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How Are We Coping With Self Isolation: Insight From Around the Country And The World With Stephen Carlile

How Are We Coping With Self Isolation: Insight From Around the Country And The World With Stephen Carlile

Stephen Carlile trained at Guildford School Of Acting. Up until COVID – 19 he was playing Scar in The Lion King on Broadway for the 20th anniversary.

Stephen Carlile

Previously, he starred as Nick (Father Christmas) in Eoin Colfer’s Noël at The National Opera House in Ireland. The Go Between in the West End, playing Lord Trimingham, Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in the 360 production of Peter Pan touring the United States, Scar in the original  UK touring production of The Lion King, The Go Between (West Yorkshire Playhouse)  Mark Darcy in a studio/workshop production of the new musical Bridget Jones’s Diary, Magaldi in the European tour of Evita, Orsino in Twelfth Night for Creation Theatre Company and was the lead Tenor singing ‘Springtime for Hitler’ in the original London cast of The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

He sang a glorious Freddy Eynsford-Hill in the Cameron Mackintosh /National Theatre’s production of My Fair Lady, Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest (Jermyn Street), Gentleman Starkey in Peter Pan (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Todd in Don Giovanni (New Vic Theatre), Dickie in Next Door’s Baby (Orange Tree, Richmond), Ned Scott in Park Avenue (Lilian Bayliss Theatre), Tin Man in Wizard of Oz (New Vic Theatre), Harold Stinker Pinker in By Jeeves (Eastbourne/Tour), Frederick in Pirates of Penzance (Orange Tree, Richmond), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Harry Lytton in Over My Shoulder (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford/tour) and Snoopy in Snoopy! The Musical (Jermyn Street Theatre), 

Stephen Carlile

Stephen was Young English Lord in Brideshead Revisited for Miramax Pictures.

He has recorded many of the shows he was in plus The Postman and the Poet (Jay Records), Next Door’s Baby and Silk (Judd Music Ltd), Boscobel and Night in the Ukraine (BBC Radio 4), Doctor Who (BBC/Big Finish), Songs From Jesus Christ Superstar (Jay Records), Vanity Fair and Over My Shoulder (TER Records).               

Stephen Carlile in Peter Pan Photo by Jeremy Daniels

As Co-Director of Morning Vicar Productions, Stephen produced the West End revival of Snoopy the Musical at the New Players Theatre. 

Photo by Kenny Smith

T2C: How are you dealing with home containment?

Stephen Carlile: I know that for some people this period of time has brought grief, pain and fear. I feel very lucky that, so far at least, I have been able to enjoy time safe at home with my wife and dog.

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Stephen, wife Emily and doggie Sugar

T2C: What would you say is the difference of being in self lockdown between NYC and London? 

Stephen Carlile: I’m a British actor living in New York City. I live in a high-rise apartment building in Hell’s Kitchen. My neighbourhood in London is much less densely populated – the housing is mainly Victorian terraces.Where I am in Manhattan there are thousands of us, piled on top of one another in just one block. That might make you think that I’d rather be in London. But, strange though it may seem in a time of social distancing, I have loved the feeling of community that has come from being close to so many of my neighbours. When we clap at 7pm, I am buoyed by the sound of a crowd of people whooping, cheering and banging frying pans for our heroic essential workers.

My painting wall for this time (I did all that isn’t framed!)

T2C: What have you been able to accomplish in this time?

Stephen Carlile: I have really valued having the time to stay creative and work on new skills. I’ve picked up a paintbrush and taken an online painting course. I just never used to allow myself the time to do things like that before.

Quarantine reading

T2C: What has this time stopped you from accomplishing?

Stephen Carlile: A simple answer to this question is – my driver’s license. I have one in the UK, and I had just taken my theory test for my NY license when lockdown happened. This is one of my biggest regrets. I wish I had done it sooner! I dream of being able to go for a drive and feel that freedom.

T2C: What kind of emotions does this time bringing out of you?

Stephen Carlile: Like so many of us I am truly riding the “Corona-Coaster”. I can feel productive and energised one moment and then I get a jolt reminding me how much devastation and pain there is, just outside my window really. It can be hard to reconcile the small thing you are focusing on in your apartment – baking bread for example – with suddenly hearing a snapshot of tragedy on the news. I’ve found that devoting some time each day to think about those who are grieving has really helped. Trying to ignore the reality of the situation and “stay positive” all the time didn’t feel truthful to me.

T2C: If you were to equate this time to a song or song cycle what would it be? 

Stephen Carlile: After every 7pm “clap” two of our neighbors, who live in the apartment building opposite us, play a song on their saxophone and trumpet. One night, when the sun was low in the sky, they played Louis’ Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. I’ll never forget it. I think this time has brought everything into focus – small acts of kindness and generosity seem even more beautiful now. It really is a wonderful world and I hope we never take it for granted again.

My wife Emily and Sugar

T2C: What message would you like to give the world right now?

Stephen Carlile: That crisis brings out kindness. We are seeing it everywhere, right? Teenagers delivering food to the elderly, our neighbour who leaves writes a new, hopeful quote on a board outside her door for us to see everyday. It’s so wonderful to be reminded that as a species we are, in general, programmed to help each other.The anthropologist Margaret Mead said that she considered the first sign of civilization in our culture to be, not tools or religious artefacts, but that 15,000 years ago a fractured femur bone was found at an archaeological site – and that fracture had healed. Animals who break their leg, die. A femur bone can take 6 weeks to heal. This means that someone cared for another person – brought them food and water and kept them safe for six weeks. Looking after another person instead of just focusing on your own survival – that’s what Margaret Mead thought civilization was. And we are seeing evidence of that humanity every day right now.

Stephen Carlile Photo by Kenny Smith

T2C: What is the first thing you will do when we are no longer self-quarantined? 

Stephen Carlile: I dream of the day I get to see my family in the U.K. again.

Stephen Carlile

T2C: What are the things that are getting you through this time?

Stephen Carlile: Exercise is keeping me sane. I suppose I’ve always known this in theory, but lockdown has made me so grateful to have a healthy body that I can move in all of these ways.

Dog sums it all up

T2C: What haven’t we asked you that you would like to say?

Stephen Carlile: I think New Yorkers have a reputation for being tough, direct and maybe even a little rude at times. And hey – that can be true, and I kind of love them for that. But I want to say that I will never forget the kindness, love and generosity that I have seen from New Yorkers during this pandemic.  

For more information on Stephen please visit www.colekitchenn.com 

Twitter @carlilestephen/ Instagram carlile1

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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