Dangerous, Immoral, Ahead of Its Time
Notes on the history of the Fun Palace Project
Informal and flexible, Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price’s Fun Palace (1961–74) was envisioned as a socially interactive and ever-changing “laboratory of fun” for the public. Located in London, it was to be built on public land that had been slated for redevelopment and then, after ten years, it would be deconstructed—no permanent trace of the structure would remain. However, the transformation of the speculative project into a built structure was complicated by restrictive policies and community concerns over its “safety,” which impacted the selection of its site. Littlewood and Price adapted the project for several possible sites across the city, from the Isle of Dogs to Camden Town to the Lea Valley. The following documents demonstrate the obstructions the project faced, as well as the fluctuation of public opinion; they ultimately reveal how a site was never agreed upon and the Fun Palace was never built.