Mark in is and is a theatre critic.

Mark Shenton is a London-based theatre critic. He is a self-confessed theatre addict and his job allows him to get that addiction fed and paid for. We meet Mark at the Barbican, reviewing Doctor Faustus by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Questions & Answers

  • What's your first memory of London? I first came to London when I was 11 or 12, and I still have a photograph of me being engulfed by pigeons as we fed them in Trafalgar Square -- you can't do that anymore.
  • What do you miss when you're away from London? The theatre, obviously!
  • What's your favourite neighbourhood? South Bank
  • What's your favourite building? National Theatre
  • What's your ideal day out in London? In the summer, a day at Hampstead Men's Ponds
  • What's your ideal night out in London? A visit to the National Theatre, the Young Vic Southwark Playhouse or the Union Theatre (all in SE1)
  • What's your most hated building? The Vaults (fringe theatre below Waterloo station)
  • What's the best view in London? Walking across Waterloo Bridge
  • What's your favourite open space? Hampstead Heath
  • What's the most interesting shop? Best has closed now -- used to be Dress Circle, specialising in musical theatre
  • What's your favourite place to hang out? National Theatre
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? Any number of great first nights -- most recently, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM at the Phoenix Theatre. I also went to the first preview and the last night, too (and many times in-between) -- a great London musical!
  • How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? Not going to the theatre! So perhaps visiting a gallery in the morning, Hampstead Heath in the afternoon, and dinner somewhere fun in the evening.
  • Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? Greenwich or Hampstead
  • What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? Driving along Embankment to Hammersmith -- four out of five times it's fine, but the 5th time is always gridlock. It's the journey I most dread; will it be the bad one this time?
  • What's your personal London landmark? The Gherkin -- but its upsetting how it has become buried in the buildings around it now, so you can no longer see it from Borough High Street, for example.
  • Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Peter Pan -- who'd want to grow up if we didn't have to?
  • What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky -- Sally Hawkins cycles right past Borough tube! And Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland -- though its pretty bleak!
  • If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? Dickens's time, when he lived in the street where I live now -- Lant Street, SE1
  • For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Sadiq Khan
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