Theatre emerged from ritual and the present circumstances have introduced new rites of passage for those who take part in the ceremony. Donning your mask, you perform the cleansing of hands, stand at attention as your temperature is taken, and enter an eerily under-populated lobby in which other masked figures attempt to keep a prescribed distance as they head for the inner sanctum. Once inside it is easy to find your allotted place, one of the few seats not cordoned off. Looking around at the handful of other attendees seemingly randomly scattered around the auditorium, it feels more like a final dress rehearsal than an actual performance. Welcome to theatre-going in the Covid-19 era.
The performance attended by this reviewer, however, was far from a dress rehearsal. It was in fact halfway through the run of the Sydney Theatre Company’s first production since the coronavirus struck.