Meet our panel: We have given our panellists pen-names but their biographies reflect their real career details…
Adam Lovett is a 45-year-old actor who has appeared in film, TV, and in theatre at the RSC, National Theatre, and in the West End
Charlotte Osmand is in her 30s and has worked as a stage manager on and off the book in venues across the UK, as well as in event management
Albert Parker is 60 and has appeared as a regular in soaps, two BAFTA-winning sitcoms, theatre and TV
Beryl Phoenix is in her 40s. She has played leading roles at the RSC, worked on new plays, and toured both nationally and internationally
Peter Quince is a 72-year-old actor working in theatre and television
Jenny Talbot, 39, has nearly 20 years of experience in West End and touring musical theatre with forays into TV, film and plays
Charlotte Go back to work, I hope.
Beryl Mop up the fallout from this...
Adam In normal times, you’d have an answer, you’d have plans, projects...
Peter In a funny way, as an actor I’m very relaxed. I’m not wondering if my agent is going to ring, why I didn’t get that last job, whether I can arrange that self-tape. The phone isn’t ringing, but it isn’t for anyone else either.
Jenny Yes, there’s not that fear of missing out, or ‘why aren’t I up for that?’ happening at the moment.
Beryl Work has become less of a focus for me, now I am worrying about the people I love who are really struggling.
Charlotte I agree Beryl. I’m really missing my family and I am not sure when I’ll next be able to see them. I haven’t seen them since September so I’m starting to feel it.
Beryl I can’t see beyond people getting better at the moment. Everything’s gone into a big worry pit and having to stay away means I can’t help... So, theatre? Meh...
Peter As someone over 70, I have to face the fact that I’ll be expected to put up with social distancing for quite a while yet.
Charlotte The country will start up again in some form or another but, if our industry doesn’t, then I’m going to have to start looking for another job (along with everyone else).
Adam There is talk of the show I was doing before this being revived.
Jenny I hope it’s not going to be homeschooling for the rest of the year.
Albert It’s going to be online heaven for the rest of the year. And most television drama will consist of two people shouting at each other in a field being filmed by a person in the next field.
Peter I see they have started filming Neighbours again, but with special rules.
Jenny Australia has had very few virus cases, though. I think they will be up and running again soon. Other countries are going to be back on their feet before us and then there will be serious questions asked about our leadership and government.
Albert Theatre is not going to come back until the social distancing rules are lifted and a vaccine is available.
Jon There’s a sense of preparing for a future that’s an unspecified distance away, isn’t there?
Charlotte A lot of big concerts are being organised for September – I’m not sure if that’s too hopeful.
Albert One keeps hearing people talking about when we get things back up and running. I think the word “back” is just not what it’s about. We are on our way to a new place.
Adam We are all still living, understandably, in the fantasy that we have just pushed the pause button and that at some future date we will press play and things will continue again.
Jenny How many people will want to come to theatres anyway? It’s going to have to be changed – audiences will have to sit apart, I expect, which will mean less revenue.
Peter It’s difficult for theatres to embrace social distancing when its very essence is the opposite.
Beryl I can’t imagine a full theatre...
Albert I spoke to a drama graduate yesterday. He was thinking of signing with a pretty bad agent. It was good to be able to say: “If ever there was a time you don’t need an agent...” Just wait and see what develops.
Jenny I hope theatre landlords, who make the most money from theatres, will agree to take the cut in income rather than theatre staff, crew and actors. I also wonder if companies will have to ask their members to have an immunology test.
Peter I’ve heard of one West End producer talking of hand gel at the door, but will the audiences come?
Beryl I don’t want to go.
Peter If it goes into 2021, there will be a lot of bankruptcies – even among major players.
Charlotte The theatre I was working in before lockdown had hand-gel stations all around the building and at each entrance to the theatre. Perhaps this will become the norm.
Jon But gel or whatever doesn’t solve the problem of an asymptomatic person sitting there spraying out laughter or sneezing.
Albert Hand gel is going to be no use at all. That’s an idea worthy of Matt Hancock.
Jenny I also think audiences should wear masks.
Adam Great for comedies...
Albert Love it. The Oresteia hasn’t been done for ages – and you could put a dep on without anyone noticing.
Jon On a personal level, is anybody getting on with all the basket weaving and learning the oboe we’re supposed to be doing?
Jenny All I’m doing, apart from homeschooling and becoming an expert on birdwatching, is jigsaws. Although something I’m quite proud of is that my very poor home cooking skills are “slightly” improving...
Jon I had dreams of relearning the piano so I could come back as a fully fledged actor-musician. But I haven’t touched my keyboard once.
Charlotte If we want the industry to start up again, its going to have to be a mix of these little things: hand gel, masks and hoping that can work.
Jenny I wonder what will happen to theatre bars?
Charlotte Pre-order your drinks and collect them before the show?
Albert Hopefully they’ll lower their prices in order to get people in.
Jenny That should happen with or without coronavirus. It’s become such an elite thing.
Jon If this puts an end to the upward spiral of ticket prices, that would be a good thing. It comes back to what Albert said about not going back. There are things that weren’t questioned enough before, which can be restarted from scratch.
Jon Dryden Taylor is an actor, writer and editor of The Green Room. If you work in theatre and would like to join in the conversation, email email@example.com