By MARINA GERNER
Tucked away between office buildings by Euston station is where I found the Camden People’s Theatre. It’s a little place with colourful bunting, a cheerful selection of chairs and flowery plastic tablecloths. It’s the kind of theatre where you can buy a packet of crisps in the interval, rather than wasabi peas.
I went to see a talk and two plays that were part of Whose London is it anyway?. The theatre was packed with people, young and old, who came to see a festival dedicated to London’s housing crisis. Instead of tickets, we received playing cards.
At the talk entitled “Bland reform: Losing London’s subcultures”, panellists lamented the gentrification of London. The journalist and former sex worker Frankie Mullin spoke about the destruction of the “coral reef” of cultures in Soho, which took hundreds of years to grow. Queer spaces have been closed down. Artists can’t afford the rent. While sex workers have been pushed to work in places that are far less safe, developers capitalize on the area’s seedy reputation. Now “there’s a bar with a red light outside and cocktails named after famous prostitutes”.