School of Performing Arts
nurturing the next generation actor-creator
Ours is one of the few schools in the world specialising in Corporeal Mime. We offer a wide range of learning opportunities including a three year full-time course as well as one-off workshops and open lessons. The aim of our teaching is to cultivate the creativity, expressiveness and technical ability needed as a Corporeal Mime artist. No prior experience is needed to join any of our programmes - all are welcome.
About Corporeal Mime
Corporeal Mime is a contemporary theatrical art based on the expressive power of the actor. It was founded by Etienne Decroux, the 20th century French theatre master known as the father of modern mime, whose students include Marcel Marceau and Jean-Louis Barrault.
"The essence of theatre is the actor, and the essence of the actor is the body. Therefore, theatre is the art of the body."
Decroux wanted acting to be an independent art with its own distinctive means of expression. Troubled by the actor's over-reliance on text, costumes and other disciplines, he set about researching the expressive possibilities of the body and constructing a new approach to theatre based on his discoveries. He called it Dramatic Corporeal Mime. Corporeal Mime has a structured technique which allows the actor to express drama through the body alone. It has its own repertoire and creative processes centred on the physicality and creativity of the actor.
Corporeal Mime predates the physical theatre movement that emerged in late 20th century Europe. It is a pioneering art that leads the way with its sophisticated physicality, and remains unique among the many new approaches to theatre - both physical and digital - that we see today.
Decroux was not alone in championing the role of physicality in theatre. The same can be said of other big names in western theatre such as Gordon Craig, Meyerhold, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Grotowski and Artaud.
What sets Decroux apart is that he left behind an artform complete with technique, repertoire and creative methods, which continues to inspire and empower actors across the world today.
"Mime has better things to do than complete another art".
Through a systematic education in how to be and how to act, Corporeal Mime invites us to go beyond our limitations by imagining and embodying new possibilities. With an equal emphasis on imagination, expression and action it is an art which aligns the mind, heart and body of the actor.
The Corporeal Mime actor is both sculptor and sculpture, crafting sophisticated expressions with the lines of their own body. These stylised expressions trigger something deep in the viewer through the power of metaphor - the hallmark of art.