This weekend, the work of Katharine Heath and Ian Teague will be on show in some of London’s first Fun Palaces a UK-wide engagement project to get communities making things together. Hundreds of Fun Palaces across the UK will be holding participation events, and will be linked digitally through the Fun Palaces website, physical walks and virtual tours.

Each Fun Palace will do something different. Ian Teague got involved through the children’s theatre company Make Believe Arts based in South East London. Now part of the team behind the Deptford Fun Palaces, Ian has been helping with all kinds of artistic endeavours. One of the events involves giant shirts:

For the Bush Theatre Fun Palace in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, Katharine Heath will animate a library space to welcome members of the community to the various workshops and activities happening there. Later in the year, some of her work for Fun Palaces will transfer to Shepherd’s Bush Market for an artist residency in a shipping container!

Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price’s original design for Fun Palaces in 1961 aimed to inspire curiosity, adventure, and inclusiveness in a ‘laboratory of fun’:

“Choose what you want to do – or watch someone else doing it. Learn how to handle tools, paint, babies, machinery, or just listen to your favourite tune. Dance, talk or be lifted up to where you can see how other people make things work. Sit out over space with a drink and tune in to what’s happening elsewhere in the city. Try starting a riot or beginning a painting – or just lie back and stare at the sky.”

This weekend is the fruition of that idea: a new beginning for Fun Palaces.  The organisers are excited…

And so are we!

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