County Durham and Mrs Marshall. 1935

Newcastle Daily Journal

23 April 1935


It was only a tiny mention in a single paragraph, but it was a glowing report of success for Irene Mawer’s endeavor to enrich the lives of ordinary women through the auspices of mime.

The article presumably speaks of one of the monthly Women’s Institute meetings – in this instance held jointly between the very small villages of West Rainton and Leamside, which are close to the city of Durham in the north of England.  When it speaks of the Institute’s ninth birthday, I presume it means the birthday of the local branch of the Women’s Institute, not the ninth birthday of the Institute of mime – as that was formed in 1933.

Mrs Marshall gave a talk on mime:  there was a woman with the surname Marshall who gained her Teachers diploma from the Institute of Mime in 1936.  At that time she was the only person in the north of England to have qualified in this way.  She lived in the same area, so is likely to be the same person.

Members of the drama class assisted Mrs Marshall by demonstrating the gestures, etc.  So, it would seem that the Women’s Institute had a successful drama group, who were learning mime – presumably the Irene Mawer Method, taught by Mrs Marshall.

Irene Mawer had a much larger influence on British drama than she is given credit for, and this website is designed to keep her memory alive.  Please help the ‘bots’ to find this page more easily by liking/sharing/commenting, etc.  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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