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jade anouka, his dark materials
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Actor Jade Anouka on her formative years in a New Cross flatshare

The 'His Dark Materials' star reminisces about her south east London home

Written by
Paula Akpan

When I graduated from drama school at 21, I rented a flat on Troutbeck Road with two mates, one who I’d met at drama school and another I’d met at the National Youth Theatre.

Living there shaped the person and the actor I am today. At the time, I wasn’t acting that much but I was working three jobs. I’d come home and the three of us would look for auditions.

A lot of rejection happened in that house. It was there that I developed a thick skin for this job. But a lot of my firsts happened in the three years I lived there too: my first TV gig, my first lead in a Shakespeare play.

The road is quite close to Goldsmiths and Camberwell College of Arts and that’s definitely represented in the area – there’s so much creativity and so many interesting characters. I worked in a café down the road and met loads of locals. I’d learn my lines while I was serving people. Everyone would say good luck.

If I’m in the area, I sometimes go back to the road for nostalgia. I still think about the variety of life there that inspired me with my work. Living on Troutbeck Road nourished me in more ways than I can count.

Jade Anouka is in ‘His Dark Materials’ on BBC One.

Read more from this series:

What Rye Lane in Peckham means to presenter Yinka Bokinni.

Candice Carty-Williams reminisces about East Street Market.

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