Downton star Michelle Dockery looking forward to a return to live performing

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery said she is looking forward to a return to live performing following the pandemic.

The health crisis has had a catastrophic impact on the arts industry, with theatres and other live performance venues forced to close their doors during the first lockdown.

Some reopened, albeit with significantly reduced capacity, making it all but impossible to make shows financially viable.

Michelle Dockery is looking forward to a return to live performing (Misan Harriman for Glenfiddich Grand Cru/PA)

Dockery is working on Netflix drama Anatomy Of A Scandal, on a set complying with coronavirus restrictions, and said while it is exciting to find ways to adapt, she is looking forward to performing live again.

She said: “Artists across the board are finding new ways in which to keep the industry going during this time. I’m obviously a big supporter of that. It’s a challenging time for the arts but that can also be exciting in discovering new ways of working.

“That being said I am excited for the day when I can step back into a theatre, be it on stage or as a spectator. I miss the smell and the buzz of live performance.”

Dockery, best known for playing Lady Mary Crawley on period drama Downton Abbey, also had words of encouragement for young actors struggling to breakthrough in a beleaguered industry.

“I would never discourage anyone from striving to achieve their dream,” Dockery, 38, said. “Even in the current landscape, there is always going to be a demand for entertainment. I mentor young drama students and my advice to them is that if you have the drive and feel passionate about storytelling, then go for it.

“If you don’t try you will never know what your potential might have been.”

Michelle Dockery fronts the new Glenfiddich Grand Cru whisky campaign.

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