‘Keep the joy of theatre alive in your hearts!’ – Life in Lockdown with Dawn Buckland

Actress Dawn Buckland has starred in numerous productions including Mamma Mia!, Billy Elliot, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,Nativity the musical, Oliver and Fame. She has also appeared on the screen in shows such as Victoria and films such as the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I was fortunate enough to get to talk to Dawn about how she has been handling life in lockdown and her hopes for the future of the arts industry.

First of all, how are you feeling about the whole virus and lockdown situation?

 It is such a weird old time, something I’d never thought I’d see in my lifetime and the amount of lives that have been lost is extremely sad. I have (like most ) had up and down days. The silver lining is that I have really enjoyed having time with my husband and Daughter, we get so little time together normally. The downside is not seeing the rest of family (mum, dad sister and nephew) and of course my friends.

How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the lockdown?

Mainly playing the role of teacher helping my teenage daughter with her school work. My husband and I have done loads of decorating in the home and completed all those little projects that we’ve been putting off. I’ve started running again which has been good for my head, heart and waistline and a large amount of baking (which has not been so good for my waistline.) I’m all about balance! I have drank soooo much Tea!!!!

What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over? 

When its safe to do so…….Hugging!! I miss hugging my mum and dad, my sister and my gorgeous nephew. 

Is there anything we, as theatre fans, can do to help the arts industry in these trying times? 

When this is all over and its safe to do so…COME BACK! In the meantime enjoy the shows that are being streamed on various platforms. Keep the joy of theatre alive in your hearts!

What is your favourite thing about the theatre industry as a whole? 

I’m so proud to be part of such a brilliant community. When there is a crisis theatre folk are so resourceful and keen to muck in. I have so many friends and colleagues that are doing free online classes, singing lesson and mentoring for students and pro’s alike. We have some great support groups helping each other to stay mentally positive. Theatre folk are turning their hand to working in supermarkets doing deliveries and stepping up in other workplaces.

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? 

No doubt, but there is nothing that can replace the feeling and atmosphere of a live performance. It is bound to have a knock on effect and I’m sure producers and theatres are scratching their heads as to how it will work. I think a lot will rely on how confident people will feel about coming back into a space with a large amount of visitors

How have you been managing day to day life in quarantine? Do you have a routine, or do you just go with the flow? 

In the week we seem have developed quite a nice routine up at 8.30am have breakfast, school work starts at 9.30am. We have a lovely dog called Buster who is a rather spirited Jack Russell so he has a lovely long way everyday and I always do at least a run or a stretch each day. Weekends have become a bit more of a free for all if we wake before 10am its a miracle!

Do you have any advice for people who are perhaps finding lockdown hard to manage? 

Personally I’d say “don’t fight it” its an unprecedented time for us all. I thinks its really easy to get angry and frustrated with what is going on I try to just go with it, not listen to too much news and social media it can drive you insane. Also its important to not feel like you should be overly achieving during this time. We can put far to much pressure on ourselves “Record that song” “write a play” “Lose weight””make a hundred hysterical videos”” Learn Origami…..because we think we should. (Phew I’m exhausted just typing it) Smile at people in the street and be kind to yourselves. Of course if you want to learn Origami go ahead!!

Do you think that it is important to talk about mental health in these challenging times? 

Extremely important. We all need to know that there is somebody on the end of a phone that we can call and have a rant/vent to and they will just listen, not judge and allow you the time get it off your chest.

I would like to thank Dawn for her time and her answers to this interview, as well as wish her the very best for the future. Stay safe x


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