Free Activities At London Fun Palaces This Weekend

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 38 months ago
Free Activities At London Fun Palaces This Weekend

Fun Palaces

London-born theatre director Joan Littlewood left behind quite a legacy in English theatre, but one of the visions not realised before her death was her idea of the Fun Palace, a "laboratory of fun", which she conceived with architect Cedric Price.

This weekend, to celebrate the centenary of Littlewood's birth, art galleries, museums, libraries, theatres and other venues across the country are being converted into free Fun Palaces, where everyone is invited to get involved in arts and science.

Naturally, there's a plethora of Fun Palaces landing in the capital. Take a gander at this map to find your nearest one, or if you're a fussy so-and-so, search by interest for something that takes your fancy. We've picked out a few of London's venues to give you a taste of what to expect. The majority of activities are aimed at families so are child-friendly, but check before you go along.

Southbank Centre

At Southbank Centre, the focus is largely on Joan Littlewood and what she intended her Fun Palace to be like. There are talks about her life and work, and that of Fun Palace co-conspirator Cedric Price (who, coincidentally was mentor to Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director Jude Kelly). A weekend focused on Joan Littlewood wouldn't be complete without a nod to Oh! What A Lovely War, so join in the singalong at 4.30pm on Sunday

Free, 11am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The human body is the focus aboard Floating Cinema's barge in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this weekend, as it is transformed into a "laboratory of digital happenings". Create a visualisation of your voice using just a smartphone, or make your body into a musical instrument using electrical pulses.

Free, booking necessary, 3 October, 12pm-6pm

Theatre Royal Stratford East

Described as "Joan's own theatre", Theatre Royal Stratford is creating a "little wood" and having a party in a marquee in the middle of Stratford. Bring a blanket, some food and a tree (real or otherwise) and take part in the free activities.

5 October, 2pm-5pm

artsdepot, North Finchley

It's a double celebration as artsdepot also celebrates its 10th birthday this weekend. There's a chance to learn about the history of Tally Ho Corner, where the cultural venue resides, through performances, an exhibition and a workshop. Get hands on in the science lab, or make a party hat, plus there's plenty of stage-based fun.

Free, just turn up (booking required for the film), 11am-4pm

Chisenhale Art Place, Victoria Park

The schedule (PDF) at Chisenhale ranges from a tea dance to a sitcom workshop, with focus mainly on visual art. Have a go at printmaking with vegetables, learn how to draw a cloud, or use light from the sun to make images.

Free, just turn up, 11am-6pm on Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sunday

Fun Palaces are free, and come to venues across the UK on 4-5 October.

Last Updated 29 September 2014