Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire #7 Fergal

In an earlier post I wrote rather unflatteringly about my dog, Fergal. I called him ‘Darling Mr Fuck Paws’ and ‘The Hairy Little Prick’ and so on. Well, this morning when I woke up the first thing I saw was two keen eyes blinking beneath a wagging tail and it occurred to me I ought to set the record straight. The lockdown has been incredibly hard but Fergal, bless him, has played a large part in making it bearable. I didn’t even want a dog. The idea struck me as absurd. Why on earth would Polly and I volunteer to take on ten to fifteen years worth of worry and responsibility?  I didn’t grow up with animals and I suspect Read More

Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire #6 Quiz

Polly and I cleverly chose to live in London which, having the highest cost of living in the country, has always provided a pressing need for cash. Like many creative types before the lockdown I made money and paid the bills thanks to a variety of jobs. I invigilated exams both at a school and for a computer qualification moderator. A job so breathlessly sexy and interesting I’d better not elaborate, lest, dear reader, you become fidgety and sticky. I did make a little money acting and doing stand up and so on but those meagre amounts rarely accounted to even a small chunk of my annual earnings. For a long time I did ‘promotion’ or ‘promo’ work but found Read More

Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire #5 Kick-a-ball!

Showing off on a page or stage for a living has been my ambition since the age of seventeen. Prior to that I didn’t have any clear aspirations beyond a vague sense that doing something I enjoyed for a job would be gratifying. I didn’t really enjoy school and the thought of waking up every morning for the rest of my life dreading the day ahead made me miserable. Imagine looking forward to Monday morning. Imagine getting a little excited for the end of a holiday. Naïve stuff, I’m aware but I was young and full of hope and sunshine. If you’d asked me at twelve years old what I liked doing the best, I’d have told you playing football. Read More

Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire #4 Lucky Tom

I’m a lucky man. Ask anyone. My wife certainly regards me as lucky and not just because I find myself married to her. I’m not talking about luck in the form of privilege either. This time round my inherent white-male-born-in-the-west privilege is merely providing a fluky underscore to the blog. I’m lucky in a general sort of a way. I frequently discover money. I win stuff without the knowledge I was even in a position to do so. I have the knack of stumbling into the right place at the right time. I am the very definition of a jammy bastard. I’ll give you a couple of examples. Firstly, upon finding myself in Manchester one night needing to get to Read More

Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire #3 Shopping

If listening to my friends and family unpick their misery is as much fun as I find it, I can’t imagine how much fun, dear reader, you’re going to have sampling my blog today! All I do on the phone (or over video chat) at the moment is wait patiently for the other person (or people) to stop talking so I can finally have my go at teasing out the specific lockdown niggle that’s irritating me most that day. “Blah blah blah…I’m missing pubs a lot today…blah blah blah…what about you Tom?”. Yes! My turn! “I think my current fug revolves around the total collapse of theatre and the inevitable cessation of my hopes and dreams. This has been great, Read More

Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire #2 Stadium Walk

Walking the dog has become something of a loved and loathed job during lockdown. I’m very aware that without the need to get him out and exercised every twenty-four hours I’d probably have spent many days festering indoors. So, you know, bless His Little Furry Heart etc. On the other hand, I’ve never been a fan of imperative and he simply has to go out the Panting Little Turd. We’ve ended up planning our day around getting him his walk and I resent this modicum of structure almost as much as I’m glad of it. I spend the morning begrudging our Darling Mr Fuck Paws and then spend the afternoon, post walk, grateful to Lord Fluffy Muzzle Face for having Read More

Lockdown Unlocked – A blog from a social distance by Thomas Willshire

Numerous friends and friends-of-friends have been nauseatingly productive during the lockdown. It’s awful. Scrolling through my social media right now is akin to attending the music halls of old. Tickets are free, the virtual playbill is crammed with resourceful comic turns and despite being a packed house there’s infinite standing room available. So here I am, sat front and centre, resenting and admiring the endeavours of my vaudevillian pals in equal measure. “Bravo!” I cry, “But no fucking encore I beg you…”. This blog is to be my reaction. Not a response and certainly not a review (I quite like having friends, after all). No, this is definitely a reaction. The herd are bleating and I’m joining the shrill chorus Read More

A Dry Spell by Thomas Willshire

A Dry Spell By Thomas Willshire Characters Andy : Early thirties. Pam : Early thirties. Trudy : Late twenties. Kieran : Mid twenties. Action The play begins in Pam and Andy’s bedroom but doesn’t stay there long. Each setting is described or at least implied by the characters. ACT 1 (The play opens with Pam in bed and Andy standing away from her. It is clear the action begins some time after the conversation began. Pam holds a cup of tea.) Andy : I was just thinking about our problem. Well, my problem. I don’t know really. There isn’t a way in which I can express it without hurting your feelings. Pam : It’s a bit late for that. Andy Read More