Friday, 22 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Carole Stennett


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!

Carole Stennett was most recently seen in the West End transfer of Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre, playing Miss Forsythe. Her other credits include the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Kilworth House); Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre, UK Tour, Toronto, China Tour); This is Also England (Tristan Bates Theatre); Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury & Mercury Theatre); Nala in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre, UK Tour); Nicky in The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre) and Thriller Live! (Lyric 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 at home with a friend trying to figure out what to do next. 

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

I've been doing quite a few things, I've actually rediscovered my passion for cooking and baking and I've been creating some lovely dishes. I'm also doing some fitness classes online to work off those dishes! I've been working my green fingers in the garden which has been very relaxing and therapeutic. I've picked up the guitar again which I love, I'm practising french again and I'm editing small projects which I put on my YouTube channel.

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'm very conscious of what I allow into my space at the moment so I limit the amount of media I take in. I remind myself daily that this current situation will eventually pass. I take it one day at a time. I meditate, pray and breathe. It helps me to put things into perspective.

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

There are a lot of activities by performers taking place online and also theatre shows being streamed. By signing up to workshops, classes and watching the shows online, it shows support and encourages us to create more content.
It's also nice to check in with people, you'd be surprised to know how something so simple can mean a lot to someone. 

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

I've started reading Bryan Cranston's biography 'A Life in Parts', its very good. He's a fabulous actor as well. 'Insecure' by Issa Rae on HBO is a brilliant show. I'm a massive fan of Issa and Yvonne Orji who also stars in the show. Definitely worth checking out.  'Children of Blood and Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi is another good read. 

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 had my birthday party on insta live last month which was actually really fun. I played 90s R&B, dressed up and caught up with friends as they made comments. I've been having film nights as well, watching classics such as 'Coming to America'. I've not really been playing any quizzes but I've had a lot of lovely zoom and WhatsApp catch-ups with friends from around the world.

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

Having my 'real' birthday party, hanging out in person with my friends and family. Oh and Wagamamas!

We'd like to thank Carole 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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