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10 Ways Self Isolation is Like a Night at the Theatre

It feels like most of the world is locked down or coming to a stop, and the rest of us are self-isolating or social distancing because we're useful, empathetic members of society. That is unless you're a key worker and have to battle on - if this is the case then know that you have nothing but our utmost respect, love and gratitude.

As a theatre company, we've found ourselves not only isolating, but also closed. Naturally, this got us thinking, are there any similarities between locking yourself away to avoid a pandemic and a night at the theatre...? We say yes, and here are the loosely linked 10 we came up with!

1 - In an ideal world, there's nobody else there.

While it is definitely true that an audience makes a show, it is also true that if you've ever had to spend all night sat behind the tall person, or behind the person who sways more often than a metronome (with none of the predictability), then other people get in the way. What's that lady behind you doing? Oh, she's rustling crisp packets constantly. What's this guy to your left up to? He's on his phone because he lost interest. The couple to your right? Constant talking and giggling. Sometimes, in spite of your infinite patience, you wish you could snap your fingers and magically have the whole show performed just for you. Not least because then you could move to the best seats in the house, guilt free, without having to pay £50+ for them. Well, the same is true of self-isolation! Okay, you don't have to pay to get the best seat in your house (or maybe you do, we aren't asking), but in an ideal world it involves you being separate from the rest of humanity for a little while. If you aren't enjoying being cut off from others, try and remember all this peace and quiet next time you're sat next to the loudest drunk in the auditorium.

Other people are annoying anyway, you've always said that.

2 - Watching artists doing their thing is what gets you through it.

You're sitting in the theatre, the lights go down, and for 2 hours or so you are transported to another world. This is only achievable because of the artistry of all the talented people involved. If there's a band, there's an unholy amount of talent you don't even get to see the faces of. Those lights you're being wowed with are the vision of another artist. The actors usually get all the credit, but even they are subject to all the vision and talent of the costume, design, direction and other teams behind them. Now whilst you sit at home and binge watch Netflix for the duration of your isolation (don't feel guilty, we are all doing it) think of the sheer amount of artistic input that has gone into this drama, animation, documentary, etc. Whatever it is, there are some seriously creative people that have helped put it together so you can pass the next few hours (or days) in ignorant bliss. God, I love Netflix.

3 - The struggle to get a drink is real.

Pubs and restaurants are closed, and you really don't want to be one of those selfish, awful people who are panic buying everything at the supermarket. No self-respecting person does. But admit it, you picked up an extra bottle of wine last time you were at the shops, didn't you? An extra 'just in case' of beer? Me too. If you've had to face the horror of queueing at your local supermarket, surrounded by people planning on building forts of loo roll or defending their house with pasta (what else can they be doing with 200 packs of each?), just so you can make sure you won't run out of alcohol over the next few weeks, then you have come close to experiencing the horror of trying to get an interval drink at a busy theatre.

4 - With each new scene, the drama intensifies.

A good piece of theatre should have you engaged at all times, constantly wondering and questioning where the narrative will go, what will happen in the next scene?

The same is true of the current global situation. Each passing day brings new updates and challenges, and while it can be massively depressing (McDonald's is closed, like things needed to get any worse), it's important you continue to engage and question the updates so that you're always on the ball and in the know. Don't believe everything you read online (especially from this particular blog post).

What do you mean number 4 seemed vague and a bit of a stretch? How dare you.