Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Corona Diaries: Samuel Wyn-Morris


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!

Samuel Wyn-Morris is making his West End debut in Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre, he plays Feuilly and covers Enjolras and Jean Valjean. His other credits include Welsh musical representative in 74th Anniversary Liberation of Den Bosch Concert; ensemble in The Divide by Alan Ayckbourn (Old Vic) and Choir Member in The Olivier Awards: 40th Anniversary Concert.

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 sat in my dressing room having a chat with the boys and wondering if the show would go ahead. It was around an hour after Johnson’s announcement so that was the main focus of the conversation, it did come as a shock. Theatres tend to live on through pretty much anything so we weren’t expecting it, once the news broke I think we all cracked open a drink and the cast met up for one last hurrah before the lockdown. It was bittersweet. 

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 think it’s tough, tough to keep positive. There are ways of doing it, a lot of it is looking in the right places for the good news. Generally, the UK is a pessimistic place, or at least that’s how I find it, but a little bit of measured optimism goes a long way. The thought that one day the band will play again and “One Day More” will be sung again is uplifting and it will come. 

With the Arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the Arts industries? 
Two things really, one is lobby the government as much as we can for funding to get through this period and the other is when it’s over make the point of getting to a theatre somewhere and take in the glory of it.

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

I’ve binged a lot of TV, from The Marvel Cinematic Universe to the US Office, I have watched it all. Currently battling through the Star Wars franchise (again). After Life on Netflix has to be my favourite so far though, if you can find the outtakes of Season Two on Twitter it’ll be the best 20 minutes of Lockdown so far. 

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

Quizzes, lots and lots of quizzes, we have a monthly Les Miz cast quiz and weekly quizzes with college friends. You can get pretty creative to be fair! 

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

Seeing my family and friends, I’m currently cooped up in my flat in London but I honestly can’t wait to see my mam, dad and grandparents again down in Llanelli, South Wales. Also, my friends and castmates, we all grew close at Les Miz as the first cast at The Sondheim and the laugh we had was brilliant. I miss them and I don’t think I’ll be able to hold it in when it comes to the first finale after Lockdown. It’ll be amazing. 

We'd like to thank Samuel 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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