Early morning in Leamington Spa and The Parade was blocked off, not to ensure Social Distancing measures could be followed, but because the entire contents of Lee Longlands was sprawled out in a pile in the middle of the road; like a barricade.
On top of the barricade and behind it, were several disgruntled actors led by the methodist method actor the world had ever seen; Christopher Shakespeare. The barricade was one of many around the UK, put up by actors desperate to save their industry from going extinct; Boublil and Natel style.
Shakespeare himself stood high on the barricade, waving a massive flag with the Equity logo on it, singing “Red and Black” through a megaphone. He was determined that his protest was the best and most memorable protest this year, better than Friday’s for Future, Extinction Rebellion, Anti-Lockdown, Black Lives Matter, and Anti-Taking-Down-Statues-of-Racist-Arseholes put together. So far, he thought, he was succeeding.
The people doing their Socially-Distanced shopping, eating, and bank investing walked on either side of the blocked off road, looking at the barricade with disgust, saying things like “My God”, “self-centred pricks”, and “I’ve always preferred the novel”.
The protests continued very successfully the whole day, with the actors singing all the classic hits from Les Miserables before moving onto Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Cats, Mamma Mia!, and Hamilton when Les Miserables had run dry.
Night had fallen by the time the Police arrived, but rather than beat them up or arrest them, they decided to beat them at their own game. Which was part of the reason why they specifically chose to visit the protestors at night.
Assistant Chief Constable Charlie Berkleynwalked up to the barricade, flanked by several other Police men and women, and sang into his microphone; “You at the barricade listen to this. The people of Leamington Spa sleep in their beds. You have no chaaaaaaance, no chance at all. Why throw your lives away?”
Charlie listened to the actors respond in song, feeling kind of chuffed with his performance. He felt that if the Black Lives Matter protesters could see him now then maybe, just maybe, they might hold up placards that say “Fuck the Police unless they belt out classic West End hits.”
Whilst the actors were busy singing their hearts out, the police officers simply walked behind them and placed their hands in handcuffs. The actors then sang musical songs whilst they were being taken to the Warwickshire Justice Centre holding cells, and they sung in their cells until they sung themselves to exhaustion.
The next day, the Parade was back to normal. Well, back to normal in Pandemic terms. The contents of Lee Longlands was back in Lee Longlands for sale and the road was free for pedestrians to walk further than two metres between each other.
This happened all over the country, and the Actors Protests were over almost as soon as they begun. Which was good since they weren’t needed considering Boris Johnson had given the theatre industry a £1.5BN lifeline anyway.