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Wednesday, 15 July 2020

The Corona Diaries: Ashley Zhangazha

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!

Ashley Zhangazha was most recently seen playing Ike Turner in the West End production of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. His other credits include Biff in Death of a Salesman, Laertes in Hamlet, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (Royal Exchange); the title role in Pericles, Legendre in Danton's Death (National Theatre); Harcourt in The Country Wife (Chichester Festival Theatre); Lars Kosh in Terror (Lyric Hammersmith); Richard in The Lottery of Love (Orange Tree); Jamie in Human Animals, Kunle in Belong, Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court); Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, Ross in Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible); Arthur in Ah Wilderness (Young Vic); Cory in Fences (Theatre Royal Bath, Duchess Theatre); Aumerle in Richard II, King Lear (Domar Warehouse); Oliver (London Palladium) and Hey Mr Producer (Lyceum 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? 

Two days before, on the 14th March, I finished my run in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and on the evening of the 16th I was due to go to the theatre to see my girlfriend in a play. I feared the closure was coming as Broadway had recently shut down and there was quite a bit of speculation that similar would follow here but it was still surreal when the reality of the situation struck. It was absolutely necessary for it to happen but I was sad and disappointed for all those artists in our industry whose livelihoods were taken from them in an instant.

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

The pace of normal life is so often relentless, particularly in this industry, so I’ve tried to embrace this period of pause as best I can while also keeping active when it’s felt right to do so. I’ve been reading a lot, running, exercising, and pushing for change.
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