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London's Free Shows

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London's Free Shows

Part of Wonderful London, the BFI National Archive’s programme of restored London travelogues, filmed in the capital in the 1920s.

Travelogue 1924 8 mins

Overview

A round-up of free events in London, including street entertainers, a Punch and Judy show, pavement artists, road menders (some things never change), a daring demonstration by the fire brigade, an abduction staged by a film company and that more regular fixture, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Based on a successful magazine, the film series Wonderful London captures the life of the capital in the 1920s. These simple travelogues contrast different aspects of city life; East End and West End, poor and rich, natives and immigrants, looking beyond the stereotypes to show surprising views of the city. These six restorations by the BFI National Archive reintroduce the films' original colours, with new piano accompaniments by John Sweeney.