1000 Londoners

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.

Film Maker:

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