Search

Highbury actor juggles silver screen roles with being a tour guide

17:31 30 August 2012

Alan Drake

Alan Drake

Archant

Staring alongside Simon Pegg in a film one week and showing tourists around London the next may seem worlds apart, but for actor Alan Drake the two roles aren’t that different.

The 40-year-old from Highbury Grange, Highbury has a long list of impressive acting credits, but in between roles and penning his own film he often returns to his “bread and butter” job as a Blue Badge Guide of London.

He said: “Acting is a funny old business, you kind of have to get used to being unemployed and once you come to terms with that you actually start to enjoy it. My mum said years ago when I told her I was going to be an actor that I had to find another job I enjoy as well, and I did.

“In actual fact, being an actor and a tour guide are not too dissimilar. When you have got to take a group of 50 people to Stonehenge on a 10 hour coach journey you have to keep them entertained, and put on a persona to an extent.”

But throughout September the only way tourists will catch a glimpse of Alan is on stage at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London’s West End as he reprises the role of Eddie in two-hander comedy Kissing Sid James, which had its debut run at the Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington, last year.

He said: “The theatre was so supportive, it really helped us so much. The play was supposed to be on for three weeks but it turned into 10 weeks and we both got nominated for best actor in the West End Awards.” It also brought him to the attention of the man directing this summer’s British comedy film A Fantastic Fear of Everything in which stared as a PCSO alongside Simon Pegg and Sheridan Smith.

Kissing Sid James, which also stars Charlotte McKinney, returns to London after a sell-out run in New York between Christmas and New Year.

Alan, who is currently co-writing a film entitled Budgie Smugglers about an ageing beach volleyball team, said: “It sold out most nights. The American audience took it really well, and I think what they liked about it so much is that they saw a different sort of Britain – not like what they see in shows like Downton Abbey. An England that’s not very wealthy, with very working class people and regional accents.

He continued: “We were a little bit worried about if the American audience would buy into it, but they were killing themselves laughing and we broke the box office records for that theatre.”

The play follows the journey of two lonely souls who, following one disastrous date, go to a seaside town for the weekend.

Alan said: “It’s very funny in parts, and almost tear jerkingly sad in others. They are very real people and everyone probably knows people like them.”

The show runs from Monday, September 3 to 29. For more information visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 18:08
Finsbury Park Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar. Picture: Ken Mears

The chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque is “very upset” after a bag of pork sausages was thrown into the compound – the second hate attack in six months.

Yesterday, 12:31
Happier times: Rev Simon and Jennifer Harvey

A man has been charged over a “heartbreaking” jewellery theft from a bereaved Islington vicar.

Yesterday, 12:25
Mentor Jeremy Cornish on the right talking to Filmon outside the Gherkin

On the surface, Filmon Russom and Jeremy Cornish make for an unlikely pairing. Filmon, with his designer haircut and stylish tracksuit, looks every bit your typical 19-year-old. Jeremy, 63, still dressed in the suit and shirt he wore to work, looks every bit your typical suave businessman.

Mon, 11:52
A file image of police. Scotland Yard are investigating a £20,000 theft from an elderly pair in Crouch End (Picture: PA)

Two burglars posed as gas board workers to steal £20,000 in cash from an elderly brother and sister in Crouch End.

Mon, 11:15
Police want to speak to this man about the meat throwing incident at Finsbury Park Mosque on Thursday. Picture: Met Police

A bag of meat was hurled into the grounds of the Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of Thursday morning in a suspected hate crime.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Chris Taylor (back row right) and clients from the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants set off for the sponsored run

A crack team from the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants took on a sponsored run to raise much-needed cash for the centre this week.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
An image from Keith Collman's Caledonian Road gallery (Picture: Keith Collman/keithcollman.com)

You can take the man out of the Cally...

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Local historian and walking guide Rob Smith on the former site of the New River reservoir

When, first thing in the morning, you stumble blurry-eyed to the kitchen to fill up the kettle, how much thought do you give to where the water’s coming from? Very little, probably, and why would you? It’s there. It’s wet. It does what it’s supposed to do.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe