual way, or whether it is some sort of hand-made book. ‘Bobblies’, I should explain, were the little children who took dancing lessons at the Ginner Mawer School. The book has a ‘soft’ cover and the paper which forms the pages is very thick – some of the edges are sharp, while other page edges look as if they were a folded piece of paper where a ruler had been used to ‘cut’ along the crease, in lieu of a pair of scissors!

In addition to writing books, Irene Mawer also wrote articles for magazines – this information can be found in the magazine of the Ginner-Mawer School of Dance and Drama (The Link, July 1924). One of the magazines was called ‘Drama’ and a second magazine was called ‘The Dancing Times’: both of which are still in print today!

The following paragraph is copied from the ‘National Drama’ website and explains that the magazine ‘Drama’ is the magazine of professional practice and is aimed at teachers of drama and other theatre educators – exactly the sphere that Miss Mawer was involved in:

‘Drama’ is a bi-annual magazine, ISSN 0967-4454. It is rooted in professional practice and contains a variety of interesting features and articles for teachers and drama and theatre educators in many contexts. The magazine encourages contributors from all phases of education and strives for regional and cultural diversity. ‘Drama’ is a hard copy, print publication and a typical issue will contain a number of articles, sometimes with a particular focus. These articles tend to be based on practical teaching experiences and projects. They will often include classroom materials and dissemination of work completed. Interviews with leading practitioners and book reviews also feature. (End)

From the Dancing Times website: Dancing Times, first published in 1894 as the house magazine of the Cavendish Rooms, London, a ballroom dancing establishment, is the oldest monthly devoted to dancing. It was bought in 1910 by P J S Richardson and T M Middleton and transformed into a national periodical, covering all forms of dancing, and reporting worldwide.
Largely through the initiative of Richardson, and his contacts throughout the dance teaching and performing profession, it played an instrumental part in the founding of the Royal Academy of Dance, the Camargo Society for the encouragement and presentation of British ballet (1930–33), and the British Board of Ballroom Dancing (now the British Dance Council), which codified the technique and controls the standards of the “English Style” of ballroom dancing. (End)

Jonathan Gray, Editor & Director at Dancing Times was kind enough to give me the following information: “The articles you mention written by Irene Mawer published in Dancing Times during the 1920s should be able to be. consulted at a number of theatre reference libraries, such as the Library and Archive of the Theatre and Performance Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, or the Westminster Reference Library (situated in Orange Street, behind the National Gallery).”

Although it would be natural to assume that Miss Mawer wrote about mime in these magazines, particularly given that she wrote a book called ‘Mime as an Educational Force’, I think that, in fact, she actually may have written about “Theatres of Sicily”. I think it would be fair to say that when she wrote the articles (pre-1924) Irene Mawer would not have properly formulated her method enough to have wanted to write a complete book about it. When she started as a pupil at Central School (which I think would have been in 1914) she did not even really know what mime was. Miss Mawer then went on to teach herself about mime, and to develop a technique to teach it to other people. However, this does not preclude her from writing magazine articles about mime!

If you know of anything else that Irene Mawer wrote, I would be pleased to hear from you. Thank you.

Author: Janet Fizz Curtis

Janet Fizz Curtis is trained in the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement and is now writing a book about the life of Irene Mawer.

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