Covid-19 might have derailed the plans of people across the globe but Kiwi actress Achushla-Tara Kupe hasn't let it get in the way of her continuing to perform.
The actress has been based in London since June 2016 but was back in New Zealand at the start of this year to perform in Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's Emilia at the Pop-up Globe in Auckland.
Acushla was playing the titular character in the first third of her life and says she relished the opportunity to portray Emilia.
"Emilia Bassano was a poet in her own right but she is also thought to have been the Dark Lady described in some of Shakespeare's sonnets. She was a strong woman, a feminist in a time before feminism, she was really ahead of her time."
Just two weeks into the season, Covid-19 restrictions forced the play to close.
"I came home to Taranaki to see family, and thought I would be heading back to London soon, but then of course flights were being cancelled and it wasn't so straight forward. After a couple of weeks it started making sense to stay in New Zealand rather than rush back to the UK. I was better to be in a country which was doing so well in fighting Covid than going to England where it wasn't going so well at all."
Although she spent lockdown with family in Te Awamutu, Acushla says she jumped at the opportunity to get back to performing as soon as possible.
"Te Pou Theatre had some funding, and the plan was made to use that funding to bring theatre to Aotearoa. To go on the road and put performances on for people who can't get out or might be isolated."
The result was Front Yard Festivals, and for the past few weeks Acushla and her fellow performers have been bringing a lively and fun show to the most vulnerable and isolated - elders, koroua and kuia. Performing at rest homes and community places, they have been travelling around the country, an experience Acushla says has been "inspiring".
"It has been really wonderful to bring the theatre to people. We have had such a good response, every audience has reacted differently but all have been positive."
Acushla grew up in Bell Block and says she has enjoyed returning to the region to perform in towns she remembers well from growing up.
"I remember going to Stratford for sports days when I was at school, and Inglewood. So it has been pretty special coming back to perform here."
Acushla is about to start rehearsals for her next project in New Zealand and says while her stay in the country has been extended by Covid-19, she doesn't have any regrets.
"I am getting some great opportunities while I am here. I'm not done with London, I will be going back, but in the meantime I am enjoying the chance to take on some great roles in my own country."