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Henley Street Fun Palace

Saturday, 6 October 10am - 4pm

Catapult Plague-ridden Jelly Babies at the Henley Street Fun Palace
Catapult plague-ridden jelly babies at the Henley Street Fun Palace

Stratford-upon-Avon’s most famous street is to be transformed into a street party from 10am – 4pm on Saturday, 6 October as part of a FREE nationwide celebration of arts, culture and science.  

Catapult plague-ridden jelly babies, create a LEGO movie and see dinosaurs come to life are just some of the fun-filled activities for all the family at the Henley Street Fun Palace.  

Co-ordinated by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, this year’s Fun Palace brings together some of Warwickshire’s favourite arts and culture organisations for a day of free fun for the community to enjoy. Some of the fantastic hands-on activities available throughout the day include: 

  • Join the team from at Warwick University’s School of Life Sciences to re-enact biological warfare by besieging a castle with plague-infected jelly babies.
  • Go on a journey through time and space with the team from Stratford Library. See dinosaurs, animals and distant places come to life before your very eyes – all through the magic of Virtual Reality. You can also make your own LEGO movie bringing characters to life using simple animation techniques.
  • Celebrate the Year of Engineering with the Armed Forces Kineton Barracks. Learn how to build towers and fire rockets, using critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Transport yourself back to Tudor times. Strike a pose with our Tudor dressing up box, learn to write with a  quill, make a ruff or decorate fairy wings, and have your hair braided, Tudor-style. Look out for the Wise Women from Mary Arden’s Farm, who will be making organic lotions and ointments.
  • Join pupils from The Ogden Trust as they present a range of interesting, exciting and curious science activities throughout the day.
  • Learn how to throw some Shakespearian insults with the Stratford Drama Club and watch them perform throughout the day.
  • Meet the team from local family business, Holdsworth Windows and participate in the fascinating process of stain glass window making.
  • It’s back to school for a lesson with the Tudor schoolmaster from Shakespeare’s Schoolroom
  • Watch the Shakespeare Morris dance to traditional folk music.
  • Enjoy Makaton storytelling sessions based on nursery rhymes.
  • Have your face painted by the team from Funtastic Faces.

Dr Anjna Chouhan from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “This year we are thrilled to take Fun Palaces out onto Henley Street, working in collaboration with some of Warwickshire’s finest arts and culture organisations to present a day of free creative and science-related activities. There really is something for everyone and we hope that people will come along and be part of this wonderful celebration of creativity and community in the heart of Shakespeare’s home town.” 

Community radio station Welcombe Radio will also be broadcasting live from Henley Street, taking music requests and dedications from visitors. 

Fun Palaces is the brainchild of theatre director Joan Littlewood, who had dreamt of creating a temporary home for arts and sciences which was open and welcoming to all. Sadly, Joan’s dream was never realised but decades on, director and author Stella Duffy has brought Joan’s vision to life with the help of Arts Council England to bring over 200 Fun Palaces created across the UK. 

The Henley Street Fun Palace takes place on Saturday, 6 October from 10am – 4pm; come rain or shine thanks to the generous donation of market stalls from LSD Promotions. Entry and activities are free. For more information visit www.shakespeare.org.uk/events 

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