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Want to get up close with Paddington Bear or sit next to Mr Bean? Leicester Square in London’s newest attraction is a series of bronze film statues (entitled ‘Scenes in the Square’) dotted in and around the gardens, to coincide with Leicester Square’s 350th anniversary.
Showcasing stars from the silver screen, this free, London attraction is easily accessible with each statue / star representing a different decade of cinema, starting from the 1920s until the present day. Unveiled in February (2020) by Paddington star Hugh Bonneville (who plays Mr Brown), there are 8 statues in all, including Mary Poppins (as played by Julie Andrews), Gene Kelly in an iconic pose from ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (very appropriate for London, given our unpredictable weather!) and Bugs Bunny eating his trademark carrot; What’s Up Doc?
We’ve been to Leicester Square several times since these new film bronze statues were launched and they’re very popular, particularly Mr Bean and Paddington (eating his marmalade sandwich), as they are located sitting on benches within the square, meaning local Londoners and tourists can sit for selfies with them or pose for snaps – sometimes there is even a queue to sit with the statues!
Whilst most are easily accessible and can be seen from the gardens in Leicester Square, some are a little harder to find – all we can say is look up! Batman looks down over Leicester Square from atop the Odeon cinema (home to thousands of big, red-carpet movie premieres over the years) whilst Stan Laurel and Ollie Hardy can be found dancing on top of the West End ticket booth. Wonder Woman can also be found just outside Leicester Square, high up in Leicester Court.
So why install these superb ‘Scenes from the Square here? Well, Leicester Square celebrates its 350th anniversary this year, having originally been laid out as Leicester Fields in 1670 – it used to be a highly prized residential area and didn’t become known as London’s film central until the 1930’s onwards, when the first cinema opened – subsequently, more cinemas and entertainment venues opened up around the square – most recently, LEGO and M&M World have joined the fray (both usually have long queues to get in).
UPDATE AUGUST 2020 – a new audio tour for Scenes from the Square has also been launched using a ‘binaural soundscaping technique’ to immerse the listener hosted by Alex Zane. We are not actually sure what this means but you can access it via Spotify and various podcast platforms.
Leicester Square Film Statues
The full list of Leicester Square Film Statues featuring in ‘Scenes from the Square’ in central London are as follows:
Laurel and Hardy
Gene Kelly / Dancing in the Rain
Getting to Leicester Square / Scenes from the Square
The nearest London Underground Tube stations to the Leicester Square Film Statues are Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus.
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