Tanaka is a playwright, performer and a survivor of sexual assault. In this film he opens up about the assault, the stigma he experienced and how his life has changed since.
Film Maker: Helena Coan
Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? I remember the car park of the Royal Free hospital from when my aunt was a patient there and my parents being too stressed out to say no when I asked to be allowed to have a Dr Pepper. Never let it be said that rank opportunism doesn’t pay dividends.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? This sounds weird, but the etiquette. Londoners have a sixth sense for getting along smoothly and managing awkward situations with aplomb. Watching people walk around the Tube network like they’ve been choreographed is fantastic. Other than that, I always miss the smells of London when I’m away.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? I once lived for a while in a youth hostel near Southwark. It was pretty great pace to be, even if I had to trek out to sticks for food I could actually afford to eat.
- What's your favourite building? The London Library on St James’s Square. It’s basically like the Hogwarts library except real and for grown ups.
- What's your ideal day out in London? I’m not sure, but it involves walking by the Thames, lots of gin and some very cheesy music.
- What's your ideal night out in London? Same as above but with fireworks.
- What's your most hated building? Too many to choose, but anything which boasts the words ‘luxury development’ is probably on the list. (Note to developers; luxury is like class- if you have to say it…)
- What's the best view in London? Alexandra Palace, looking south over the city on New Year’s Eve. Watching the fireworks break out over the whole city.
- What's your favourite open space? The Phoenix Gardens. Such a weird little oasis plonked in the middle of London.
- What's the most interesting shop? It’s a tie between Forbidden Planet and the Viktor Wynd Museum.
- What's your favourite place to hang out? Soho; only place where the bookshops close just as the nightclubs open. And you mostly don’t even have to change outfits.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? I was on such a nice date the night the London riots started that we didn’t check our phones for a few hours. Was pretty memorable to leave the bar and find that all hell had broken loose.
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? With friends doing something ridiculous like urban foraging or making sushi or something.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? To some really good theatre. There’s always something.
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? I once went to a house party in Crystal Palace from my home near the North Circular and forgot that there was no Night Tube. Enough said.
- What's your personal London landmark? The leftmost bench on the northbound platform at Hornsey Rail Station. Don’t ask.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? John Constantine.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? If I could just skip ahead to whenever the Independent City State of London is a fait accompli that would be great. (I kid. Sort of).
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Kenneth Williams.