Tim Minchin is urging all artists to look beyond COVID-19 for inspiration while they are in isolation, saying he hopes they do more than write about the virus.
Tim Minchin is urging all artists to look beyond COVID-19 for inspiration while they are in isolation, saying he hopes they do more than write about the virus.

Tim Minchin’s coronavirus plea to artists

Tim Minchin has urged Australian artists to think outside of coronavirus for inspiration.

"I hope we don't all only write about viruses for the next two years," the theatre and screen artist told Sydney Confidential.

"A virus is an inextricable evolutionary mutation, it was inevitable that it was going to come that we would have a pandemic like this and there will be another one and there will be bacterial resistance and we all have to do our bit by staying inside and isolating.

"But I think there is this quite modern post-internet tendency for everyone to suddenly think that their opinion on COVID-19 and their opinion on the science behind it and their opinion on the social response and the economic response is their business. Everyone is engaged in a conversation about COVID."

Tim Minchin wants artists to look beyond COVID-19 for inspiration. Picture Matt Turner
Tim Minchin wants artists to look beyond COVID-19 for inspiration. Picture Matt Turner

Minchin, 44, continued: "I think we have just got to put out art. Our job is not always to have our arms elbow deep in the mud of contemporary politics, it is to transcend it so I hope enough artists have the resources and imaginations to go away and write their space opera or their circus thriller."

MORE NEWS:

Big win for Phoebe in Burgess settlement

Deb Knight's shock return to the Today Show

The prolific writer, actor and musician spoke to Confidential in support of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel, which features a selection of his classic musical theatre productions, with a new show available across the globe weekly for a limited 48-hour period for free.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has a YouTube page called The Shows Must Go On. Picture: Evan Agostini/AP
Andrew Lloyd Webber has a YouTube page called The Shows Must Go On. Picture: Evan Agostini/AP

Minchin starred alongside Melanie C and Chis Moyles in the arena production of rock classic Jesus Christ Superstar, which goes live today.

"Any opportunity to make lemonade out of the lemons of this thing, especially in the entertainment industry, given that we are going to be the least supported and hardest hit because we are seen as a luxury product," Minchin explained.

"Being an artist is an economically insecure thing anyway but it is not just the actors who are used to being out of work. It is the technicians and the crews and people who don't have those months at a time where they are all out of work, they are out of work too.

"We have got to keep shouting about it and as for artists, we just have to keep making stuff. We can't make the stuff outside the house so we need to do it inside and we need to write and we need to keep reflecting and keep holding a mirror up to society."

Tim Minchin in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.
Tim Minchin in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.

That said, while supportive of Lloyd Webber's initiative, Minchin warned concert and theatre goers not to get used to watching productions on their telephones, computers or televisions.

"That would be the worst possible result, that people get used to getting all their content through screens and decide that is the new normal," he said.

"That would be a disaster. I am very happy Lloyd Webber is putting his shows up but there is absolutely nothing like being in the room and watching a performance, it is incomparable.

"When live theatre is good, it is the most transporting of all forms, and live gigs and the social aspect of it."

For fans that wish to make a charitable donation, a variety of organisations will be listed on The Shows Must Go On full-length YouTube channel videos, including Acting for Others, Broadway Cares and Actors Benevolent Fund.

Originally published as Tim Minchin's coronavirus plea to artists


Structural damage a concern after fire in business hub

Premium Content Structural damage a concern after fire in business hub

A BUILDING sustained significant damage in the early-morning blaze.

Woman dies after being found with critical injuries

Premium Content Woman dies after being found with critical injuries

A FAMILY member found the woman injured in her North Coast home earlier this...

Crews battle fire at shopping complex

Premium Content Crews battle fire at shopping complex

Firefighters were called to reports of smoke coming from a building