Saunders 1865 | Robert Redford to visit London Docklands
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Robert Redford to visit London Docklands

Say the word Sundance and most people (at least, of a certain age…) conjure up a mental image of Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid, larking about with Paul Neman, aka Butch Cassidy, on bicycles in the pouring rain.  Or later in the film, as the two men succumb to hail of bullets on their ill-fated flight towards the Mexican border.

But fast-forward to 2012 and Sundance is taking on a whole different connotation: this time the Sundance Kid is arriving in London’s Docklands, as Robert Redford brings his celebrated Sundance Film Festival to the east of London.  Come the end of April and not only will the blue-eyed blond titan of Hollywood be hitting our shores.  Sundance London, which is being held at the O2 Arena, will hopefully be drawing the likes of Nick Hornby, T. Bone Burnett, Rufus Wainwright, Julie Delpy, Chris Rock and Elizabeth Olsen, all of who are involved with films that are being screened during the four-day festival.

But these won’t be the first famous names to have been captivated by the allure of London’s Docklands.  Cher, Robert De Niro, Sir Ian McKellen, Glenda Jackson, David Lean and Graham Norton have all lived or still do live in this exciting, edgy corner of London.  Even in Victorian times, Charles Dickens explored the seedier side of Limehouse and its opium dens, using them as a basis for a scene in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  Of course, things have changed since then and the Isle of Dogs with the glittering spires of Canary Wharf is now one of the most futuristic spots in the capital.  Exciting waterside developments and converted warehouses make it the perfect place for young professionals who want a slice of urban hip – and just imagine how excited your mum will be when you tell her you’ve just spotted Robert Redford in the local bar!

Sundance London runs from 26-29 April

To find out more about Docklands living, click here to read the Saunders 1865 report London Docklands – Where History Looks to the Future.

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