A short documentary on the campaign by the Covent Garden street performers against the management for cutting down on street performance (10 mins).
Covent Garden has a long history of street entertainment from the world’s first ever Punch and Judy show performed there in 1682 until the modern era starting in the mid Seventies shortly before the shopping centre was built. The network of street performers and musicians that work Covent Garden, both regular and transient, is vast, and the tradition and reputation of this area for street entertainment pulls tourists from all over the world. There is sometimes a clash of interests between the performers and the Covent Garden management who, although they acknowledge the custom brought in from street shows and busking, may prefer to reduce it in favour of high end brands in the market and potentially sanitize street theatre. This documentary tells the story of a 2008 demonstration staged by the collective group of West Piazza street performers and the classical musicians with the support of opera singer ‘Lesley Garrett’. As a result of the demonstration and media attention the management withdrew their proposal to close the musicians pitch and are now negotiating with the performers and including them in the organized events running at Covent Garden.