Institute of Mime – Michel Saint-Denis, 12 June 1936

Friend London 12 June 1936

The Institute of Mime; Michel Saint-Denis Guest Lecturer

This clipping is from 1936 and states that Michel Saint-Denis gave a lecture to the Institute of Mime. This was not the AGM, which was held two days later. Then, four days after that (on 18th June), the whole Ginner-Mawer School gave a big afternoon show at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Today’s meeting was at The Friends’ House on Euston Road, London (presumably The Society of Friends, also known as The Quakers), while the AGM was held at the Washington Hotel, in the posh district of Mayfair.

Later news clippings show that in 1938 Michel Saint-Denis gave another lecture at the Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Mime.

I wonder what this tells us about each of these two very different exponents of mime in England shortly before the start of the Second World War? Monsieur Saint-Denis had by this time founded the Compagnie des Quinze (Company of Fifteen) in Paris, and had co-founded the London Theatre Studio just the previous year in London in 1935. Irene Mawer had co-founded the Ginner-Mawer School of Dance and Drama and had founded the Institute of Mime three years previous to this lecture, in 1933. The two styles of mime were very different to each other. I wonder what the two thought about each other’s work? The pair were of a similar age, with Miss Mawer being just four years senior and had been married to Mark Edward Perugini for four years.

Admission to the lecture was free for members of the Institute, with guests and students presumably having to pay, although no prices are given. Application for tickets was to be made to the Secretary at the Institute of Mime, Miss Gulick, who I have not come across before. The address is given as 32 Belgrave Road, London SW1. I don’t know if this is an official office of the Institute o Mime, or whether it is Miss Gulick’s home address (a possibility in those distant and more charming days).

The work of Irene Mawer needs to be know about more widely.  Please comment and share as this will help to raise her profile in the search engines.  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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *