London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

The Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

24/09/2002, By Jenny Walters

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 15822 votes

My Week - Starting 30th August: Just when you think itís safe to go out in your sandals, the heavens open. We were having a very pleasant picnic in Regents Park to celebrate my friend Stephenís birthday but, after having been courted by the sunshine throughout the week, were let down by the weather. Still, we were a hardy bunch and finished our egg sandwiches before heading off to the nearest pub, just by Great Portland St tube. It was all squishy sofas and blackboards showing a hearty menu.

Regents Park has beautiful gardens and would be a lovely place to spend a summerís day (weather permitting). You can hire boats out on the lake between April and September and watch a play at the Open Air Theatre in the evening, or get involved with the football and softball games. Now and again my husband Carl forgets heís not 18 anymore, dons his football boots and has a match.

The Latchmere

Later in the week Carl and I treated ourselves to a night of comedy at the Latchmere Theatre in Battersea. Itís a fringe venue that mainly showcases new writing but is also used by stand-up comedians to try out material before they take it on tour - all at very reasonable prices. We saw ĎAl Murray Ė Pub Landlordí who has become a British institution. He is very funny but if you are unfamiliar with his style, be warned, heís not for the feint hearted.

I went back to Battersea the following day for an audition. The job was to do a play in Dubai for ex-pats but sadly I didnít get the part. There goes my free holiday.

My Week - Starting 6th September: However lucky I feel to be living in our great city and however spoilt I am by everything that goes on here, there are times when I just canít stand it any more!! When I canít face another tube journey, or casting, or feel that to breathe another lungful of carbon monoxide would probably kill me, I head off to the countryside.

The Mint Bar

Iím originally from the North West of England. I still have family there and visit whenever I have a London overload. So I packed my bags, told my various agents that I was having a week off (if that was alright, please, thank-you) and set out for some green and pleasant land. I had a busy tour of Boston Spa near Leeds, Cheshire and Anglesea in North Wales. All very beautiful parts of Britain.

When I talk to tourists in London I recommend that, if possible, they take one or two days out of their trip and see another part of the country. Obviously London has more than enough to offer to a holidaymaker but for sheer beauty and tranquillity, rural England is hard to beat.

Saying all that, I was glad to get back home.

Birthday Girl and Jen

With batteries re-charged I was out the very next evening with my good friend Karen at her 30th birthday bash. The venue was the Mint Bar snuggled at the base of Southwark Cathedral. Itís a friendly place that serves some killer cocktails. I was feeling particularly special as I had just spent a few quid earlier that day having my hair sorted out at Jo Hansfordís salon in Mayfair. Her salon has a reputation for the best hair colour in London and they did a sterling job on the blonde disaster that adorns my head. I spent the rest of the day swinging my hair around at anyone who glanced in my direction. Which would explain the headache the next day.

My Week - Starting 13th September: Had a rehearsal for a TV comedy pilot this week at a production studio based in Covent Garden. They were a very nice bunch of people but had cruelly arranged the meeting for a Sunday morning. How is anyone expected to look glamorous and be funny with a hangover? The rehearsal went well though and afterwards we all traipsed round the corner to the Crown and Anchor (not the worldís greatest pub, but it did the job) in Neal Street for some refreshments, I could only manage a lemonade. On the way back to the tube I had a little window shop round Neal Street, staring longingly at all the lovely boutiques before heading home to get reacquainted with my sofa.

Digress Bar

Back to the West End again a couple of nights later to celebrate my friend Lucy.S leaving her job. Iím not surprised sheís leaving her work as it was based in Victoria, which is pretty devoid of anything aesthetically pleasing, or anything pleasing at all. Please let me know if you think I am being unkind and you have found any little gems tucked away here. We were celebrating at Bar Digress on Beak Street, a busy bar but still enough room to swing oneís proverbial cat. We got there at happy hour and managed to sink a couple of jugs of cocktails before they returned to their usual exorbitant prices. At which point we left.

Later that week Carl and I went to the Young Vic Theatre, The Cut SE1, Box Office 020 7928 6363 to see an excellent production of The Daughter In Law by D.H Lawrence. It was superbly acted and was made all the more enjoyable by the fact that it was free. Lambeth, our local council, has started an initiative to encourage people living within our borough to go to the theatre. But even if you arenít local and eligible for the offer, definitely a play worth seeing.

The White Bear

My Week - Starting 20th September: The weather became autumnal this week and so our neighbours, Henry and Vicky loaded us in the back of their car and drove us to Sunday lunch at a country pub. Living in south London we donít have to travel far until we reach Surrey, a neighbouring county that has its fair share of farmland and countryside, it is a big county and also has its share of grotty towns but on the whole is quite pretty. We chose The White Bear in a tiny hamlet called Fickleshole. The pub dates back to the 16th century and has several log fires for that extra cosy factor. We tucked into a traditional roast, thought about a traditional after dinner stroll but stayed snuggled by the fire instead.

Have just come back from an audition in Finchley Road. It is for a job in Germany at an English speaking Theatre. The casting went well but it is impossible to be able to tell what the director wants. Actors have to become very resilient and realize that failing to get a part is not a personal insult. You learn to walk away from auditions and forget about them otherwise it can send you insane. Iím just staying on the right side of bonkers.

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Re: The Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

By Sarada 01/10/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 15657 votes)

Loved it. One can almost hear her talking and enjoying. Makes a nice change from moaners!!

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Re: The Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

By Natalie (Sydney - Australia) 02/10/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 14868 votes)

Enjoyed it very much! Made me incredibly homesick.

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