These recent times have been some of the hardest challenges we’ve faced and as a community, it hit us pretty hard. However during these difficult times, here at Pocket Size Theatre, we wanted to spread a little positivity and share some peoples experiences because we are all in this together. Each day we’ll be speaking to our friends in the industry to share their experiences with you all so take a read and see how people are getting through these hard times.
Let’s stick together, share the love and get through this as a community!
Cilla Silvia was most recently seen in The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her other credits include Viola in Twelfth Knight (Park Theatre of Stockholm); Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream (Polar Eclipse Theatre); Kushboo in Tiger Bay (Wales Millennium Centre); Cathy in The Last Five Years (TeaterStudio Lederman); Ensemble & cover Maria in West Side Story, Ensemble & Cover Mrs Lyons in Blood Brothers, Ensemble & Dance Captain in Sweeney Todd, Natalie in Hair (Stockholm City Theatre) and Understudy Scaramouche & Meat in We Will Rock You (2Entertain).
On Monday 16th March 2020, The Society of London Theatre announced the closure of all Theatres in London. This followed suit with regional venues. Where were you when you found out and what was your initial reaction?
My husband and I were actually midway through our honeymoon in Japan. We woke up in Hiroshima to find out London was going into lockdown and our flight had been cancelled. Our first reaction was honestly should we really go to London? Into the wildfire! However, decisions had to be made quickly so we packed up and got on the bullet train while booking a new flight. It took us 38 hours to get home so it was tough but definitely the right decision to do.
Can you tell us anything productive you’ve been doing?
I started to play the uke at the beginning of the year and now I play it every day. I am also halfway through writing my first play which I am very excited about. We have a very artsy flat so there is more or less always someone playing an instrument or singing. Me and my husband also do a “Musical theatre quiz” every day on my Instagram story where people are guessing a musical and I absolutely love this part of our daily routine.
Whenever you log onto social media there is so much negativity circulating. How have you been trying to keep a positive mental attitude during these times?
I do yoga, dance, training, listen to tones of podcasts, facetime and go out for long walks or runs, just to get those endorphins and the D-vitamin going. Social media is amazing in so many ways but can sometimes become toxic and that’s the moment when I have to take a step back and remind myself of everything I have in life. I feel a lot more fragile than normal because of the situation we are in so I try to not judge myself too hard if I am having a slow day.
With the Arts temporarily shut down, how would you advise people to continue to support the Arts industries?
Support the small businesses, share the creativity but most importantly keep on going! See that goal in front of you, things will change – just be patient.
Have you discovered anything that you’d like to recommend to our viewers?
There’s so much out there! I am so amazed at how generous our industry has been with all its talent. My top ones would be the National Theatre streamings, Joe Wick’s HIIT training, the Down Dog Yoga app, Marvel marathon on Disney , Killing Eve, Writer’s pod and all the Harry Potter books!
In these times of Social Distancing and isolation, how have you been trying to connect with Friends and Family? Any fun quizzes or games?!
Every Friday we order pizza and play the board game “Sherlock Holmes stories” together with a few friends that join us via zoom. It takes approximately 4h to try and solve the case and we´ve done this every week since lockdown. We´ve done a few zoom drinks and quizzes with friends and the ensemble of “The Boy in the Dress”. I also do daily facetime with my family who live abroad.
And finally, looking to the future, what are you most looking forward to when all of this is over?
To fly over and give my mum a hug and hang with my 7 nieces and nephews. Then I want to go back to work. Let me back on the stage again – I miss it dearly and I miss the excitement of the buzz of an audience.
We’d like to thank Cilla and all other performers who have given up their time to contribute to this feature.
Other useful links for anyone needing further help:
Acting For Others – Charity that provides financial & emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need.
Help Musicians – An independent Charity that helps all forms of Musicians through times of need.
Industry Minds – Mental Health Support for the creative arts.
Theatre Helpline – a free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.