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Friday, 3 July 2020

Spotlight On: Aimee Leigh



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 celebrate the work that people are still managing to generate during these difficult times. In this ‘Spotlight On’ series, we'll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share what they are up to during these challenging times and how you can be involved.

Let's stick together, share the love and get through this as a community!

Here we chatted with Aimee Leigh - a London based theatre choreographer.

Can you give us a little intro into who you are and what you do?

I am a theatre choreographer with a focus on musical theatre jazz. My work has varied from community dance projects to commercial theatre. Originally from Leicester but moved to London around nine years ago. Growing up, I very quickly fell in love with all things showbiz, show people especially, so moving to London became the dream - and here I am!

What are you up to during Covid19?

Each day my activities vary, mood dependant! Currently, I am working part-time in Sainsbury's - that has been a crazy journey! However, every Friday I host a live interview on Instagram where I chat to fellow creatives about their work and the industry - it's a great opportunity for people to get to know new faces and to learn about what they do, but also to take this time to get to know them as a person as well as a creative. People can send in questions during the live chat! I have really enjoyed hosting them.

How can people get involved?

Follow me on Instagram and tune into the live chat on a Friday at 12:00! I'll announce the day before who the guest will be.
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The Corona Diaries: Jack Harrison-Cooper



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!

Jack Harrison-Cooper is currently part of the original West End cast of The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre, he is in the ensemble and covers the role of Aaron. His other credits include Ensemble and cover George in The Wedding Singer (South Korea); Chistery and cover ‘Boq’ in Wicked (UK & Ireland Tour); Gremio’in Kiss Me, Kate (Théâtre Du Châtelet; Paris and Grand Théâtre; Luxembourg); Warner in Legally Blonde (Daegu Opera House; South Korea); cover Emmett in Legally Blonde (Leicester Curve) and Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre). 

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 had headed into work as normal and we had all warmed up and completed our lift call which we did before every show, running through every lift to double-check everyone is happy and safe. I knew something was up as every department started to filter onto the stage and this only really happens when there’s big news. Our wonderful producer came on stage also and shared that we were not going to be performing that evening, or for at least a little while. I felt like it was coming anyway as Broadway had shut down only a week before, however, nothing can prepare you for having to pack up your room and travel home. A few of us went to drown our sorrows in a local bar before heading home and not knowing if or when we would ever get the change to do the show again. 

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

During previews, I completed my L3 Personal Training course and so was fully qualified going into lockdown. I have been holding three classes a week on Instagram, and also now taking on private clients as the government advice has eased up. I am also now part of the magnetic studio's team which is a group of performers and creatives who have come together to provide training and classes so that people all over the world can have access to continue their passion during this time. 
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The Corona Diaries: Kelly Agbowu



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!

Kelly Agbowu is currently in the London cast of Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre. Her other credits include Nurse Norma/cover Becky in Waitress: The Musical (Adelphi); Lion in The Wizard of Oz (Birmingham Rep); swing in The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales); May in Baddies: The Musical (Unicorn); swing and cover Shenzi in The Lion King (UK/international tour); Sue, Caroller and soloist in Rent (Greenwich); Essie in Parade (Southwark Playhouse) and Townsperson in The Human Comedy (Young Vic).

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? 

For some strange reason, I got to the theatre really early and was just chilling in the dressing room. My other dressing room ladies also seemed to come in slightly earlier than usual and so we were all just discussing what had happened on Broadway and speculating what would happen with us when we were told that Warm-up was cancelled and to come on stage for a meeting. We knew in that second that was it. Once we were told we all gathered in the boys dressing room for a farewell drink and then I packed up some of my stuff from my room and went home. At that point like everyone, I didn’t know how long this would be for and so have left a lot of stuff at work including my contact lens! Hopefully I can get them at some point.

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

I have been learning sign language via an online course. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time and now I’ve got bags of free time so it’s been great. I just wanted to be able to have gained something out of this lockdown period so I didn’t feel like I had personally wasted it. I’ve also reconnected with my love of knitting.
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Thursday, 2 July 2020

Online Concert TURN UP!, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, to air next week!



Theatrical superstars Sharon D. Clarke, Noma Dumezweni, Clive Rowe, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Johnnie Fiore, Brenda Edwards, Zaris-Angel Hator, Aisha Jawando, Norm Lewis, Brittney Johnson, Brandi Chavonne Massey, and Joe Aaron Reid today join the lineup for Turn Up, a live stream supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The live stream will air this July in aid of The Bail Project, The Okra Project, The Black Curriculum and UK Black Pride.

The fundraising event will stream on Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July at 7.30pm prompt. The performance streamed on Sunday 12th July will be captioned.

Tickets cost £10 for one show, or you can watch all 3 nights for £25, all profit (after streaming costs and applicable taxes) will be split between four charities.

Under the creative direction of Nicole Raquel Dennis and Ryan Carter, TURN UP! The event will also include readings, poetry and speeches from prominent figures in the Black community. Led by musical direction of Sean Green and two associates – Ben Burrell and Ian Oakley.
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The Corona Diaries: Tom Hier



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!

Tom Hier is the Co-Director of Musical Theatre Virtual. His credits include Prince Charming/Policeman in CinderELLA: The Musical (Nuffield Southampton); Jack in The Dreamers (Abbey Road Studios); Matt in Bare: A Pop Opera (The Vaults, London); Miss Saigon (UK Tour); Chuck Cranston in Footloose (UK Tour) and 1st cover Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK tour).

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 my flat in London and at that point, my reaction was, "Wow, really? I can't believe that". It felt like early days in the whole pandemic then, and I guess in a selfish way, until then it seemed like an issue that I was (thankfully) disconnected from. Not that I wasn't already taking precautions, because as a household we were, but I guess it was the first moment where I realised "Hm, this is going to be worse than we thought".

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

I've actually been very productive. Aside from my acting career, I've always loved teaching. For the last three years in between and during jobs, I've been coaching prospective drama school students and aspiring actors; facilitating them on their path of becoming an actor. Thankfully, I was already doing a lot of this coaching online, so the shift to online format was a relatively smooth one. 

A couple of weeks into lockdown, things were getting busy, and I decided to merge companies with a great friend of mine, Ryan O'Gorman, to form 'Musical Theatre Virtual' (insta, facebook, twitter, website, check us out!). Since then it's been all-consuming, in a good way. I've learnt so much & it's given me a schedule to work around - something I'm really thankful. We've got a long way to go, but we want to become the ultimate facilitator for aspiring actors on their journeys, and I think we'll get there! 
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