April 24, 2020 / 9:06 AM / a month ago

From stage to supermarket: London lighting designer turns delivery driver

LONDON (Reuters) - When the coronavirus epidemic struck, Elliot Griggs was working on a new stage production in London.

As soon as rehearsals closed down, the 31-year-old lighting designer decided to swap the bright lights of upscale Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre for the suburban streets of South London by becoming a delivery driver with Tesco.

Having worked on West End productions including a sold-out run of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” in 2019, he acknowledges the change was quite a “shock to the system”.

“(But) I needed to find something which I could do, something which I would feel like I was contributing and helping,” he told Reuters TV.

Now one of around 500 drivers at the supermarket chain’s distribution centre in Croydon, he finds it hard to put himself in the same category as medics working to keep people alive. But he knows he is providing a core service for communities under lockdown.

“One evening ...on a Thursday driving down a small residential street (I had) people clap and wave at me, which was completely bizarre,” he said.

“It’s nice being able to interact with people.”

Reporting by Sarah Mills; Writing by John Stonestreet; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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