27 March 2020

A Message from Harry Clayton-Wright

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all healthy, staying home, practicing social distancing, keeping connected and staying safe. Last night would have been the final night of the run of my show Sex Education at Shoreditch Town Hall and so I wanted to hop on here and say a massive thank you to so many of you who were so excited for the run of the show. It meant so much to feel that support. I also have a huge amount of gratitude to those who were in a position to donate the cost of their ticket to Shoreditch Town Hall (an independent charity that receives no regular funding). I would also like to say unprompted and on record, while I’ve taken over their blog and they have to publish my words teehee, that STH have been so brilliant during this time and it has meant so much. There are so many incredible people working at STH, and as an organisation they are honouring fee payments to artists in their cultural programme whose shows are cancelled, which has been such a relief and so appreciated.

It feels the world has moved so quickly over the last few weeks and I wanted to use this platform to check in and send my love to you all. To those working through this to keep us all healthy, safe and the country going, there has never been more admiration, love and respect from us all and I hope you can feel that. An endless thank you to NHS workers for all that you are doing through this difficult time.

As we live through this unprecedented point in our life, we have to be caring for and checking in with each other more than ever. Social distancing and self-isolating may mean a lack of physical contact with those we love and at times create feelings of loneliness, but please know, you are never alone. Reach out and talk, it couldn’t be more important. FaceTime, Houseparty, Zoom, we have so many ways to connect with each other right now. Time your meals and have dinner together, meet up for a coffee on Skype. I think the last time I spoke to this many people on the phone/online was high school and through MSN Messenger and a landline. Technological advances can keep us closer than ever and while it may feel at some points lacking, remember what we’re doing is for the greater good and saving lives. We will reunite to hug, dance, kiss, make love and share joy/art when we are through this once more. It may even feel different and have a greater meaning. We are all in this together and at times of difficulty, I always remember to tell myself: People can’t help you if they don’t know what you’re going through. Please speak up and speak out. Now more than ever, we are here for you.

As much as I love to perform and was incredibly excited about my run of shows at STH, it would have been my longest solo run in London to date, I am also a secret introvert and so have found that the opportunity to spend this much time at home to be quite peaceful. Tidying my room (finally), long luxurious baths, long sleeps, watching lots of movies I haven’t seen before. At the start of the year and inspired by a friend, I set myself the year long task to watch 100 films that I hadn’t seen before. Now that is looking like it will be completed much quicker than expected. Can wholly recommend this exercise as a lot of fun and the BFI Player as a place for some wonderful films. My brain is often quite busy so I’m also going to finish some books I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. Reading is not something I often allow the time and space for in my life for, which feels shameful to admit it but I’m being honest at the very least. So this time is going to be put to great use with me wanting to get back on top of that hobby with such a clear window and my room now tidy. Elton John’s autobiography is lined up and raring to go, check my Twitter for my thoughts in a week or so. Finally, logging off social media and restricting my usage has been incredibly important for me right now. Early on, I found the constant source of rolling news to be overwhelming and not conducive to managing my anxiety, so that is something I can heartily recommend. Wind down away from your phone and check in with what’s going on when you’re ready.

Hopefully we will try our best to reschedule the show. We’ll do our best and watch this space.

Until that point, stay safe, much love to you all and again a huge thanks from me.

Harry xx

Lead image credit: Rowan Briscoe

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