1000 Londoners

Sarah Perry in is and is Writer.

Sarah is a poet, performance artist and an adult fiction writer. Not only is she writing a novel, she takes part in regular roundhouse poetry club and performs live in front of other poetry lovers. From growing up in Croydon and her former career as an actress she has now found herself as a performance artist and helps out at her day job talking to younger teenagers about how they feel about there appearance. Sarah also has an unusual fear of fish.






Film Maker:

Questions & Answers

  • What's your first memory of London? I was born here so that’s a pretty difficult one. I grew up in Croydon and some of my earliest memories are of the Whitgift Centre and what used to be the huge Warner Bros Cinema. Also coming into central London at Christmas to look at the lights and the shop windows in Hamleys and that. My first specific memory is going to see Oliver in the West End and although I don’t remember much about the show, I have a really distinct memory of going home: Victoria Station late at night and the quietness of the streets. There was something about the ticket machines and the emptiness that felt adult and oddly magical at the same time.
  • What do you miss when you're away from London? Burritos!
  • What's your favourite neighbourhood? That’s hard. I love Soho; I did a writing residency there and was so surprised by how close knit the community is underneath all the glamour and grime of its image. I live in Whitechapel and it’s the happiest I’ve been. Our area is full of families so you feel homey, but then at the weekends there’s always so much happening round Brick Lane and Bethnal Green: amazing food, interesting people, and so many heritages all spilling into each other... I will always feel loyalty to Croydon too: especially round by Norwood where Selhurst Park is!
  • What's your favourite building? Maybe the house I live in at the minute... It’s nothing special but it’s always full of the people I love.
  • What's your ideal day out in London? We’d start with a proper good breakfast out somewhere; there’s loads of places to choose from but I love Hackney City Farm at the minute because it’s near my house. Then a walk along the canals with a picnic and some friends. Ideally it’d be sunny and we’d sit with a guitar and some beers and let the sun go down. Then we’d go dancing!
  • What's your ideal night out in London? London has given me a lot of good nights out, most of which I’m grateful for and some of which I paid for! To be honest I don’t care where I am as long as I’m with my friends and there’s some wine or some gin. Maybe something kind of grotty in South for old times’ sake. Definitely dancing, definitely somewhere with good music. If I get pissed in central I always find myself at Bar Italia for a 4am pizza and then a wander down to watch the sunrise over the Thames.
  • What's your most hated building? I don’t know about a building... I hate some of the street names in the city: the ones that reek a bit too much of colonialism and capitalism. If you wander round just looking at the names of the roads it makes you feel a bit sick.
  • What's the best view in London? Looking out across London Bridge maybe. The view from the top of the gherkin is pretty amazing too. Or - going right out south to Coulsdon near where I grew up - there’s a hill that I used to climb as a teenager if I needed to feel the world a bit more and it’s a pretty stonking view. Plus there’s cows roaming around, which in London is kind of ace. It’s on the Farthing Downs; get a travelcard and go out there sometime.
  • What's your favourite open space? Ha, I think I just answered that. But I love all open space in London; I crave it and am grateful for it.
  • What's the most interesting shop? I don’t know... it’d probably always be a bookshop for me so maybe the Society Club in Soho. They do cocktails, books and vintage clothes. And you’ll almost always find an amazing woman called Vi in there. And a bunch of beautiful dogs. It’s ace and one of a kind.
  • What's your favourite place to hang out? The canals (I love Crate Brewery because you can chillout in a boat there, even if it is a little bit wanky and hipster). Or the Southbank Centre in the Poetry Library there. Also the Roundhouse!
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? I could not tell you that.
  • How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? Writing.
  • Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? The Evans & Peel Detective Agency in Earls Court. It’s a gimmick but it’s good fun. and they deep fry cheese, which is basically a dream.
  • What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? Anything on a replacement bus service.
  • What's your personal London landmark? The River. Although, one of the reasons I love it, is that it belongs to everyone.
  • Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Ooh that’s a tough on. I don’t know... does Paddington count?
  • What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Maybe NW by Zadie Smith.
  • If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? Now. There’s a lot of shit, for sure, but it’s where we belong.
  • For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? There isn’t one; that’s why London stays so special. It’s full of difference, all different people who all belong. Maybe we don’t always feel like we belong to each other but we belong to London.