So yes, it’s been a bit quiet over here. When I posted in February I (still) wasn’t expecting full Lockdown in March, working from home (my day job), having my touring play put on hold, figuring out how I felt about living in a global pandemic that will affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and still trying to live a kind and good life.
I got kind of angry when people told me this was the time to create, because apparently we now had loads of extra time to do so, but those first few weeks I didn’t feel like creating anything at all. It suddenly seemed like there were so many opportunities to collaborate, to network, to write, but I couldn’t make myself take part. Perhaps I did have the extra time, but I certainly didn’t have the mental bandwidth.
It was a giant relief when I finally felt something click and I found myself writing again, on something new, something that felt exciting. I’d been wrapped up in two projects for a couple of years (one is still up for grabs, anyone?) so starting fresh felt great! But will there be a theatre for my new play when it’s finally finished?
It really pains me to see how beloved, established theatres and theatre practitioners are having to give up their work because there just isn’t the funding necessary to keep going right now. As pubs and cinemas are opening up here in the UK, theatres and concert venues are allowed to open but still forbidden to give live performances (uh, what?). An industry that is always towing the financial line continues to be left to its own devices.
And don’t think people aren’t trying! Theatre creatives are by definition great at finding novel solution and have been working hard to discover ways of creating art during the epidemic while also communicating with the authorities for support. There is so much goodwill in the creative communities, but sometimes cold hard cash is needed to keep going.
So what will happen? I don’t know. There will always be theatre, but if you want it to look anything like it did before, it needs help. So perhaps consider supporting your favourite artists if you can? It doesn’t even need to be theatre, just art! We all need art! If there wasn’t any art, god knows how we’d gotten through lockdown for this long? I’ve been told that my play will get back to touring ASAP, which I’m incredibly grateful for, and I’m continuing to write because I’m hopeful. Hopeful that we will pull through and begin to build again. But there needs to be support.
Take care and stay safe! Xx