Annual Overview of Institute of Mime. December 1938

Dancing Times, London


In this newspaper clipping, we can see that the Institute of Mime is going from strength to strength.


The year had focused on educational aspects of mime, whereas in 1937 the focus had been on the artistic and stage side of things; and 1935/36 had been a period of consolidation – please see previous blog posts for further information.


The year’s lectures and demonstrations had been held throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and South Africa.  (It would seem the Welsh were able to resist Irene’s charms.)  Societies which hosted the educational lectures included the Froebel Society; the Central Association for Mental Welfare (now called MIND); HM Prison Holloway (a women’s prison); the City Literary Institute; Women’s League of Health and Beauty; British Drama League and other Drama Schools; Bedales School; the National Federation of Women’s Institutes; and the Townswomen’s Guilds in London, Durham, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Sussex, Kent and Dorset.


During the year, Irene Mawer was appointed to the panel of specialist advisers to the Religious Drama Society (now called Radius).


There were plans for filming of mime and how it could be used for educational purposes, but I don’t know if this ever came to fruition.  How wonderful if the film was still in existence.  It was in association with St Pancras Housing Society – another lead for me to follow up!


The inclusion of men and boys continued to thrive, both in training for the stage and in educational and recreational classes.  Sadly, this of course came to an end the following year, with the outbreak of World War 2.  Ginner-Mawer were never able to pick-up with the boys again after the war, which no doubt played a big part in the demise of the School.


For at least a second time, a lecture-demonstration was given by Monsieur Michel Saint-Denis (see previous blog posts).  He brought with him a number of students from his London Theatre Studio.  We can’t learn much about the content of his lecture-demonstration, as it is unhelpfully entitled “Mime and the Drama”, apparently it was a lively exposition of the great value of Mime in the Theatre Arts.


A final note in the newspaper clipping states that a stalwart of the Ginner-Mawer School/Institute of mime, Joyce Ruscoe, was noted as having written a chapter included in a book called ‘School Drama’ edited by Guy Boas and Howard Hayden for the School Drama Committee of the British Drama League (thereby fitting in with the stated educational aims of the year.)

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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