My London: Cush Jumbo

·3-min read
 (Olivia Lifungula)
(Olivia Lifungula)

Home is…

Honor Oak Park, south-east London, with my husband, Sean, my son, Max, and Henry the miniature poodle. I was born in Lambeth, grew up in Lewisham and Southwark. It’s what I’ve always known. My family are all around that area.

Best meal you’ve had?

At Balthazar they do a roasted cod with roasted potatoes and samphire, which is delicious. It’s one of the only places that’s open after you’ve done a theatre show.

Balthazar
Balthazar

Where do you stay in London?

My favourite is the Corinthia hotel. I love the spa downstairs. I just want to rub my face on every surface — even the broom cupboard is luxe.

The Corinthia’s spa
The Corinthia’s spa

Where would you recommend for a first date?

The Effra Social pub bar/dance floor in Brixton. But most of my places have shut down.

Which shops do you rely on?

New York doesn’t have a Selfridges and I missed it a lot when I worked there. There’s an amazing store in East Dulwich called Mac & Miller — they pull an edit together in the store and you can go in and buy a whole capsule wardrobe. I love flea markets and car-boot sales that pop up.

Where would you like to be buried?

I know you should say somewhere peaceful, but I want to be where the action is. My favourite bridge is Waterloo Bridge. I love seeing the National Theatre lit up at night. It makes me feel like I’m coming home. So if you could make me a crystal casket — I want to be seen as I decompose. And at night time I can feel the energy.

Biggest extravagance?

No one is ever getting my trainers! South Londoners are deep trainer lovers. For every pair of designer shoes, you could have eight pairs of trainers. I have some neon and camo Air Max that I am loving at the moment.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

Everybody would get a theatre day with popcorn and wine, travel included, best seat in the house and a day off work or school.

What’s your London secret?

If you’re a jobbing actor, before an audition, never use public toilets. You need to know where all the good toilets in the hotels and department stores are.

If you could buy any building and live there, which would it be?

The King’s Cross station revamp now it’s finished. They can still run the trains but I want the building on the top.

King’s Cross station (Alamy Stock Photo)
King’s Cross station (Alamy Stock Photo)

What makes someone a Londoner?

A tough exterior, but with a gooey middle.

What’s the best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

‘I don’t actually go south of the river, but I love you in The Good Fight.’ He did take me home in the end, and he talked to me about the show all the way.

Who is your hero?

The director Phyllida Lloyd — she’s just incredible. And my parents.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

So many people. If I want to have a good dance, my good friend Katie. My cocktail buddy is Poppy Delevingne. If I want to go to the theatre or to dinner, Kwame Kwei-Armah.

The most important thing you’ve learnt during the lockdowns?

That I really need my girlfriends. I physically need them in my life.

‘The Beast Must Die’ premieres on 27 May on BritBox

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