What a brilliant afternoon in Coventry with the first Freelancers Make Theatre Work Picnic.

The weather held out and it was lovely meeting up with my work family again and to meet new people. It was amazing to have some of the Coventry Freelance community together and have different freelancers from across the city from a wide range of disciplines. I felt as though this was like a meet and greet on the first day of rehearsals.

For me personally I have been shielding for the past few months and this picnic was only the 4th time, I have left the house. When FMTW had the idea, I was very cautious about putting myself forward to be a ‘host’ for the Coventry picnic. I was even unsure if I wanted to attend but I’m so glad I did. I felt safe and everyone who attended the picnic followed the social distancing guidelines as well as respecting the people around them. There was such a positive energy from everyone it was incredible.  This also highlighted the importance of well-being during this overwhelmingly challenging time.  To have that space and time to chat is really beneficial. This was something which I was in real need of that in person interaction. I know others around me also felt the same.

I really enjoyed having that time to pause and to just simply have a catch up with fellow freelancers. To do this outside the Belgrade Theatre was extra special for me as this was the last place I worked before lockdown began. It was great to be back to be able to occupy the space around the theatre which would have normally been full of excited audience members getting ready to watch a matinee performance. Whilst I would be backstage doing last-minute checks to make sure everything was ready for the show. It was so heart-warming to see people together again even if it was socially distanced.

This was exactly what I needed and I know many others did to! The time to see my work friends and now new ones as well. It was a truly special afternoon and something which I know the Coventry freelance community would definitely want to do again.

I just want to thank everyone who came to the picnic x

-Arran Pallan

People sat outside for a picnic
A picnic in coventry