The Fun Palace


"The Fun Palace" is a poem by Caroline Bird that is etched into a wooden structure South of the ArcelorMittal Orbit. It celebrates the life and work of Joan Littlewood who, among other things, was the life-force behind the Theatre Royal in Stratford, which is still a landmark cultural venue now known as Theatre Royal Stratford East.

In the 1960's, Joan conceived the Fun Palace with architect Cedric Price to be built on the site of the Park; a ground-breaking arts and education centre that would welcome everybody.

Although never built, Joan's work on the Fun Palace and her infectious personality remain an inspiration to many.

The inscription on the wooden structure reads as follows:

It is a love story. Joan and her theatre workshop. The found a crumbling old slum in E15. They slept illegally in the eaves like ghosts with unfinished business. She created Oh What A Lovely War. She shovelled rubble from Angel Lane. She said "Let the waters close over me." She was an outsider. She grafted. She changed the world...