Actor Richard Meek has starred in a number of productions including The Rocky Horror Show and Annie. In these challenging times, I was lucky enough to talk to Richard all about how he is handling this strange new way of life and his hopes for the future of the theatre industry.
First of all, how are you feeling about the whole situation?
It has certainly been a worrying time of adjustment. My main concern really is the well being of everybody.
How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the lockdown?
I’ve taken the approach to make the most of this situation. At the beginning of lockdown, I hired a car and drove to Norfolk to collect my special needs sister and bring her home with myself and my partner. I felt that it was a safer environment for her and my parents who live nearby if I have her with me. So these last 3/4 weeks of lockdown has been spent cooking, gardening, walking, baking, hair dying, the lot. I am often away so I am loving being at home
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?
Firstly, seeing my parents! Then going to Hunstanton to see the sea then see my godchildren and have allll my friends over.
Is there anything we, as theatre fans, can do to help the arts industry in these trying times?
This period has left our industry decimated. People out of work, some shows may not go ahead some may not continue and it is a real worry. All I can hope for is that people will come back ten fold to support us in our endeavors.
What is your favourite thing about the theatre industry as a whole?
The sense of family that you get from the shows you have been in which is so important at this time.
With the theatres closed and so much being moved online, do you think that we are seeing a big change in how the industry works?
It is an interesting one. I think that this has been a great time to explore allowing people to access theatre from their homes. But ultimately it is about the connection of being in the room.
How have you been managing day to day life in quarantine? Do you have a routine, or do you just go with the flow?
Wake up around 7.30
Coffee outside in the garden
Long walk with sister
Netflix… And repeat
Do you have any advice for people who are perhaps finding lockdown hard to manage?
Everyone has a different situation. For myself, I have two other people with me, a dog and a garden so I am very lucky. But sometimes you need time to yourself, others are alone, so at times you need company which is where houseparty and zoom comes in handy to connect us. I am quite a socially anxious person so I actually quite enjoy hiding away but I appreciate that I may not feel that way as much if I was entirely alone.
Do you think that it is important to talk about mental health in these challenging times?
Very much so. As I said in my previous answer, I get very anxious about talking to people, and a lot of my ‘blue’ days are centered around my body image issues. It is important to talk about how you are feeling and allow others to connect with you to help you if you can. I find reading at bedtime has helped me to settle my mind and ease me into sleep more.
I would like to thank Richard for his time and his answers to this interview and wish him the very best for the future. Stay safe x