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London on screen: the house from ‘Performance’

By Thomas Hobbs
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Did you know that the Mick Jagger’s run-down flat in cult classic ‘Performance’ is in one of west London’s swankiest areas? Here’s the story behind the scene…

The location: 25 Powis Square, W11.

The scene: On the run from a murderous gang, Chas (James Fox) takes refuge in a musician’s pad in grimy Notting Hill. He falls in with eccentric rock singer Turner (Mick Jagger), and over the next days the pair indulge in orgies, psychedelic mushrooms and murder.

Then: Powis Square was a ‘slum district’ when Nic Roeg shot ‘Performance’ in 1968, according to historian Edmund Bird. He says Notting Hill had a ‘dire reputation as one of the most dangerous parts of London’.

Powis Square Performance

Andy Parsons

Now: Fifty years on, Powis Square could hardly have changed more. By the 1980s the low property prices, central location and stucco-fronted houses began attracting the middle and upper classes again. Nowadays an average flat in Powis Square costs nearly £800,000. ‘This road used to be a scene of poverty,’ says Bird. ‘Now it’s full of millionaires.’

For more of the city on screen, check out our list of the 30 best London movies.

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