I'm a freelance actor, travel writer, photographer, foodie and attention seeker living in the lower North Shore. Check out my blog at www.emmajaneexplores.com for more.
Find your voice
We all have music in us; but how do we set it free? That's the burning question in Joanna Weinberg's The Secret Singer, now playing at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst. In just 75 minutes (with no interval), this work presents a story of adversity, determination, honesty and humour with aplomb.
Weinberg based the Secret Singer real-life student, Jenny Simm, whose lifelong cerebellum dysfunction could not deter her enthusiasm for singing. Weinberg's skill as a composer, director and writer was put to the test as she tasked herself with telling Jenny's remarkable story in the form of a theatre production. Writing the book, music and lyrics as well as directing the piece, Weinberg's show feels intensely personal and upon reading the true story behind the production, The Secret Singer feels like a triumph of the human spirit.
The cast of The Secret Singer
As well as the strong backstory and groundwork done by Weinberg, the real joy of the show is watching the evolving relationship between teacher and student. This is a two hander piece, performed marvellously by Genevieve Lemon and Kate Mannix.
Genevieve Lemon as Emjay, a disillusioned singing teacher who was once on the brink of making it big, is simply wonderful in the role. She brings great humanity, genuineness and warmth to Emjay and there is not a moment where her character feels anything less than honest.
Kate Mannix is a delight as Jenny. She nails the mix of eccentricity, honesty and pure determination that makes this character so fascinating and it's clear the audience is rooting for her throughout the entire show.
Set & costume design by Brigette Thorn is effective, featuring some very impressive stained glass windows, nicely lit by the lighting design of Richard Whitehouse. Thorn's costume design is beautifully eccentric, matching the characters nicely.
Playing a strictly limited two week season, The Secret Singer, is definitely worth the trip to Darlinghurst. It's joyful, heart warming and ultimately represents the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity.