Mimes of Many Periods
Part of the role of the Institute of Mime (which was founded by Irene Mawer) was to enable mime performances to take place around Britain, with all participants working to the same high technical and expressive standards.
In this newspaper clipping (see attached photo), we read that the Institute of Mime arranged for Edinburgh actors to travel to London to perform ‘Mimes of Many Periods and Nations’, not least among them being Scottish ballads.
As well as performers from Edinburgh, there were also actors from the prestigious Royal Academy of Drama (RADA) who were taking part. I think that this is added evidence that the Irene Mawer Method of Mime was possibly taught at RADA. It stands to reason that if the Institute of Mime was working to Miss Mawer’s syllabus, then any presentation (such as the one noted in this press cutting) which was given by the Institute of Mime would use her technique. The other possibility, of course, is that Miss Mawer simply ‘borrowed’ the actors and they had trained in mime independently of RADA.
Period movement, showing how people from different centuries would have walked, or sat, or bowed and curtsied, was an important part of the Irene Mawer’s mime syllabus and required a detailed study of clothing from all periods of history. The student of mime would have had a lot of reading to do and in my own case, my teacher (Mrs Durling) ensured that I copied out all of the information in long hand – no small undertaking.
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