Leicester Square has come alive with a statue trail called Scenes in the Square, which celebrates a century of cinema.
Honouring Britain’s love of film and cinema, the statue trail – which launched in February 2020 – features the likes of Bugs Bunny, Mary Poppins, Mr Bean, Paddington, as well as DC Super Heroes Batman and Wonder Woman. Designed to appeal to all ages, Scenes in the Square brings the nation’s favourite movie moments to life, throwing it all the way back to the 1920s. It’s entirely free to visit, and a brilliant new guided audio tour is set to help you enjoy it even more!
Narrated by film geek Alex Zane, the audiovisual tour lets you personalise your visit to Scenes in the Square. It’s chock full of film clips, trivia, and interviews with figures such as Hugh Bonneville (a co-star in Paddington) and Patricia Ward Kelly, the wife and biographer of the legendary Gene Kelly. The tour is free, entirely self-guided, and has been designed with social distancing in mind – you simply follow along by activating the tour on your podcast platform of choice, and then listen as the eight iconic film scenes depicted by the statues come to life! Find out more about the tour here.
Each of the Scenes in the Square statues has been chosen to stand for a different era of cinema. Representing the earlier years is legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, who starred in over 100 films together. The 1929 movie Liberty is the inspiration behind the statue that you can see teetering on a rooftop.
Bugs Bunny lurks in a nearby flower bed, celebrating his eightieth birthday and the eightieth anniversary of the 1940 film A Wild Hare, while the joyful figure of Gene Kelly is found clinging to a lamppost, recreating the iconic scene from one of the greatest musicals of all time, Singin’ in the Rain.
Elsewhere in the square. you’ll be able to sit on a bench next to Mr Bean or everyone’s favourite marmalade-loving bear, Paddington. Look up to the sky to spot Batman watching over the city from a rooftop, catch Wonder Woman bursting through a wall, or pose next to Mary Poppins! Many of the statues will illuminate at night, and there are interactive maps, sounds and visuals to accompany the figures.
It goes without saying that Leicester Square is the perfect setting for such an installation, being London’s home of film since the very first cinema opened in 1930. This trail of statues isn’t just a pop-up either – it’s a long-term project to celebrate unforgettable movies and, if all goes well, they hope to welcome more characters in years to come. Plus, once you’ve finished the tour, you can strike out for even more brilliant things to do in the area, such as London’s Crystal Maze experience, this charming Peter Rabbit afternoon tea, or cocktails at retro haunt Blame Gloria.
Head down to Leicester Square to catch Scenes in the Square!
Also published on Medium.