Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Corona Diaries: Reece Kerridge


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!

Reece Kerridge is currently in the German cast of Starlight Express, playing Brexit and covering the role of Rusty. His other credits include ensemble and cover Lord Farquard in Shrek (UK Tour); Ensemble in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); Ensemble in Our House (Union Theatre); ensemble and cover Muddles in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre); Ensemble and cover King and Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk (Wyvern Theatre) and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. 

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 in Bochum in Germany as I was out there rehearsing for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express. I remember sitting in my studio apartment when I received an email saying that rehearsals were cancelled for the next day and we were to await further instructions. I mean that email itself was enough to know that things were getting real and serious. I didn’t quite know what was going on at the time and I remember calling my parents back in the UK and saying what is going on? Again, they were none too wiser because it hadn’t really hit the UK as badly as Germany had been hit. I decided to sit tight for a while and a few other castmates had said the same. Little did we know it was going to be a global pandemic.

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

I remember sitting in the apartment a good few days after we were told not to come to work and I was so bored. I spoke to a very dear friend of mine who told me to write a song. I laughed so hard I spat my drink out! Low and behold that night I actually started writing a song about chicken nuggets. It’s actually not bad, it’s being composed as we speak! And then came the children’s book and a musical adaptation of it! So yeah I’m loving the creative flow I have found and a new love for another area of the industry.

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 love social media! Anyone that follows me will know I love an Instagram story! But I have told myself not to go on it. I had a few friends message and ask me if I was okay, I hadn’t been on Instagram recently. I said yes, I’m just social distancing myself social media as that can be toxic! And keep busy and creative, I haven’t really thought about going on, to be honest. 

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

I love the fans and supporters. There is so much going around on social media and online with performers doing concerts, workshops and live streams. So please do support them. Charities have been set up to fund performers who have been recently put out of work, so again do try and give them a little message. But I have loved seeing the support from fans and theatre-goers over the last few months. So, thank you to all of them for keeping us all going. 

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

Not that I can think of, but I’ll give you all this. Do the things you want to do, don’t try and please anyone else but yourself. It’s important to keep that brain and soul in a good place. I am always here on my social media to help and talk to people if they just want a friendly chat or some advice. Sometimes I think I should take my own advice at times! But don’t ever suffer in silence. 

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

Quiz nights are the best! My Mum, Dad and I do Sam Holmes Camp Quiz every Sunday evening at 8pm which we highly recommend. Full of fun, laughter and a good host who is slightly pleasing to the eye! My dad hosts a quiz for my works work colleagues on a Saturday evening every now and again and I’m connecting with people within our writing community and theatre industry all the time. I talk to my friends a lot and we video call and voice note, I love a voice note! It’s all about keep connected more than ever. 

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

Going to Yorica, the Ice Cream Shop in Soho! I love dairy-free ice cream and this shop is life! Also, looking forward to hugging my family and friends and giving them a big squeeze. Its been a long time.

We'd like to thank Reece 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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