Monday, 20 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Adrian Hansel

These recent times have been some of the hardest challenges we've faced and as a community, it hit us pretty hard. However during these difficult times, here at Pocket Size Theatre, we wanted to spread a little positivity and share some peoples experiences because we are all in this together. Each day we'll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share their experiences with you all so take a read and see how people are getting through these hard times.

Let's stick together, share the love and get through this as a community!

*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation. Please keep that in mind when reading* 

Adrian Hansel was most recently seen in Guys and Dolls at the Sheffield Crucible, playing Benny Southstreet. His other credits include Ain't Misbehaving (Southwark Playhouse); The Distance You Have Come (The Cockpit); 5 Guys Names Moe (Marble Arch Theatre); Seaweed in Hairspray (UK Tour & Shaftsbury Theatre); Dancing in the Streets (Playhouse Theatre & UK Tour); Oh What a Night (Australia Tour); All You Need is Love (Queen's Theatre); Tyronne in Fame (Prince of Wales Theatre & UK Tour) and Rusty in Starlight Express (Apollo Victoria Theatre). 

On Monday 16th March 2020, The Society of London Theatre announced the closure of all Theatres in London. This followed suit with regional venues. Where were you when you found out and what was your initial reaction? 

Well I was actually about to watch Book of Mormon as I’ve never seen it! Then just after 7pm on the night, we got told the show will not be happening and all West End theatres will go dark with immediate effect. It was so bizarre; I was shocked slightly worried and also confused. Half the theatre was full of people who had drinks at the theatre bar but we all had just leave. 

Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing? 

I think times like this is highly important to think, reflect how lucky we are! I’ve loved watching friends and peers being productive and sharing classes it’s been beautiful to see.

Whenever you log onto social media there is so much negativity circulating. How have you been trying to keep a positive mental attitude during these times? 

It depends how you take social media. I honestly don’t take it that seriously, I also have a very thick skin so nothing social media-wise negatively affects me. If it did, I’d delete it all. I think it’s important to follow people you love, share positive posts and posts that make you happy! Focus on how lucky we all are to have the NHS! 

With the Arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the Arts industries? 

It’s tough, isn’t it! I say make a list of tours, West End and fringe productions you’d like to see! Maybe try something new? Go back to basics: youtube shows, musical films, we ALL have time to do this now! 

Have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to our viewers? 

It’s great that Andrew Lloyd Webber is showcasing a lot of his shows, how brilliant to see the arena tour version of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Ben Forster! That in itself is a masterclass in vocals! Also I’m a sucker for a true-life documentary. Comedy is never a bad thing to binge, especially now! Sky Arts is great and they often show Michael Ball tours - you may see me pop up singing a song or two on that!

In these times of Social Distancing and isolation, how have you been trying to connect with Friends and Family? Any fun quizzes or games?! 

Call call call! FaceTime! We really do have time now to reset and speak properly to family and friends without having to rush off or be in a loud bar or not having any time! Zoom and the quizzes has been great! 

And finally, looking to the future, what are you most looking forward to when all of this is over? 

Giving friends and family a hug! Realising how lucky we are to pop to the theatre if we want. To go to TKTS and book a last-minute cheap ticket to see a show, We have so much assessable to us which we take for granted! Appreciate key workers even more. Our NHS, our local shops, our cleaners and our emergency services; they really are the famous celebrities! It’s them that really make a difference! 

We'd like to thank Adrian and all the other performers who have given up their time to contribute to this feature.

For more information please visit GOV.UK and

Other useful links for anyone needing further help:

Acting For Others - Charity that provides financial & emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need.
Help Musicians - An independent Charity that helps all forms of Musicians through times of need.
Industry Minds - Mental Health Support for the creative arts.
Theatre Helpline - a free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.
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