Thursday, 16 July 2020

The Corona Diaries: Craig Mather



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!

Craig Mather was most recently seen in Les Miserables: The All-Star Concert at the Gielgud Theatre. His other credits include Edward in Pieces of String (Mercury Theatre); Mole in The Wind in the Willows (London Palladium); Marius in Les Miserables (Queen's Theatre); Antony in Sweeney Todd (Harrington’s Pie Shop/West End); Stuart in Tonight's The Night (UK Tour); Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk (Clywd Theatr Cymru); Melchior in Spring Awakening (English Theatre Frankfurt); Simon in Concrete Jungle (The Other Palace) and A Celebration of Lionel Bart (Royal Festival Hall). 

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 my little one and I think we had just been for our weekly swimming session at the local leisure centre. Little did we know it would be our last for a while! I couldn’t believe the news, I knew it was coming as Broadway had closed the week before. I suddenly thought of all my friends in this industry that this would really hit hard and obviously, as it's close to me, people with kids and families to pay for. 

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

Keeping fit has been a huge part of keeping sane during this time, been keeping on top of that. Also, I've been doing lots of writing for the first time in years, I've just not had the time to do it. I'm actually writing with Gus Gowland, the writer of Pieces of String. And we have found a great working relationship and something we both found quite exciting. We are doing a kind of concept album of original Pop songs around the subject of someone who suffers from mental health. I've found it very therapeutic. Watch this space! I've also ran a weekly singalong session on zoom with my wife Rosie Mather, which was in association with The Mercury Theatre Colchester online program. Which I found super fun and had great feedback from all. 

There’s so much important information and messages being spread on social media but sometimes it can be quite mentally draining and consume a lot of your time, how have you been looking after your mental state whilst using these platforms? 

I try not to go on these sites too much. I'm useless on them anyway. And to be super honest, I have no time for it as we have a young family, the little one takes up A LOT OF TIME! 

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

Everybody needs the arts whether you think you do or not; Netflix, theatre, music you name it, It’s THE ARTS! I'd advise you to support your local theatre, Donate to charities and share, like and remain positive about the industry we all love.

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

My wife and I have been watching "This is Us” on Amazon Prime, it is one of the best TV shows I've ever seen.

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've been trying to contact as many people as I can every week. Even a text to check-in. I've also been ringing people I know live on their own as I can’t even imagine what its been like isolating on your own.

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

I can’t wait to socialise with friends and family I haven’t seen in months, get back to work as soon as possible and watch our industry get back to its best!

We'd like to thank Craig 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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