Performance at Aldwych Theatre, June 1937

The Stage, London
3 June 1937

Performance at Aldwych Theatre, 1937

After Irene Mawer’s death, a book of newspaper clippings was found among her papers. This blog post is one in a series of posts tracking the evolution of the Institute of Mime, through the information in the log of newspaper cuttings.

Irene Mawer founded the Institute of Mime in 1933 and was the President. In that role, she directed many theatrical performances, including the one mentioned in this newspaper cutting, to be held at the Aldwych Theatre, on 13 June 1937.

Much of the information has been covered in previous blog posts, however, this cutting shows that the Commedia dell’Arte scene was called Harlequin’s Child and was a spoken play based on a synopsis of Goldoni.  Among Miss Mawer’s papers is a manuscript entitled Harlequin’s Child.  It states ‘A comedy by Florian – from a synopsis by Goldoni.  Translated and adapted by Irene Mawer.’  I assume this means that Miss Mawer was fluent in at least one other language, presumably in this case, Italian?  Goldoni -Italian?

Miss Mawer’s husband (Mark Edward Perugini) was of Italian extraction and it is thought by a family member that Mark spoke fluent Italian.  Irene Mawer was a well educated and cultured woman and her knowledge of the  Commedia was based on lots of in-depth study, so she may well have learnt Italian for this research.

For the performance noted in the press cutting, French mime would be represented by one act taken from L’Enfant Prodigue, and modern life would be shown in a satiric comedy called Radio Breakfast.

Among the producers are two who were not mentioned last week: Margery Jones, and Alison Forbes.

Irene Mawer is a lost treasure – a gem of the stage who has been forgotten. Please help to ensure that more people know about her by sharing and commenting on this post. 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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