The audience in this little theatre, has way too much invested in this play.
There’s Mr Knightley declaring that he has never felt like a brother to Emma and there’s the audience holding its breath to find out what happens next, there’s an audible sigh as Emma and Mr Knightley move away into the ballroom away from the view of the audience.
This is not an audience of high school teenagers.
These people are way, way older and from every different corner of the globe and really they should know better.
Where is their sophistication?
Who hangs on to the words of actors in a play on a stage in Sydney?
Well, actually, this audience does.
This is what community theatre should feel like, people who are invested in the characters and the play.
And people, who wait with bated breath for scenes that they surely know.
Not only that – everyone in the audience has probably read Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ and probably multiple times, but the way the audience behaves, hanging onto every word uttered by Emma and Mr Knightley, you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
At the very end as Mr Knightley holds both of Emma’s hands, the audience is literally on the edge of their seats – they have got to know how this play ends, but there they go again, literally holding their breath as they wait to find out whether Mr Knightley will tell Emma that he loves her and whether Emma will respond.
The audience performance makes the play great.
Tucked away at 420 Kent St, Sydney between the not so tall buildings made of brick and sandstone that make up that part of Sydney, sits the Genesian Theatre.
Housed within the former St John’s Church, it has a 73-year old history is certainly still going strong.
However, the Theatre needs to vacate its site by November of this year as the site has been sold to a developer. The theatre company is still looking at options.