‘One Guvnor’ actor Gavin Spokes: My Fave Places
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Gavin Spokes stars in the much-acclaimed ‘One Man Two Guvnors’, currently at the Wycombe Swan until Sat 6 Dec, having previously been in the West End production of the show. Recent credits include She Stoops to Conquer at the National and 1984 at the Almeida and on tour. He lives on the Bucks/Beds borders with his wife and dog. Here are his favourite places.
Rushmere country park
Genuinely I think Rushmere is one of the hidden gems in the country. It’s in Bedfordshire, just outside Leighton Buzzard, and it’s a fantastically well-maintained country park. The original mansion was turned into flats, but a couple who owned a bungalow in the middle of the forest overlooking the lake sold their land to the council and it’s created this beautiful space, really special, with so many trees. I’m quite outdoorsy which is basically why I don’t live in London, though it would be handier for work. We love the countryside and fields – proper fields without fences around them!
The Unicorn pub, Cublington
My wife and I used to live in Wing, just on the Bucks/Beds borders. It’s a lovely little village and it has this fabulous little pub there. Especially in summer it’s always buzzy and they do a fabulous music and ale festival there.
The Castle at Berkhamsted
Not many people, other than locals, seem to know that behind the station are the castle ruins with a great moat around it. When I was about 8 years old, I pushed a friend in the moat and got a real telling off. I was from Dunstable and the other boy was very posh in Berkhamsted, so there you go – you shouldn’t let rough kids like me come to Berkhamsted, chaos happens!
Wormsley cricket ground
I play a lot of cricket, and Wormsley cricket ground is a bit special. They often have ladies internationals that you can have watch. I admire female cricketers, there’s a lady who came down to my club for a few seasons and she was nearly as quick as our quickest bowler, she was amazing. I played at Wormsley as a kid, as I used to play county cricket, so I really love the sport and Wormsley is about as beautiful a place to play as you can imagine.
Nell of Old Drury, London
One of the favourite pubs for actors in London is The Old Nell opposite Drury Lane. It’s a right of passage to go here really. Nell was an actress of course, and the mistress of Charles II and it’s oneof the oldest pubs in the area, full of actors and stage crew. You’ll always see someone you know as an actor when you walk in there.
I like my clothes, and my job plays on that really, as I get a lot of stuff made for me for plays. Shoes are my favourite thing and playing Francis in One Man Two Guvnors has been great because the National Theatre make me the brogues for the part. Or at least they did at the beginning, I go through so many they just buy stock now! Unfortunately it’s given me a taste for bespoke so I have to walk very fast past Paul Smith these days.
I’ve had a dog for three years, a collie cross lurcher, and we just love him. My wife and I don’t have kids yet so I guess this is our training. He needs exercising for an hour and a half a day, so we’re always looking for places to take him, and we loved Stowe, not only because it’s plainly beautiful but also because they let you take dogs there.
Farmer’s market in Winslow
We live on the Bucks/Beds border and will often pop to this market on a Saturday to pic up a local game pie. I’m quite into my cooking ,but on tour I get lazy because it’s so hard to find the time and energy to do it.
Cây Tre, Soho
The best Vietnamese food outside Vietnam. This restaurant is always heaving which is a good sign. My wife and I are massively into Vietnamese food so we’ll always make a beeline for this place whenever we’re in London.