‘A bit of extra kindness and solidarity really does make a massive difference’ – Life in Lockdown with Jeremy Batt

Headshot Credit – Lisa Gilby/ @freshestframes

Actor Jeremy Batt has starred in a number of productions including Kinky Boots, Chess, Follies,Candide, Top Hat, Oklahoma and Les Miserables. I was fortunate enough to talk to Jeremy about how he has been adjusting to this strange new normal way of life in lockdown and his hopes for the future of the theatre industry.

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

It has been an unusual time I have to say and I guess that I’ve been trying to make the best of the situation. I have my good days and I have my not so good days but that’s ok, it’s part of being human I think, all we can do is take each day as it comes. Of course, everyone will be dealing with this in a different way some struggling more than others but all we can do is be united in that it will get better. I have to say I really have noticed locally how just a bit of extra kindness and solidarity really does make a massive difference to people’s lives and that there is support there for people that need it within local communities, that makes me very happy to see. I want to also say what a truly remarkable job all our NHS staff and key workers have done for us they are all absolute heroes.

How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the lockdown?

Trying to sing as much as possible. I’ve probably driven my neighbours mad. My Wife and I have been cooking quite a lot getting some great recipes from Mindfulchef which has been really therapeutic and I’m feeling the healthiest I’ve ever felt. I’ve been loving the zoom meetings with my family playing different games and being able to socialise in that way, it has given us many hours of laughter and fun. I also have been taking some lovely walks around my area trying to take in as much nature as possible. It’s made me realise how beautiful the natural world really is!

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

Seeing my Family and hopefully getting to go and perform again. This time in Lockdown has really shown me how much I miss and need theatre in my life.

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

I think that it’s doing things like this and making sure that people in power know how important theatre and the arts is to so many of us and that the industry needs to be supported.

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

I think that it’s seeing how important and special it is to people and how it can really influence people in a positive way. It always brings me great happiness seeing a piece of theatre make an impact into someone’s life whoever they are.

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?

Obviously, we have had to adapt to the current climate and find new ways to connect with audiences and that has been so vital for so many people. I believe we will always need live theatre and to be able to go and experience it together however I do think that having theatre accessible online also gives people more ways to experience it so hopefully we can find a way to sustainably have both.

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

I do try and give myself a bit of a to do list but in a relaxed way with no time limit on doing something. I think it’s important to not put any added pressure on ones self.

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

I think one of the most important things we can all do during this difficult time is to be kind to yourself and not to put to much expectation on your shoulders. 

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

Yes definitely. I’m so happy that we are talking more about mental health recently but we can do so much more to help people. I think we need to get the message out there that even though it is hard sometimes to express how we feel (maybe we worry that there’s something wrong with us) that it’s ok to say I have a problem. I think if we can reassure people that it’s ok to feel like this and that nobody’s perfect, then we might start to see an even more empathetic and caring society. 

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

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