TV historian, presenter and StoryTrails Executive Producer David Olusoga’s companion documentary film to StoryTrails The People’s Piazza, A History of Covent Garden will be broadcast on BBC2 this Sunday 13 November at 9pm following the film’s premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October as part of the LFF For Free programme.
Telling the story of one of the nation’s best-known public spaces, the Covent Garden Piazza, from its early years as a playground for the aristocracy, through decline and dereliction to eventual rebirth, David Olusoga steps back in time to explore the iconic piazza’s tumultuous history. Over four centuries the Covent Garden Piazza has been a market, a meeting place, and a site of protest, performance and renewal.
In this documentary David Olusoga explores its history, and with the help of a host of experts and eyewitnesses, conjures up the ghosts of the past – market traders, orphans, artists and activists. Co-produced with StoryFutures Academy the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, the team behind StoryTrails and the BFI, the innovative film weaves together a wealth of archive film, including Lindsay Anderson’s Every Day Except Christmas (1957) from the BFI National Archive with virtual production techniques to bring to life the history of this iconic civic space.
In addition, StoryFutures Academy presents, in association with Uplands Television, The People’s Piazza: Behind The Scenes of a Virtual Production. This four-episode “Behind The Scenes” series explores how virtual production helped bring to life the archival material of the historically renowned Covent Garden Piazza, and is available on StoryFutures Academy from 21 November 2022.