The British soul singer has had a string of hits and is now starring in Fame the Musical at The Peacock (to 19 Oct) as part of its 30th-anniversary tour.
What are your cultural highlights for London?
I love The Albert Memorial [Queen Victoria’s tribute to her beloved husband Prince Albert], which is in Kensington Gardens, close to the Royal Albert Hall. For museums and galleries here I love the Tate galleries (Modern and Britain) as well as the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
Where do you like to shop?
What's your favourite green space?
Holland Park is my favourite park—especially the Japanese-inspired Kyoto Garden within it. It's such a tranquil spot.
How do you prefer to travel around town?
I tend to take taxis, as everything is close to where I live.
Tell us about your ideal weekend…
First I’d have dinner at C London in Mayfair, before heading to the Chiltern Firehouse for a boogie. I’d maybe even stay there overnight in one of the gorgeous rooms upstairs. The following day, I’d take my daughter and my bichon frise, Dali, for a wander around Covent Garden to watch the street entertainers and buy a patty at the Jamaican Patty Co (on New Row). They do the best Jamaican patties ever!
Do you have a favourite hotel in London?
There are two special ones: Blakes and the Bulgari Hotel and Spa. Its vitality pool has full body massage jets, and is so relaxing.
Any London place that holds a special memory for you?
Lots Road in Chelsea, as I lived there for a long time. It’s near the river and seeing water calms me. I loved it, until I fell in love with Holland Park even more.
Tell us about Fame the Musical…
It’s my sixth musical to date and it really is made for me—my role as Miss Sherman is similar to being a parent, so I feel totally at home! She is stern with her students to make sure they acquire an education as well as being artists.
Why should a visitor go and watch it?
The show is great because the original film really was the first of its kind depicting life in a stage school. Without Fame, there would be no High School Musical or Glee. It shows how, in the '80s, you worked hard at your craft as opposed to now, where it’s perceived that you just stroll into it. Fame shows the darker side of dancing and singing. The cast are fantastic and the show is over two hours of dancing, singing and great storytelling.
What makes London stand out from the rest of the world?
London is my place of birth and I’m still really in love with it. I have lived in America and other parts of the world at different points in my life and I feel blessed to be able to travel so much, but my home is here in London. I feel creative here and there’s such a great mix of culture, but seeping through it all is that British thing that just makes it unique.
Fame the Musical is on stage from 11 Septemper to 19 October
The Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, WC2A 2HT
T: 020-7863 8222