I watched a play this weekend at the Manoel Theatre. It was opening night and the stalls were packed. Yet again, there was an astoundingly low number of attendees under the age of 35. Maybe two dozen in total, three at most; surely less than one in ten people. I could not have felt younger in the waiting room for a prostate exam.
I got the same impression when I watched Arsenic and Old Lace a few months ago. I put that one down to it being an age-old comedy, but this time round the play was Calendar Girls - terrific, by the way. It is based on a movie that is not even ten years old. It might be about middle-aged housewives, but it raked in nearly $100 million worldwide and has a 6.8/10 rating on the imdb website from 9455 votes, 35% of which are from members who are less than 30 years old. Though younger people are more computer savvy, I do not believe these demographics are skewed to that extent.
I am aware that the crowd at St. James Cavalier tends to be somewhat younger, and that the Christmas pantomimes are a hit with all age groups. Nevertheless, in general, do people really acquire a taste for theatre when they grow old? Or is it a case of that theatre? And if so, what is wrong with the Manoel?