I am on the scrounge – for a copy of Marion Cole’s book about Elsie Fogerty. I have checked on-line and second-hand copies are quite expensive, so if you have one that you want to sell me very cheaply, please let me know.
Elsie Fogerty was a teacher whom Irene Mawer adored – so much so that Mawer declined a well-paid job in order to return to student life and study at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
There were three branches to the school: training to be stage performers; or training to be teachers of speech and drama; or training to teach speech therapy. So although Mawer made a name for herself a mime, she was also thoroughly trained in voice, as well as drama.
It was Fogie who gave Mawer her ‘first break’ – when Ruby Ginner and Hazel Thompson (also students at Central) needed someone to play Harlequin, it was Fogie who recommended Irene Mawer.
From Elsie Fogerty, Mawer learned much more than speech and drama; she was the Entertainment Secretary for the Pivot Club which was the socially-responsible arm of the Central School. This charitable element is visible all through Mawer’s life, with many, many theatrical performances being fund-raising events for a wide range of organisations.
Fogerty herself never actually taught mime, though she had a thorough knowledge of it and inspired Mawer to find out more about the history of it.
Fogerty also asked Mawer to teach mime to other students who were struggling with stage movement and Irene Mawer later wrote “…so I came to feel that there must be some basic theory on which to teach the things which I appeared to do naturally” and from this, she developed her own technique which she later taught at the Central School and which became the accepted syllabus for the Institute of Mime (which opened in 1933).