London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

Diary of a Young Londoner (An Aspiring Actress)

27/12/2002, By Jenny Walters

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 14924 votes

My Week - Starting 1st December: This week I was working as a receptionist on Farringdon Road. I still had lots of Christmas shopping to do and a colleague suggested that I visit Leather Lane Market during my lunch hour. Leather Lane is a typical London market selling clothes and accessories at bargain prices mainly to locals and people working in the area. Students of the English language and swearing in particular should visit; I was there when the stallholders were packing up to go home, at about 2pm, it seemed quite a fraught exercise and I encountered some of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon I had ever heard!

On the way back to work I walked through Hatton Gardens, an area full of jewellery shops. Whenever I work round there I can be found pressing my nose pathetically against the windows drooling over the diamonds. One day Iíll treat myself.

Old Vic

My Week - Starting 8th December: Work this week included filming a commercial for a famous fried chicken empire. It was a rather miserable experience as the sadistic crew had the doors wide open and I sat for hours eating cold chicken whilst the director, who had decided I wasnít actually right for the part, kept positioning me further and further away from the camera. I returned home with my body and my ego slightly bruised.

The next day my husband Carl took me to The Old Vic Theatre to see Elaine Stritch perform her one woman show. I promise I will never complain about having to do a pointless audition or a boring dayís filming again. At nearly 80 she entertained the audience for three hours and never broke into a sweat. Elaine Stritch is very talented but it is a shame she has so many regrets about her life. So what if she was pickled for most of it? I havenít worked in the business long but it seems to me to be a prerequisite.

My Week - Starting 15th December: London really is the place to be in December. The hustle and bustle of the streets as shoppers prepare themselves for the festive season and tourists seek out the Victorian Christmas that Charles Dickens promised them in A Christmas Carol. And London usually delivers a magical time. No snow though. It very rarely snows in London on the 25th December. But to make up for it Carl and I went skating at Somerset House. Once a year they freeze the courtyard at this beautiful and historic building and you can buy a ticket to throw yourself round the rink with the slight hysteria that takes everyone over at Christmas.

Flying Scotsman

On the way to Somerset House we got off the train at Victoria Station and saw steam rising from a far platform. The Flying Scotsman, a famous steam train, had pulled in and was attracting a lot of attention. It was a very exciting spectacle, particularly as I had been to see Harry Potter at the cinema a few days earlier and the train looked as if it was on its way to Hogwartís. The magic was only spoilt a little by the people stumbling off it, obviously on some corporate do, all rather merry and sporting party hats.

Theatre Royal

My Week - Starting 22nd December: My very generous father-in-law visited us this week and treated us to a trip to the theatre. He bought tickets for My Fair Lady showing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. As we settled down in our very expensive seats with our over-priced drinks and read our pricey programmes I hoped that the quality of the production would live up to the amount of money we had lavished on it. The overall production value of the piece was fabulous but I felt that most of the cast, bar a couple of the main roles, put in a rather laboured performance. It ran at over 3 hours and although I am quite used to sitting through long shows, this one seemed to last forever.

It was a good fun night out though and most of the audience, comprising mainly of tourists, seemed to enjoy it. As always I would encourage visitors to London to see one or two of the big shows but for real passion and entertainment I always recommend a trip to a smaller fringe or off west-end show. If you visit over Christmas you could even try a pantomime. Pantomimes have been going for hundreds of years in England and the rules of these raucous shows are rather too long for me to explain here. Drop me a line if you would like to know more about it.

Anyway, still lots more to do. New Yearís Eve is looming and those leftover Christmas chocolates wonít eat themselves.

Happy New Year!

Jenny Walters

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

By Gary Fox 01/01/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 13740 votes)

Fantastic as usual keep it up! My wife and I love your diary. Wishing you a Wonderful and Happy New Year.

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

By Chris Ingles 01/01/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 13742 votes)

So very glad to read your diary of London. Our 19 year old daughter will be studying in London during the 2003 fall session, she is a theatre major and we enjoy your comments. Please keep it up. Thank you and have a very Happy New Year!

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

By Richard Wyland 24/01/2003, (Rating: 2.9 from 13725 votes)

Charming article...Could anything be more exciting than to be an actor/actress in London?

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