Sat 4 October, 12noon to 4pm
On 4 and 5 October, Fun Palaces will be springing up across the UK and internationally, ‘laboratories of fun’ to celebrate the arts and science that welcome adults and children alike. We're very pleased that the Hothouse will become a Fun Palace on 4 October, hosting an open day with lots of participatory music and arts workshops so people can have a go and join in.
The West End Fun Palace will have music workshops with a science twist. There will be music for the under 5s, a folk session, sampling workshops and the chance to try our Chinese instruments and samba drums or rock out on guitar and drums plus performances throughout the day.
Local artist Shane Johnstone will be bringing his Splodgamatic pedal powered paint machine, bring a t-shirt to have a unique design printed on it or create a new piece of art. You’ll also have the chance to learn how to make felt. Upstairs will be Teresa’s Café of Joy serving hot and cold drinks for free plus scones. Steampunks The League of Splendid will be holding tea duels (two people dunk their biscuits in their tea, the winner is one whose biscuit stays together the longest!)
Dan Fox from Sound Intervention will be bringing elements of his Howling Wire aeolian sound installation. Howlers, wind flutes, weathervane warblers, wind bows and more will be temporarily installed outside More Music's building to create a sonic landscape played entirely by the wind. Come and make a swinging bird whistle and help turn the piazza into a sonic garden.
The event will be combined More Music’s annual community open day, come down and see what happens here!
What is a Fun Palace?
In 1961 Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price conceived the Fun Palace as a ‘laboratory of fun’, ‘a university of the streets’. It was to be a temporary and moveable home to the arts and sciences that would welcome children and adults alike, based on Joan Littlewood’s motto of "Everyone an artist, everyone a scientist.”
The original design said:
"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."
They aim to take the best of that never-built 1960s vision and bring it into the 21st century in a weekend of events, locally curated and attended – linked nationally and internationally, virtually and actually
Fun Palace illustration by Emily Medley.