Monday, 20 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Jade Davies

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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* 

Jade Davies most recently appeared in My Fair Lady at the Teatro Massimo. Her other credits include Maria in West Side Story (Estonian National Opera); Ensemble in The Wizard of Oz (Birmingham Rep Theatre); Swing in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre); Ensemble in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour); Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act (Gordan Craig Theatre) and ensemble and Cover Cosette in Les Miserables (Queens 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? 

When I heard about all theatres closing I remember I was at home looking on Twitter. I felt completely heartbroken for our theatre community and for my friends in various productions in London and around the UK. It’s such a sad thought that all theatres are currently in darkness, isn’t it? It hurt most when I saw some shows won’t get to continue their run after all this is over and people didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to shows properly. People work so incredibly hard and not getting to finish it isn’t fair. But after a few days watching everyone come together virtually, doing various concerts and online classes I’ve never felt more connected to our community and I know we will come back stronger than ever.

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

I’ll be completely honest about this one! Some days I have some serious motivation, done various classes online, yoga, full out fitness classes, I’ve even done a couple of dance classes! But other days I’ve loved sitting on my sofa watching movies or a TV series or even read a book all day! It’s important to know that both really are okay, I can’t stress that enough! Don’t go on social media and compare yourself to anyone, do what you want to do and do what makes you happy! I take it day by day. 

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? 

I’ve definitely found my positive mental attitude has been so up and down during all this which is completely normal I’d say. What I’ve found that’s helped me is keeping connected in any way with friends and family! I’ve been FaceTiming more than ever. I also last Sunday did a concert online, it was one of the coolest experiences ever and people really loved it. It was lovely to be able to give to an audience again. Even though there’s a lot of negativity circulating social media the positive is definitely outweighing it; the amount of people doing online classes, workouts, quizzes and more is incredible. I applaud every single one of them. 

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

I think people are already doing such an incredible job supporting the arts! I’ve seen all kinds of fundraisers for charities that goes towards keeping our community alive. Keep tuning in to the live concerts and classes and if you want to donate anything, you can! if not go and watch for free! all from the comfort of your living room. Take a class you’ve wanted to for ages! Maybe you’ve felt insecure about going to a dance class or maybe having a singing lesson, doing it at home is perfect, no one's watching!

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

I’m currently in the middle of watching Orange is the new black! Would highly recommend, it’s brilliant! Get watching some documentaries, I watched one not long ago called 'The Game Changer' on Netflix and it’s seriously swaying me to go vegan! Books, I’d definitely recommend everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton, it will have you crying with laughter! I’ve finished it in three days! Couldn't put it down! Definitely do a Harry Potter marathon and Disney plus has been a little gem. 

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

Keeping connected with family and friends is the most important thing to do during this time. Especially if you’re isolating alone. FaceTiming has been a lifesaver and also zoom! My partner and I have actually been taking it in turns each night with our friends to hold a quiz night with different themes to go with the topic on zoom, we’ve even gone as far as dressing up for them! I look forward to it every day and to just have a good laugh with them! 

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

I honestly cannot wait to give all my friends and family a big squeeze! I miss them so much! It’s going to be one huge celebration. I don’t think I’ll ever take a simple trip to the cinema or meeting up with friends in a bar for granted again! And especially for our theatres to re-open! That first show back for everyone is going to be so special, I’m getting emotional thinking about it! I’m sending love to every single person, it will be over before we know it! We’ve got this!  

We'd like to thank Jade 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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