We know at relatively close quarters what drama students are going through at the moment. The training you receive at drama school is of course important but equally vital is the launchpad drama school gives you into the business - your final 'reps' being performed in front of the casting directors and agents who are likely to be your key contacts in the outside world.
The lockdown has happened at a terrible time for them, just as the final reps were coming up. And with no significant change envisaged in the theatre lansdcape over the next 3 months it looks as though their main chance shop window is being tightly shut.
The schools have, in the main, taken classes online but any actor will tell you its just not the same online. The training is to physical and co-dependent on close work with colleagues. The courses are expensive and there's no sign of refunds being offered yet buy the schools for the loss of real teaching and the final shows - they have to .
And what will it be like when we do get back? I mean, can you really perform Romeo and Juliet standing 2m apart? If you were expecting to attend drama school from September is it really worthwhile attending until some form of normality is retrieved?
And (gasp) when you do launch into the outside world, what will the theatre landscape look like. It has been said that 70% theatres are in danger of closing. And what about audiences? I'm as keen a theatregoer as anyone but I ain't going anywhere near them until we have some form of legitimate and proven track and trace available (and preferably a vaccine). Theatre's need around 60% occupancy to function - how is that going to happen with separation?
Annette reminded me that the last show we saw was 'The Seven Rivers of the River Ota' and for the 7 (wonderful) hours of the show the guy behind us was coughing his guts up, actually making Annette's hair move with each hack. Had we known then what we know now...
I'm afraid it's never looked more bleak for the theatre world... but theatre types do have an annoying habit of bouncing back!