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The drama medium

Movement, mime and gesture

1. Movement

Movement covers:

  • where we move to on and around the stage - upstage, downstage, avoiding masking another actor, etc
  • how we move to help with characterisation [characterisation: To portray a role using voice and physical skills ] - slowly, painfully, lightly, etc
  • how we move in relation to other characters - threateningly, fearfully, in a friendly manner, etc


Play use of moment video example.

Watch the video example by clicking on the link above.

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2. Mime

Mime covers:

  • working in silence, or with few sounds or words, to show activities - eg painting a wall, opening a door

  • working with dialogue, but miming any props or set - eg looking in a mirror, perhaps facing the audience, to put on make-up while speaking to another character
  • physical theatre, which also uses mime techniques, and where actors can also mime items of set or props

Watch the video example by clicking on the link below.

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Play physical theatre video example.

3. Gesture

Gesture covers the use of our arms (and sometimes legs) to communicate ideas to the audience.

Examples of gesture in melodrama include:

  • holding the back of the hand to the forehead to indicate that you are upset
  • when the heroine pleads for her life by clasping her hands up towards the villain
  • when Lady Bracknell holds out her hand to be kissed
gesture - what's up there?

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