Australian Views of a French Classic: Audiences for Phedra Directed by Michael Gow


  • Maria Shevtsova


Several   points must be made by way of a prologue to this discussion. It was not   possible, in the case of Phedra, to give questionnaires to spectators before   the show and briefly explain the purposes of my research to them. I had   adopted this direct approach in my studies of audiences for the Sydney   Theatre Company's Three Sisters directed by Richard Wherrett and for The   Tempest directed by Neil Armfield at the Belvoir Street Theatre. I had   previously used a similar method in my research on audiences for   ltalo-Australian community theatre. Questionnaires for Phedra were placed on   the seats of the Wharf Studio, which holds 140 people. The lack of contact   with potential respondents had a negative effect on returns. Thus compare a   67% return on questionnaires distributed for Three Sisters and 62% for The   Tempest with 19% for Phedra.