Mime is a modern version of plastic acting, a tradition that goes back to the Romans. It is a way of exercising control over the body so that it conveys the illusion of things not present, such as walls, water, articles of clothing.

Marcel Marceau has travelled the world demonstrating the school of mime known as corporal mime.

The great modern masters of this school were the Frenchmen Etienne Decrux, and Jean-Louis Barrault.

Barrault's presentation of a white clown in the wartime French film, Les enfants du Paradise, is my all-time favourite example of mime:It is as if Barrault has no bones in his body.

A more stylized form of mime is pantomime.