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Walworth Road street signs and actor Adeel Akhtar
Image: Time Out

Actor Adeel Akhtar on how Walworth Road shaped him

The ‘Ali & Ava’ star on why he loves this stretch of south London

Written by
Alice Saville

When I first moved to London after drama school, I wasn’t working much. I was signing on or handing out flyers for club nights, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I used to walk home from Brixton down Walworth Road. That street is always a reminder of the time when I was struggling. Just walking down it overwhelms me. Its mixture of languages, sounds, ethnicities and smells represents London. That mix is one of the reasons my mum and dad came to this country: it’s a London that’s inviting and accepting.

Now, I live off Walworth Road with my family. There’s a sense of poetry in no longer just walking through, but being able to absorb it. My son goes to nursery round the corner, and I go to cafés like Louie Louie and Fowlds. And then there’s East Street Market, where people who’ve just come to the country have a stall alongside those who’ve been here for generations: there’s a hijabi lady who has a speaker on her stall playing old-school ‘get your shirts here’ market patter. Even though we’re lucky enough to be able to travel, it’s the best place in the world for us. 

Adeel Akhtar is in ‘Ali & Ava’, out in cinemas on Mar 4. Read Time Out’s review here.

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