The idea of a Fun Palace was conceived in 1961 by the theatre director and producer Joan Littlewood and her friend, the architect Cedric Price. They imagined the Fun Palace as a ‘laboratory of fun’, ‘a university of the streets’ – a place where everyone could be encouraged to be creative in both the arts and sciences.
A national movement has been launched to mark the centenary of Joan Littlewood’s birth, occurring in October 2014, with the the aim of fostering local, independent Fun Palaces throughout the UK and beyond.
The Fun Palace in Croydon is one of many popping up over the weekend of 4–5 October. At their heart, Fun Palaces are:
FREE: there’s no admission charge.
LOCAL: they’re built on community involvement, engagement and participation.
INNOVATIVE: they find new ways to bring arts and sciences together.
TRANSFORMATIVE: they intend to transform place/spaces, they transform the makers, and they transform the participants.
ENGAGING: they’re about full participation – sitting and listening is fine, as long as there are also opportunities to have a go.
To find out more about the national movement, check out their page.