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At Home With... Canterbury actor Ben Roddy and his life in lockdown

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From missing family and the pub to home schooling and working at home, we've all gone through new experiences while we've been having to Stay at Home. Here, in our new At Home With... feature we speak to Canterbury-based actor Ben Roddy - best known as the dame in the Marlowe Theatre's pantomime - about how life's been for him in lockdown.

Actor Ben Roddy with a new arrival
Actor Ben Roddy with a new arrival

Who are you locked down with?

My wife Kate and our two sons Stan and Rudy.

What has been a typical day for you while staying at home?

We have got into a bit of a routine, I get up with Stan and then we do the Joe Wicks workout (give the man a medal, he's great!!), we then have a late breakfast as a family and then my wife and I take turns to do different lessons for homeschooling... then after 'school' we all head up to the orchard 2 minutes from where we live and have a nice walk and run around as our outdoor exercise (hasn't the weather been beautiful!), then head home and I will cook us dinner.

Which bit of your lockdown day are you enjoying the most?

Meal times I think. We are all sitting together and eating as a family 3 times a day and it has been a real pleasure. As an actor, I usually spend a lot of my time away from home and working in the evenings, so it has been a treat (in almost all ways!!) to spend so much time together.

Name one thing which has helped you get through lockdown:

Our second son Rudy is only 3 weeks old (he was born in the lockdown - thank you to the brilliant NHS staff at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford!) so we have been very busy with him. New born babies take up a lot of time and energy (as I’m sure you will all know!) It’s great to have this time to bond as a family. Stan is a wonderful big brother and we are trying to appreciate this time together as a gift.

Ben in action as the dame on the Marlowe Theatre stage with fellow panto favourite Lloyd Hollett Picture: Marlowe Theatre
Ben in action as the dame on the Marlowe Theatre stage with fellow panto favourite Lloyd Hollett Picture: Marlowe Theatre

What are you looking forward to doing most when lockdown ends?

As you can imagine, it is weird having a new born baby and not being able to take him to meet his grandparents. So the first thing we will do (when it is safe to do so of course) is take him meet his relatives. We are quite spread out, my sisters are in London and Rome respectively, and my folks are in Dorset, so a big family meal at my parents would be lovely.

I also think when all this is over people will be yearning for shared experiences, and I personally can't wait to sit in a theatre and watch a brilliant play and laugh, cry and cheer with other people. Oh... and the pub!

* Ben will be appearing in Jack And The Beanstalk at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury between Friday, November 27 and Sunday, January 10. Tickets can be booked at marlowetheatre.com or by calling the box office on 01227 787787.

See how others are getting on in lockdown in Kent with Snapshot Kent.

For ideas on things to do during lockdown click here.


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