It's been a long time since my last theatre review. Over fifteen weeks, to be exact, which is the longest I've gone without stepping foot in a theatre auditorium – and writing about it – for two years at least. This changed last night, however, when I found myself on a very unusual Zoom call; one like no other.
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I'm worried that the hard work I've put into improving my mental health over the last few years is being undone by this pandemic.
It’s ironic, really, that during a time when we should be focused on the insides of our homes, I’m rediscovering my city.
Two weeks ago, Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) was the first theatre to announce its fall into administration, after the blow of the Coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the cultural community.
Since we're staying safe inside with nowhere to be, and perhaps often very little to actually do, we don’t really have that excuse of busyness for our terrible timing for texting back. We really are always available now; and never has there been a more vital time to stay connected.
I originally wrote this poem, Curtains Up, in support of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) and their fundraising efforts, since they hold a place close to my heart. But really, this poem is for all theatres and performers.
You are so missed, and we will be there once again when the curtain goes up, ready to cheer you on.
Spring is all about movement: springing forward, and springing up; new life, new beginnings, moving on, growth, freshness. Even its synonyms are mobile: elasticity, bounce, hop, bound.
It’s ironic, then, that this year's spring is defined by stillness.
I hope this poem may bring you a little peace in the middle of all this coronavirus chaos.
Any other weekend, I’d be out and about. But not this weekend. Not this week. Not this month. And not for the foreseeable.
What an absolute whirlwind February was! My 2020 mantra of 'Less Is More' has been well and truly left in the dust.