Wednesday, 20 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Nicholas McLean

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*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation.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

Nicholas McLean is currently playing Boq in the London production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. His other credits include Gary Coleman in Avenue Q (UK & Ireland tour); Benny in Pied Piper (Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot); Henri and ensemble in South Pacific (St James Concert and Assembly Hall, Guernsey); The Doctor in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales); TJ in Sister Act (Gordon Craig Theatre) and Baxter in The Tale of Mr Tumble (Manchester International Festival).

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 in the auditorium at The Apollo Victoria Theatre with the full company and front of house team. I’d been on holiday the week before and I remember reading that Broadway had closed down so I knew it was inevitable that the West End would follow suit, but it didn’t soften the blow. I remember getting the train home that evening after a couple of extended goodbyes to the cast, I did, however, get a Pornstar Martini cocktail from M&S for the ride home though so there’s always a silver lining. 

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

I actually have to say that I find myself busier in Lockdown that I was in real life. I’ve made a conscious effort to fill the days with home improvements, exercise, rekindling my relationship with some of the musical instruments in my house (bless the neighbours having to listen to me attempt to remember how to play the Saxophone). I’d had a pretty relentless 2019 so I’m also enjoying taking the time to rest. That said I’m very much looking forward to testing out my well-rested voice when the theatres open up again.

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 always tried to only follow/associate with accounts that send out positive messages but anytime I see something that might upset me I’m not afraid to use that Mute/Unfollow button. 

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

Donate Donate Donate. I know everyone is facing a difficult financial time at the moment but if you do find yourself fortunate enough to be in a position to help others there are a wealth of charities that have set up Covid-19 emergency appeal funds to support Arts practitioners so any assistance you can give to those funds would be much appreciated. 

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

I’ve recently discovered the ‘Dear Joan and Jericha’ podcast which is currently providing me with several full belly laughs. There is so much content out there at the minute so it’s nice to have time to enjoy it all. Also we must address Disney+, Am I right?

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

Zoom Zoom Zoom, I want you in my room. I’ve got a weekly Zoom call with all the family, several Zoom boozy brunches through the week. It’s become a full-time job but it does mean that I’m less likely to start talking to inanimate objects. 

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

Dinner and Cocktails at one of my favourite London spots with all my friends. I’ve been whipping up some lovely stuff in my own kitchen, but I can’t wait to dine out again. I hope The Ned is ready for us.

We'd like to thank Nicholas McLean and all 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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