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London city streets around Covent Garden

 Europe, United Kingdom, London
 

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Covent Garden is a district in London, England, located in the easternmost parts of the City of Westminster and the southwestern corner of the London Borough of Camden. The area is dominated by shopping, street performers, and entertainment facilities, and it contains an entrance to the Royal Opera House, which is also widely-known simply as "Covent Garden", and the bustling Seven Dials area.

The area is bounded by High Holborn to the north, Kingsway to the east, the Strand to the south and Charing Cross Road to the west. Covent Garden Piazza is located in the geographical centre of the area and was the site of a flower, fruit and vegetable market from the 1500s until 1974, when the wholesale market relocated to New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms. Nearby areas include Soho, St James's, Bloomsbury, and Holborn.

The marketplace and Royal Opera House were memorably brought together in the opening of George Bernard Shaw's play, Pygmalion, as well its musical adaptation by Alan Jay Lerner, My Fair Lady. In both, Professor Henry Higgins is waiting for a cab to take him home from the opera when he comes across Eliza Doolittle selling flowers in the market.

In the mid-1950s, before he directed such films as If.... and O Lucky Man!, Lindsay Anderson directed a short film about the daily activities of the Covent Garden market called Every Day Except Christmas. It shows 12 hours in the life of the market and market people, now long gone from the area, but it also reflects three centuries of tradition in the operation of the daily fruit and vegetable market.

Alfred Hitchcock's 1972 film, Frenzy, likewise takes place amongst the pubs and fruit markets of Covent Garden. The serial sex killer in Frenzy is a local fruit vendor, and the film features several blackly comic moments suggesting a metaphorical correlation between the consumption of food and the act of rape–murder. Hitchcock was the son of a retail greengrocer in North-East London and would have known the area, so the film was partly conceived (and marketed) as a nostalgic return to familiar streets from the director's childhood.

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