Friday, 1 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Ashford Campbell



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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Ashford Campbell was most recently seen in the UK touring production of 9 to 5 in the ensemble and playing the role of Dwayne, a role he previously played in the West End production of the show at the Savoy Theatre. His other credits include Ensemble and cover C.C White in Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre); Swing, Drifter & Assistant Dance Captain in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre) and Seaweed in Hairspray (Gordan Craig 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? 

I was actually visiting family up in Yorkshire and had just got in after dinner with friends. After following the news about Broadway I kind of expected it to come but it still felt very real and very disheartening. 

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

I’ve always been a lover of cooking so I’ve just been throwing myself into new recipes and baking for my family. I’ve been working out a lot as I’m fortunate enough to have home equipment and a garden. It’s therapeutic and relaxing for me and who doesn’t love eating?! I’ve definitely had days like everyone where I’ve been a complete couch potato but I think it’s important to remember that we’re all human and those days are absolutely necessary every now and then for our own sanity and peace of mind. 

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 really just try to follow uplifting profiles and my friends and family and make sure whenever I upload content, my purpose is to make people smile - whether that be a singing video or a meme or just a silly selfie

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

I think we need to support local theatres as well as the huge theatres and the west end. Attend events (online ones are great), buy gift vouchers, enter those rush ticket competitions for cheap deals but above all, stick to the lockdown rules so this can be over and the arts can flourish again. 

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

I love a crime thriller, Jeffery Deaver has a collection that inspired the hit film The Bone Collector so if that’s your thing then dive in! Series wise I’m completely hooked on La Casa De Papel and Ozark. Both currently on Netflix and have a few seasons for you to binge on!

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

For more information please visit GOV.UK and NHS.co.uk

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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