London’s Leicester Square has been nicknamed a permanant building site by those working around it’s edges but after 18 months of redevelopment work, the new look square will re-open this week and will be holding it’s very own première. After it’s £15.3 million makeover, the square will be officially opened on Wednesday evening by Mayor Boris Johnson.
The newly refurbished Leicester Square has 12,000 square metres of granite paving, stainless steel railings and a water feature that sends jets of recycled water two metres into the air around the Shakespeare statue. The square’s trees have been fitted with up-lighters in an attempt to make visitors feel safe at night.
The special film-themed celebration will run from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th May and will see an array of interactive displays, costume characters and personal appearances, all for free.
Among the relaunch events will be “Lawn of The Dead”. The zombie inspired event, backed by Film4 FrightFest will be part of a series of events during the celebration. On Sunday 27th May, in the afternoon, Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, will appear live on stage to chat to film journalist Chris Tilly and also take part in a Q&A to discuss his ‘life in horror’.
If you’re a horror fan, you can take part in FDA’s Summer Fantasy & Horror Film Quiz hosted by Alex Zane, which will feature trailers from some of Summer’s scariest releases. Zombies will also be invading Leicester Square from 12.00 on the 27th marking the start of “Lawn of The Dead” and the organisers are hoping you’ll turn up as a zombie too…or let them give you a special make-over.
The other days are slightly more family orientated and less gruesome. There will be an interactive preview zone, entertainers, face painters and green-screen photo opportunities.
Among the personal appearances will be a Q&A with the world’s leading stuntman Vic Armstrong as well as a movie fencing demonstration, and an insight into life as a leading film journalist with Empire magazine.
There’ll even be free cinema screenings in the Square include Top Cat – The Movie and Red Tails, while there will be appearances by movie costume characters including from Ice Age 4 and Madagascar.
Thursday 24th May
From 10.00am – Play the film previews of your choice on the digital iTables (available each day)
12.30pm – Win prizes in the Great Leicester Square Film Quiz hosted by Alex Zane
1.15pm – ‘Fast Girls’ Movie Boot Camp: Meet the Trainers
2 – 5.00pm – Fun in the Square with jugglers, face painting, balloon stylists & fun photos (family zone)
7.00pm – Film premiere: ‘Tortoise in Love’
Friday 25 May
12.00pm – Live on stage: Film preview show presented by Alex Zane
12.45pm – Live on stage: The world’s greatest stuntman – Vic Armstrong
1.30pm – Live on stage: ‘Life of a film critic’ with Ian Freer & Ian Nathan
2 – 5.00pm – Fun in the Square (family zone)
From 3.00pm – Live on stage: Performances from Mamma Mia! & Chicago
Saturday 26 May
1am – 1.00pm – Meet Top Cat (film costume character) & more fun in the Square
12.30pm – Live on stage: ‘Neverland’ fencing display
1.30pm – ‘Ice Age 4’: Join the Continental Drift Dance with Sid & Scrat
2 – 5.00pm – Meet Sid & Scrat with ‘Ice Age 4’ fun in the Square
2 – 5.00pm – ‘Mini Havana’ live experience from ‘7 Days in Havana’: Cuban band & domino tables
Sunday 27 May
From 10.00am – Meet the ‘Madagascar 3’ penguins (family zone)
12.00pm – Lawn of the Dead extravaganza: Zombie gathering & activity in the gardens
1.00pm – Celebration of ‘Film4 FrightFest the 13th’ with Alan Jones
3.00pm – The Genius of Hitchcock presented by the British Film Institute
Schedule subject to change. Please check the website for more details.