MY PER­FECT DAY

Gre­gory Do­ran has been the Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of the Royal Shake­speare Company since 2012. He is cur­rently di­rect­ing Henry IV, Parts 1 & II at the Bar­bican, in which his part­ner Antony Sher stars as Fal­staff.

Where London - - Contents - Gre­gory Do­ran [ Artis­tic Di­rec­tor]

Gre­gory Do­ran, the Artis­tic Di­rec­tor of the Royal Shake­speare Company, shares his favourite places in the city.

What time would you wake up?

I di­vide my time be­tween Strat­ford-upon-Avon and London. If I was hav­ing a per­fect day, it would re­flect Sun­day and I would have a lie-in.

What would you have for break­fast?

I would visit Euphorium Bak­ery on Up­per Street in Is­ling­ton, and have some crois­sants. I’ll cook kedgeree if I’m in a good mood.

What gal­leries do you like vis­it­ing?

I’m very fond of the Na­tional Por­trait Gallery (left). It shows you real faces and brings peo­ple to life. I was do­ing a play by John Fletcher when the Na­tional Por­trait Gallery had a cam­paign to raise money to buy Fletcher’s por­trait. I con­trib­uted be­cause it was won­der­ful to bring him to life!

Where do you like to shop?

I like treat­ing my­self to a jacket or trousers from Paul Smith, or a jacket from Ted Baker (be­low).

What are your favourite green spa­ces?

I love Hamp­stead Heath, Ken­wood House and Par­lia­ment Hill. The London sky­line looks won­der­ful from high up – it puts ev­ery­thing into per­spec­tive.

What do you make of new build­ings?

They aren’t car­bun­cles, but it would be sad if St. Paul’s Cathe­dral was dwarfed by new sites.

How do you like to travel?

I love walk­ing into London from Is­ling­ton. You see the traces of old London in the street names, like Bear Al­ley or Apothe­caries’ Hall.

What pubs do you like?

Ye Old Mitre, in Hat­ton Gar­den, which has a cherry tree grow­ing in the cor­ner of it. It goes back to Shake­speare’s day. Some of the lovely old pubs on Fleet Street or the Strand have lit­tle cor­ners that take you back to a pre­vi­ous age.

What would you do for en­ter­tain­ment?

To some ex­tent, it’s a bit of a bus­man’s hol­i­day. Ob­vi­ously, the­atre is my thing. I love the buzz around David Lan’s Young Vic. I love the Lit­tle An­gel The­atre, which I’ve been a pa­tron of since we did

VenusAndA­do­nis there. They are not just do­ing shows for kids, but also so­phis­ti­cated adult pup­petry (left).

Where do you like to eat out?

The Almeida restau­rant, off Up­per Street, is a favourite. If my part­ner Antony Sher is per­form­ing in the West End, or if we’re meet­ing friends for din­ner, we visit Rules – it is one of London’s old­est restau­rants. It’s fan­tas­tic for game and meat pies. You feel a sense of his­tory in it – Dick­ens, Thack­eray and Chap­lin ate there. The staff are fan­tas­tic and the wel­come is great. It’s not at all snooty.

Where would you stop for af­ter­noon tea?

When we have vis­i­tors, we take them to Fort­num & Ma­son. It’s a great place to have tea. You al­ways poke around and buy some bis­cuits or jam af­ter­wards. If we’re feel­ing swish, we take them to The Ritz (be­low).

What do you think makes London stand out from the rest of the world?

Dr. John­son said ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. When I am in London, it feels so fast and fu­ri­ous that I want to rush back to Strat­ford-upon-Avon. What makes the cap­i­tal spe­cial is that it has such an ex­tra­or­di­nary en­ergy and is so mul­ti­cul­tural.

Where would you spend the night?

Some­times, when my twin sis­ter comes over from Amer­ica, I let her stay in the house and I treat my­self and Antony to a night in The Savoy (be­low), over­look­ing the Thames. Henry IV, Parts I & II. To 24 Jan 2015. Bar­bican Cen­tre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. T: 020-7638 8891. www.bar­bican.org.uk

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