The Eleventh Doctor actor, Matt Smith has reflected on how the UK Government can help keep the creative industries going during the lockdown imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic. His advice? Financial investment in an underappreciated section of society.
Smith is starring in the play, Lungs alongside his The Crown co-star, Claire Foy, albeit under social distancing rules. Matt suggests:
“A significant amount of money would be a start. It’s what they’ve done in Germany, and we could do a lot to look to the Germans, particularly in the way they have supported the arts.”
The Government, of course, has limited funds and is trying to support the NHS and businesses through the furlough scheme; however, most of us are relying on creative industries to not lose our minds entirely during lockdown, so it’s vital we don’t emerge from this outbreak without artistic pursuits.
“It’s important to remind people what’s special about theatre. We learn about ourselves by watching plays, we learn about our society. You watch something and it changes you. You walk out and you think about it for days, weeks, years.”
While Foy has spent lockdown enjoying life drawing, Matt says he’s been reading a lot, then goes on:
“Obviously there’s things you miss. I’m looking forward to the pubs opening this week, and the cinemas. But I try to keep my head in creative avenues and explore other things, whether that be reading or learning things outside the box.”
Smith and Foy are performing Lungs, a two-hander first staged last year at the Old Vic in London, but now being streamed online to raise funds for the theatre.
Each performance is available for up to 1,000 paying participants online. Tickets range from £10 to £65 but all will have the same view, leaving people to decide how much they are prepared to pay to support the pursuit. Buy your tickets here now.