Saturday, 10 July 2021

COMING HOME: Jonathan Andrew Hume, about to return to his roles in Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

We were lucky enough to grab some time out of Jonathan Andrew Hume's schedule, being a new Dad we almost felt bad for taking him away from his new little baby boy! He has been playing Kevin J, Ali and others in the West End production of Come From Away. Before the theatres closed, he has just begun his second contract with the show, having appeared in the original West End company. 

For his roles in Come From Away, he was nominated for ‘Best Male Actor in a Musical’ at the Black British Theatre Awards which comes as no surprise because he is one talented gentleman. His other roles include Simba in the Lion King both in the West End and in Singapore, featured in the cast of Alice in Wonderland at the Rose Theatre in Kingston and was a soloist in Bernstein’s Mass at the Royal Festival Hall. 

Come From Away really is the one show everyone should see once it reopens, whether you’ve seen it or not! The message of the show is filled with positivity and with everything that's been going on in the world over the past year, it's just what we need. And Jonathan agrees: “The show's message of kindness, humanity, community and generosity of spirit, is needed more than ever. After the turmoil of the pandemic, Come From Away really is the show we need right now.” 

The pandemic has been a tough time for us all but Jonathan looks at it with a positive attitude. His son was born just before the first lockdown started, so he has had the opportunity to focus on his new addition to the family and relish the time he has spent getting to know his newly born baby boy. “My 24/7 focus was him, I’ve been able to bond and make precious memories. As terrible as this pandemic has been, my personal silver lining has been solidifying my role as a Dad.” And boy has that been a full-time job, we asked him if he’d picked up any new hobbies over the pandemic, his response being “I haven't had the time! My time has been filled with dirty nappies, sleep deprivation, nursery rhymes, lots of baby talk!”. 

As the industry comes back, Jonathan chats to us about what we can all take from the past year and what changes we can make to ensure this industry changes for the better. “I think it's all about education, but also a desire to be educated. Every person from every background experiences life in different ways, with a different bias. Learning about and respecting the history of different cultures; updating conscious and unconscious attitudes to racism, sexism and other prejudice and misbehaviour, will go a long way to evolve into a more harmonious industry.” 

Come From Away has confirmed its reopening date of the 22nd July 2021. Whilst we have a little bit of a wait for the show to come back, Jonathan tells us how pacing ourselves is going to be one of the most important things upon returning, “Let's be honest, it's been over a year since most of us have sung a note, or stretched the body anywhere close to what we're used to on stage. My mantra going forward is to pace myself, as I'd hate to return at 200%, only to promptly pull a muscle or need vocal rest as a result.” 

Come From Away will definitely be at the top of our list of shows we have to see when it reopens. The message it portrays is more important than ever and we can’t even imagine what the reaction will be to that opening number on the first night back. 

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