Fun Palaces, October 2014

From the Isle of Man to the Isle of Wight, Iceland to Canada, 105 Fun Palaces have signed up to be part of Fun Palaces 2014, a vast communal celebration of arts, culture and sciences quite unlike anything that has come before. With more Fun Palaces signing up each day, it is anticipated that Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 October 2014 will see more than 150 Fun Palaces popping-up across the country.

Venues including RSC, Liverpool Everyman, Southbank Centre, Roundhouse, Wales Millennium Centre and Joan’s own theatre Theatre Royal Stratford East, have all signed up to be Fun Palace Makers. Unusual locations include a Fun Palace at Brockwell Lido, which will offer physics lectures in the swimming pool, eco action games, canoes and water walking. School Wood, Cheshire will be transformed into Whirligig Fun Palace, with a giant insect procession, campfire sing-alongs and woodland yoga.

Creative scientific experiments lie at the heart of many Fun Palaces. The Melodrome Fun Palacein Morecombe centres on the recreation of a spectacular Victorian variety theatre illusion, Pepper’s Ghost, bringing together local artists, computer geeks, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and entertainers to recreate the illusion using 21st Century technologies. Birmingham Fun Palace, a partnership between Birmingham REP, Library of Birmingham, University of Birmingham and Birmingham Literature Festival,will include an interactive murder mystery to be solved using science, poetry in a Planetarium and physics explored through circus and dance. At the Roundhouse, participants will work with neuroscientists and set designers on the creation of a giant brain that will enable participants to understand the complexities of this vital organ from which part of the brain feels sad, happy or scare to where our memories are stored.

Plans for the Royal and Derngate Fun Palace include turning the theatre into a campsite, inviting the public in to pitch a tent and take part in a day and night of activities. Celebrations also continue into the night at Farnham Fun Palace,working with The Astronomy Society on night time entertainment, and a 24 hour take over of Farnham Museum.

Lyric Hammersmith partners up with Firehouse Creative Productions to present All Change Festival – an international Fun Palace combining performance, funfair and village fete. In Toronto, Canada, The Fun Palace Variety Radio Show, will be performed live and online, and the Manx Fun Palace will take participants on an interactive historical trail through Laxey, Isle of Man.

Fun Palaces is also announcing a Digital Fun Palace entitled Everyone An Artist, Everyone A Scientist, co-commissioned by The Space. Led and created by Caper and Mudlark, the commission will see the Fun Palaces website become a community for Fun Palaces Makers and Participants to share their Fun Palace visions, before becoming a public platform for the huge range of community-led arts on the weekend itself.

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