The Hearth Centre - ‘Tales of Lockdown’ - July 2020

Wow, cor blimey, what a difficult, unprecedented year 2020 became. Everyone struggled to find a way to get through it. I felt the first Lockdown became a time for reflection, to be grateful for all the small things around me. I’m very lucky to have had my family and my garden to keep me company and give me a focus. That said, work completely dried up and fizzled away, so I was extremely grateful when Polly Wright from The Hearth Centre, asked me to write and perform a filmed piece for her new project, ‘Tales of Lockdown’.

Now I don’t do anything by halves, I was desperate to do something… anything creative. So instead of a Zoom recording of my piece as Polly suggested, I decided to write, perform, film and edit a short film. And not only that, I decided to set my monologue in a car whilst driving!

Polly asked me to explore the effects of anxiety during Lockdown and compare it to anxiety felt in the Second World War. A member of my family suffers with health anxiety and it was interesting and heart-breaking to see how Covid made it swell out of control. Covid gave her a reason, a validation to constantly hand sanitise and to be forever fearful, but it also gave her a place of safety and security. Watching someone suffer from health anxiety, you see a real rollercoaster of emotions. With her permission I explored this in my monologue and focused on a woman called Karen who’d left the safety of her home to go shopping. As I couldn’t have a crew (due to being in the middle of a pandemic) I enlisted my husband, Sean Connolly and his trusty phone, to film me driving round the streets of Birmingham on one of the hottest days of the summer.

Once filmed I set to the task of editing it. Throughout the years. I’ve dabbled with editing, doing mine and other actors showreels etc, but it’s a different matter editing a short film. Once I had got the hang of it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and really hope I managed to create a nice thought-provoking piece, which I named ‘The Naughty Cupboard’. The film is on The Hearth Centre’s Blog and here on my Showreels page.

We also held a fantastic presentation Zoom performance of it in October 2020, where I had the chance to talk about the film and also listen to several poems which explored anxiety and depression during a Lockdown.

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