Meet our panel: We have given our panellists pen-names but their biographies reflect their real career details…
Gary Abblett is a 38-year-old jobbing actor with experience at the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End and on tour
Hari Bairn is in his 20s and since graduating from drama school has worked in the West End, Off-West End and on a number of tours
Ros Clifford, 30, is currently a deputy stage manager She has worked extensively in London and regional theatre for nine years
Vivian Lee is 38 and has played leading roles at the National, the RSC and the Royal Court, alongside regular TV appearances
Adam Lovett is a 45-year-old actor who has appeared in film, BAFTA-winning TV, 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
Annie Walker is 25. Since graduating from drama school, Annie has worked predominantly in regional theatres and is a writer and street
Beryl Halloumi. Everything’s better with halloumi.
Adam I was thinking about this question, and I realised that pretty much everything that isn’t the immediate financial situation brings me hope. I enjoy the quiet time. The time to reflect. I’m doing yoga, meditation and writing. It’s only the money that worries me.
Peter As someone in his 70s, living alone, I’m touched by the numerous offers of help I’ve had. So far I haven’t needed it.
Gary The fact that kids aren’t in a high-risk category. If they were scared, it would be unbearable.
Ros I’m cheesy and have made a list of what I’m going to do first, when all this is over, and that’s given me a little boost.
Beryl The help folk are offering my mum is beautiful. A sense of community may be forged.
Annie I have hope in people. They’ve been a lot more open and kind since all this.
Jon There does seem to be an upsurge of generosity. Even slightly misguided generosity – I had an email from a colleague at the side hustle saying how nice it is that we weren’t sacked and why don’t we get a present for the supervisors for allowing us to work from home. I typed – and deleted – a lot of replies saying that well-paid people in full employment aren’t top of my list for charitable giving at the moment.
Albert People are so grateful for little things. Shopping delivery, an hour’s social interaction on Zoom or Hangout.
Hari Yeah, I’ve reconnected with a lot of people.
Charlotte The amount of good people that are actually out there. I’m starting to think they outweigh the idiots.
Annie They do! It’s a shame it’s crap like a pandemic that makes us see this and re-evaluate what’s important in our lives.
Beryl Maybe it will help us all see how we need each other.
Albert And how we can earn worth from fulfilling that need. But the minute the virus goes, it dies. That’s the real fairytale.
Charlotte The positivity I get from my friends and colleagues is giving me hope. Everyone I speak to is always saying “when” rather than “if”. Although we don’t know when the “when” is, it’s nice to chat about future projects.
Jon Perspective is helping me. Silly little story, but I broke a glass yesterday. It was one of two that my parents bought in the 1960s and I used all through my childhood. I kept them when mum sold her house, then yesterday I broke one. Normally that kind of thing would really upset me, but yesterday I was like: “Who cares?”
Adam I have moments like that too. A lot of things I worried about two months ago – hilariously – do not affect me any more.
Hari The headspace that has opened up from not having a constant low-level worry about my career is helpful.
Jon One million people watched One Man, Two Guvnors [streamed on YouTube from April 2-9]. That’s a hopeful thing. It suggests people still want and need what we do.
Ros Including me!
Adam It was amazing to watch it and feel like so many others were watching as well.
Beryl A real show of how we need to come together and share experiences.
Albert The figures for several years have shown that more theatre tickets are bought in the UK for theatre, especially the West End, than are sold by Premier League clubs during the season.
Gary TV is where the money is in football – there are billions of viewers worldwide.
Charlotte I did see an interview yesterday with a football manager who was asked if football clubs should have a bailout from the government. He said absolutely not. That gave me hope that there are some good people out there with lots of money.
Adam The NT Live broadcasts are ace.
Vivien I had One Man, Two Guvnors on last night but I just don’t have the concentration at the moment. So it ended up being a bit distressing as I knew in other circumstances I’d have really enjoyed it. It’s my lack of concentration that is ruining everything.
Beryl I hear you. I can’t read a book.
Ros I’m struggling with my concentration too. But my other half didn’t see One Man, Two Guvnors at the theatre so watching it with him was quite nice.
Adam I got together with some New York writer friends on Zoom last Saturday and we read the first two radio scripts of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That gave me a ton of hope.
Peter I’m getting up very late. Mind you, I always did if I wasn’t working.
Jon A nice long lie in is always a source of hope. Any others?
Albert I hope there will be rainbows.
Vivien I can hear birds in central London where before there was traffic.
Ros Hearing children playing.
Peter And seeing the stars better.
Albert Saying hello to strangers as we pass them in the street.
Adam Global emissions have come well under every climate-change target. This year will see a radical reduction in all global-warming gases. That’s got to be hopeful, even if it is temporary.
Annie Yes, that’s been a massive takeaway.
Ros And maybe the most hopeful thing of all – new-found respect for those who are working in sectors that have previously been taken for granted.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org