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Oliver Tompsett: 'I think a large percentage of people will never take theatre for granted again'

The West End's resident William Shakespeare chats about his upcoming West End concert

Oliver Tompsett
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

As part of our brand new Curtains For Theatre Without You campaign, we've been chatting to industry leaders about both their experiences during the pandemic and hopes for the future. Next up, the West End's resident Wil Shakespeare (from & Juliet). Tompsett will be appearing in a special concert on 18 December at the Hippodrome in the West End.




1) How does it feel to be able to once more go out in front of a live audience – is it something that feels more special than ever?

Definitely! I feel very lucky to be able to have the opportunity to perform when still so many can't or haven't been given the opportunity .

2) Can you talk through what you have in store this winter?

To enjoy Christmas as it should be at a nice steady pace relaxed with the ones you love . I am lucky that I have my wife and two kids to enjoy every moment without stepping out of our bubble . They are my world!

3) What do you think your biggest takeaway was from 2020?

To enjoy life and not take anything for granted . Us actors are normally stressing about where the next job will come from before the one we're in has even finished . This year I have learnt patience and to not be hard on myself . I try my best each day and that's enough .

4) The freelance artist community has taken a major hit over the past 10 months – how do you think freelance workers will be perceived going forward?

I think a large percentage of people will never take theatre for granted again. But, at the same time, sadly I fear some will still see us as not viable or an industry that we don't need – because of the treatment our sector has received from the government.

5) Do you have any dream roles you'd like to take on once theatres are able to reopen on a larger scale?

For now, I just want to get back to & Juliet and enjoy the best feel good show I've ever been part of but after that I look forward to whatever is thrown my way and as long as it's forward thinking and something different for me I'll be happy .

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