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LISTED LONDONER MY LONDON


WRITER AND DIARIST CLAYTON LITTLEWOOD GIVE US HIS CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS...


Where do you come from originally? Weston-Super-Mare. I was an obsessive Soft Cell fan as a child and, living in a provincial seaside resort. I remember thinking, if I could just get to the ‘Non Stop Erotic Cabaret’ world of Soho, I’d meet other freaks like myself. So, at 19, I packed my case and I’ve been here ever since. Where do you currently live and when did you move there? I lived on Old Compton Street, below our shop, in a damp, rat-infested basement. But two years ago, after being made bankrupt, we moved to Holland Park. When I say that people think I’m loaded. The street where we live was probably where the servants used to live. When I told a friend I was moving to Holland Park he remarked that even suicide seemed a brighter prospect. What’s the best thing about living in London? The theatre and museums. The streets aren’t paved with gold. They’re paved with creativity. …and the worst? The current mayor; the cost of living; the tube. What are your favourite restaurants? The Stockpot and The Mermaid (aka The Lorelei on Bateman Street). But if I’m feeling particularly flush, then it’s The Wolseley. Where do you go drinking? I don’t tend to go drinking. Now it’s all about coffee and people-watching. I can often be found in the little coffee shop on the corner of Old Compton Street and Frith Street. I’m there most afternoons, writing. Favourite tourist haunt? The National Portrait Gallery. I have a fascination with dead queens. Favourite green space? I escaped from green space. I prefer concrete. Where do you go to escape the city? Years ago, every holiday was spent partying in Spain or Miami. I never saw the sun...


6 WWW.OUTMAG.CO.UK


Portrait by CHRIS JEPSON


too busy sampling the… er, local delicacies. Now, if I do leave the city, it’s to visit a castle or a stately home. I’ve entered my National Trust years. If you were mayor for a day, what would you do to improve London?


Bulldoze Soho’s High Street chains and rebuild the Peter Street brothels.


Name a place or location of sentimental value to you... Outside the late Sebastian Horsley’s flat in Soho. When I visited, he used to open the shutters on the first floor, peer down, clasping his feather negligee at the neck, his eyes caked in last night’s mascara and he’d purr, ‘Hello Romeo, Juliet here. Welcome to Horsley Towers.’ I adored him. Favourite London song? Marc Almond’s ‘Soho So Long’. What’s London’s most beautiful building? I like any that are ancient, decaying and crumbling. Are you single, partnered or dating? I met my Jorge in Miami in 2004. We got married in Provincetown, atop the PTown monument (commemorating where Pilgrims first landed). Jorge was able to move to the UK as my partner. We were one of the first gay couples the British Embassy in New York had dealt with, so we too were pioneers in our own small way. Invite us to a party... I was hosting a dinner party last week and it was all going swimmingly. Then I ate a hash cookie. I don’t remember what happened next.


In 2008, Clayton Littlewood’s book Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho was published. In 2009 Clayton turned the book into a play. It premiered at the Trafalgar Studios, returning a year later. The sequel, Goodbye to Soho, will be published in May. There will be a free-entry book launch event at Madame Jo Jo’s on 10 May, plus readings at the Society Club, Soho, on 2 May and Gay’s The Word bookshop, Bloomsbury, on 3 May. www.claytonlittlewood.com


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