Message from our Patron, Connie Fisher

We’ll Sing Once More...

Since lockdown was imposed upon us, I have craved the escapism of theatre more than ever. I have missed seeing shows, both amateur and professional, more than I could ever imagine - and in times of need, like many, I look to theatre for comfort.  The other day I found myself pondering words I have spoken hundreds of times on stage... "When God shuts a door he open’s a window”. Ok, I never thought that I’d be drawing on the words of Maria Von Trapp during a global pandemic, but in times like this we need hope, and since the outbreak of Coronavirus the theatre community have found ways to metaphorically 'open a window'  - finding ways to adapt their craft, stay creative and remain connected.

With the timeline on theatres reopening still uncertain, we must continue to find ways to adapt in order to keep our spirits up, our theatre groups alive, and stay connected to our audience and to each other.

During lockdown I have had to adapt to teaching performance via Zoom, and though it’s not the same as a one-to-one performance session, it’s brightened my days being able to help young performers continue to achieve their theatre dreams. In fact I am delighted to share some good news regarding two of my students.

Firstly, Isabel John from Llangain near Carmarthen was delighted to win a NODA award for “Best Supporting Youth Performer - District 6” for her role as Vi in Footloose. I started working with Isabel last year in preparation for her drama school auditions, and during lockdown Isabel not only celebrated her NODA win, but was also thrilled to win a place at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts to study Musical Theatre.

In other good news, another NODA member Sean Lewis who I met whilst holding a Sound of Music theatre workshop in South Wales, has also won a place to study Musical Theatre at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Amateur theatre has allowed both of these talented performers to hone their stage craft skills, and I’m delighted that they are going on to pursue professional careers as performers.

As a Patron of NODA I am hugely proud that taking part in amateur theatre has such a positive influence on young talent. Huge congratulations again to all the NODA Award winners this year - I look forward to seeing you back on stage very soon!

The ultimate impact of Covid 19 on the Arts still remains to be seen, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we have some clarity on when it will be safe for performances to resume - for casts to reconnect and for live entertainment to lift our hearts again. There have been some incredible theatre performances streamed online during lockdown, and hopefully you’ve had the chance to enjoy them - I’ve certainly been enjoying singing along to some classic movie musicals on my sofa! However, nothing beats a live theatre experience does it? And I for one will be first in line at the Box Office when theatre doors reopen - queueing at a safe and social distance, of course.  In the meantime, I hope that you are finding ways to adapt to be able to continue your personal passion for performance whilst theatre doors remain closed.

I know over the past few months many of us have felt lost and lonely without theatre in our lives, but remember, we are all in this together, and forgive me for slightly plagiarising/ mashing up/ adapting The Sound of Music lyrics, but, collectively we must Climb every mountain 'til we find our dream and one day soon we’ll "sing once more".

Stay strong, stay safe, and keep singing,