Sunday, 12 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Thomas-Lee Kidd

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Thomas-Lee Kidd has just appeared in Curtains on tour around the UK and at the Wyndham's Theatre. His other credits include Angie the Ox & 1st cover Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls (Theatre Marigny, Paris); Assistant Dance Captain, Swing & 1st Cover Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical (UK tour); Dance Captain & Bobby in The Life (Southward Playhouse); Mary Poppins (UK Tour); Ensemble & Cover Alberto Beddini in Top Hat (UK tour) and Top Hat (Aldwych 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? 

It was our opening night for “Curtains” in Leicester at the Haymarket. We were in the middle of rehearsing a cut show and had heard through friends that the West End was shutting its doors. We continued to do the show that evening as it was an independent theatre and guidelines were to "Avoid” theatres instead of them being closed down. It was an extremely strange feeling knowing that it was most possibly going to be the last show ever of "Curtains" and a moment I will never forget. We then closed our beautiful show the next day packed up and left for home.

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

I have been doing most things that a lot of people have been doing. Yoga, dance classes, watching Netflix and Disney Plus, but I have loved getting back in the kitchen and cooking up a storm. It has been the highlight of my day. Also, if the sun is shining I have a daily coffee on the front steps for 30 minutes and turn everything off and listen to the bird song - it’s wonderful.

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? 

Social media is wonderful but also damaging. I have avoided the “My best friends Dad has a dog that works for the army” stories! I've limited my social media time to focus on the online classes and funny video’s because we need to keep laughing through these tough times. Also, the NHS clap videos are beautiful and restore my faith in humanity! THANK YOU NHS!

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

Theatre is such a big part of this country's backbone! It is pure escapism and the doors will reopen. We must remember that! If you have bought tickets for shows that are currently still running, support them by exchanging it for later in the year when this will hopefully all be over. Believe me when I say they will be the most full out, heartfelt performances you have ever seen. I find when I need a pick me up, I watch YouTube clips from The Olivier Awards/The Tonys and various shows that I love to reignite that spark. It then gets me into a wormhole of watching documentaries on theatres, performances, interviews and I can’t stop. 

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

Where do I start?! Disney Plus (They do a free 7-day trial) have 2 programs that I am hooked on - Imagineering and The Disney Fairytale Weddings. I am doing the Marvel films in order and not to mention every Disney film under the sun! Netflix I'd recommend Pose, Sex Education, Lost In Space, Schitts Creek, Cheer and Tiger King! Yoga with Tim on YouTube - He is amazing! There is a whole network of dancers that have come together to create a timetable of fabulous classes for free! I did Jo Goodwin’s the other day and it made me smile so much! National Theatre at Home is also wonderful! They are doing live streams of shows most weeks.

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

I have been using face time and zoom to keep in contact with family and friends. We are so lucky in this day and age that we have this technology. I have done a few quiz's and I am still rubbish at them but my favourite has to be Samuel Holmes Camp quiz! It is super fun and he needs his own tv show one day because he is a superstar.

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

I am most looking forward to being able to see my friends and family (in the flesh) so I can give them a huge squeeze and go for a stunning cocktail somewhere! Also having a show pulled from under your feet and a forthcoming job cancelled, I am looking forward to getting back in the room for auditions and hopefully get back on that stage! Part of me hopes that the cancelled show gets another life sometimes as it would have been working with some amazingly talented people! 

We'd like to thank Thomas 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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