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On Tuesday 14 May the historian Daniel Snowman will lead a group around the Covent Garden piazza to explore some of its most historic landmarks. After a shared lunch we will have a private backstage tour of the Royal Opera House.

10.30am: Meet at St Paul's (“The Actors' Church”) for coffee, followed by an introductory illustrated lecture about the history of the Piazza.  

11.45am: Guided walk around the Piazza, taking in Drury Lane, Bow Street and Long Acre, and identifying many famous streets, their historic names and celebrity residents. 

1pm: Lunch at the Royal Opera House's Piazza Restaurant 

2.45pm: Private backstage tour of the Royal Opera House – the third theatre on the site since 1732. 


  • Standard: £50
  • Concession: £25

Limited places available, book in early to avoid disappointmen

This event is open to all and not just the Friends of the IHR.

Daniel Snowman is a Senior Research Fellow at the IHR, a member of the Friends Committee and author of The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera.  He has written and lectured widely about the history of the Covent Garden piazza, the impact of the Restoration, the Fire and Plague on the growth of the market, its historical theatricality (both popular and elite), the 'Bow Street Runners' and celebrated visitors and residents from Pepys and Nell Gwynn to painters Peter Lely and Godfrey Kneller, to Voltaire, Dr Johnson, Turner, Hogarth, Garrick – and Bernard Shaw's Eliza Doolittle!