Lord knows London isn’t short of talented Yorkshire-born cabaret folk, not least Myra DuBois, Amber Topaz and Tricity Vogue. Award-winning diva Sophie Walsh-Harrington is a new arrival from God’s Own County and gives us her views on what takes to make it in the capital.
One must ignore myths perpetuated in the North about living in London
Mention you’re moving to London in my home town of Harrogate and you’ll be given the “raised eyebrow”. Following that, you’ll hear about story of so and so’s daughter who tried to move to London in 1976 and were left homeless and a crack addict within the month.
One must accept it is expensive in London
Not much point in going on about it. Yes it costs, which is why I live in a shared house with four other people in a single room the size of a drawer. “It’s a base, just a base,” I cry. “I’m an artist, a bohemian, squalor comes with the territory,” I protest, from my hovel in downtown…Fulham.
One must not feel guilty about missing out on everything
Working full-time, doing shows, rehearsing for shows, admin and social networking, you can forget there’s a city out there. There are landmarks, markets, museums and edgy activities galore.
“So Saturday, there’s this harem singles night in Hoxton, where they stuff dead animals while smoking hubbly bubbly naked and doing the meringue. It starts at 4am, fancy it?” “Um,think I’ll just stay in and catch up on TOWIE.”
One must embrace pub culture
When you do venture out, make sure it’s to a pub. Londoners love that. Now, I thought I knew public houses. A local ale, pie and chips with gravy, a stuffed animal on the wall and surrounding countryside. Not so in the Smoke. It’s all about early doors, French finger food and spending £30 on your first round. Be warned: “house wine” doesn’t always mean the cheapest. I’ve been burned and burned bad.
One must get used to “dating”
In Yorkshire we don’t date. We eye someone up in a bar and wait until we are all at the local nightclub. We then make some shapes Beyoncé-style on the dancefloor and wait for Cupid to strike. This is how my parents met and many generations before them. In London, people date. They go online, they go speed dating, they ask people out on the tube and they do activities together. Sometimes they do that with more than one person. Get me a pair of Laboutins and call me Carrie, I’m going in.
Our review of The Damsel In Shining Armour.