Denise Welch admits heartbreak ‘one of the things I’ve cried most about’

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Denise described the closures as “devastating” for the theatrical world. And she added that curbs on outreach programmes run by theatres – for people who have suffered abuse or have mental health issues – had caused havoc. Denise also pointed to the role drama on TV and online has played in helping people cope mentally with the lockdown. She said: “It’s been devastating.”

“It’s probably one of the things I’ve cried about most during lockdown. The sadness of the demise of the theatre industry.

“It is going to be the longest before we can go back to normal work, because of the very nature of our industry.”

She said mental health is a concern for many, adding: “The thing about theatres in the regions, it’s not just the money raised by bums on seats it’s about their outreach programmes.

“A lot of people will be encouraged to join a theatre outreach programme, not because they want to be on the stage, but because through drama they can talk about their lived experiences of abuse, of cruelty, of all these different things that are going on in their lives.

“Closing down theatres will impact on communities, not just those who go to see shows. I think that is very worrying.”

Highlighting the role of TV, Denise said: “What has kept you going through lockdown has been drama on television.

“The National Theatre said if everyone who had downloaded their shows over lockdown had gone to the National Theatre they’d have filled every seat every night for 11 years.”

Denise has become an ambassador for mental health charity SANE. Her book The Unwelcome Visitor: Depression And How I Survive It, tells her story.

On Saturday a programme of aerial magic and circus thrills will be performed over Zoom by a group of young acrobats and performers. 

Garden Cabaret offers a chance to enjoy all the fun of the big top.

Tickets from thefallofthehouse/398522. 

Pay what you can afford. 

A portion of profits will go to The Artists Benevolent Fund.

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