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Thursday, 30 April 2020

The Corona Diaries: Alistair So


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!

*Some information mentioned in this article may be out of date due to the progress of the current situation. Please keep that in mind when reading* 

Alistair So is currently in the London cast of The Phantom of the Opera, in the ensemble and covering the role of Raoul. His other credits also include Newsvendor/Lawyer in the UK premiere of Amour (Charing Cross Theatre); Jimmy Winter in the UK premiere of Nice Work If You Can Get It (Upstairs at the Gatehouse); understudy Lun Tha in The King and I (London Palladium) and understudy Thuy in Miss Saigon (UK & Ireland 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 had just arrived in the auditorium at Her Majesty’s for our weekly notes session when our company manager made the announcement that we would be shut for at least a week, which of course was later extended for much longer.

I really cannot say that I was at all surprised: Broadway had closed the previous week and at the time, everywhere you went and every news channel you watched, you could not avoid hearing the almost minute-to-minute news of the virus. With every other venue and establishment for large public events gradually closing as the weeks went by, it seemed only natural that the theatres did too.

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

I have recently started studying Web design and development. I find it a fascinating combination of the technical: understanding the use of code and script to shape and put things together and of course create functionality; and the artistic: laying out a website and making it appealing. Our current circumstances will continue to push for more digitalisation across every industry and I thought it would be a good skill to have once I am proficient.

I have always been a bit of a nerd at heart, having spent part of last summer building a computer and then tweaking and upgrading it over the following months. I now use said computer (henceforth dubbed the Alintosh Pro after yours truly) to edit video, record music, do web programming and other bits and bobs. The Alintosh and I have certainly had our work cut out for us over the past few weeks with a number of online choir videos and things that I have been able to sing in and I am working on one now which I am helping to arrange. It is a ginormous and tricky task but it betters my skills and it feels great to work so collaboratively in spite of the distancing. 
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