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Cambridge Circus, London facts for kids

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Cambridge Circus London
Cambridge Circus and the Palace Theatre

Cambridge Circus is the partly pedestrianised intersection where Shaftesbury Avenue crosses Charing Cross Road on the eastern edge of Soho, central London. Side-streets Earlham, West, Romilly and Moor streets also converge at this point. It is halfway between Tottenham Court Road station, Oxford Street (at St Giles Circus) and the centre of Leicester Square, which is southwest of Charing Cross Road via Cranborne Street.

The Circus is fronted by listed Georgian and Victorian buildings. Of these, the Palace Theatre has the widest façade; three bars and three fast food outlets, unusually, occupy the ground floors of the others.

Buildings

The Palace Theatre is located on the west side of the junction.

In fiction

In his espionage novels, author John le Carré placed the headquarters of the fictionalised British intelligence service based on MI6 in buildings on Shaftesbury Avenue and Cambridge Circus; it is from this that Le Carré's nickname for the agency, "The Circus", derives. The BBC's Gordon Corera notes that the entrance described by Le Carré most closely resembles that of 90 Charing Cross Road, just north of Cambridge Circus. The actual MI6 has never occupied premises in or near Cambridge Circus.

Film locations

Cambridge Circus has featured as location in the following productions:

  • The League of Gentlemen (1960)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)
  • Match Point (2005)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008) (featured as one of the questions)
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Cambridge Circus, London Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.