Wherever you are in the world, I hope this message finds you well and more importantly safe. Firstly, we are all aware of what a crazy time the world is going through right now so don’t worry, I won’t go into any of that.
What I would like to talk about though is the positives that have come from a pretty dire situation.
We all know that this industry is both crazy and wonderful all at the same time. I think it’s safe to say that the performing element aside, one of the best things about this industry are the people it brings. Most of us took part in school shows or amateur shows growing up; we’ve all experienced the dreaded ‘post show blues’. Being in a show brings a company together like you can’t even imagine; reminiscing about the nightmare of auditioning, the excitement of rehearsals, the backstage banter; all the way to the drunken and shameful memories of the aftershow party. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Musical Theatre has always had a way of bringing people together. It allows people to express themselves in a way that might not have ever been available to them if it weren’t for performing. It brings the most unlikely of friends, together.
So of course, in a time of uncertainty and worry, our industry pulls together like never before.
It’s funny really, social media has always been frowned upon. We have always been judged for the amount of time we spend stuck behind our screens. And now it seems to be everyone’s saving grace and used in such a positive and heart-warming way.
Everyone and I mean everyone, has taken to social media to keep their brains and bodies ticking. Some of these people include Carrie Hope Fletcher, Drew McOnie and Lucie Jones. Our very own Alumni Jamie Lambert who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent (Lambert Jackson Productions) has collaborated with The Theatre Café to bring some of the finest performers to our screens; including Cassidy Janson, Evelyn Hoskins, Lucie Jones, Alice Fearn, Caroline Kay, Louise Dearman, Vicki Manser, Ramin Karimloo and may others.
Even recordings of full length productions are now being made available to us, just for our entertainment. ‘Eugenius The Musical’ which played at The Other Palace last year has uploaded the full show to its Facebook page, completely free of charge. Schools, companies, agents, artists and musical theatre fans are going above and beyond to remain connected and quite frankly, we are so fortunate.
It’s safe to say that we are being spoilt and it’s just wonderful to see so many people coming together to share their talents, stories, opinions or even just to keep people company.
Many performers have taken to working in local supermarkets to pay their way. A reminder to us all that we are all human, even those actors who have made it big in the West End. At the end of the day, we are all just surviving and doing what we can do to live a happy and sustainable life.
In this difficult time, we should be proud to be part of this supportive industry. Hang tight all, it won’t be long before the bright lights of the West End are back on again.
In the wise words of Mr Stephen Sondheim, “Here’s to us. Who’s like us? Damn few.”