On the Knees. 1935

Birmingham Gazette

29 March 1935


The attached picture is wonderful photo showing a mime class for beginners.  This is during a day of mime held by the Women’s Institute at the Upper Prior Rooms in Birmingham.  The teacher was Irene Mawer, with the help of members of the Ginner-Mawer School of Dance and Drama.  I image that some of the graduates of the School, who were already teachers came along to help, plus current students.  Some of the women in the photo look rather like overgrown schoolgirls, in their tunics, and I wonder if this was part of the uniform worn by Ginner-Mawer Students?

In this photograph, I would have a good guess that the participants are all looking into a pond of clear water, imagining themselves to be somewhere lovely, a countryside spot, with warm, sunny weather and perhaps a gentle cooling breeze.  The ladies will be looking deep into the water, probably not studying the wildlife, rather they will be musing on genteel thoughts of beauty and calm.

My favourite character in the photo is the lady sitting on a bench on the left hand side – she hasn’t yet gathered the courage to join in, and is still wearing her hat.

Irene Mawer has been forgotten by the history books.  Please like/share/comment, etc so that more people will know about her.  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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