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Peopling The Palace Festival

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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A festival to share between generations

The People's Palace is a museum and glasshouse in Glasgow. It was built in 1898, at a time when the east end of city was very unhealthy and overcrowded, so it was designed to provide a cultural centre for the community. In honour of the project, the Peopling The Palace Festival opens at Queen Mary University of London between 17th - 24th February for eight days of film, theatre, music, art, dance, and a good time all round. Throughout the week you will be able to see the People's Palace Poster Project, which includes a series of undergraduate student posters that explore the context behind how the People's Palace was developed. There will also be continuous viewings of Working Day, an MA student film compiled of archived British film extracts. The film is edited so that it depicts a day of labour.

17th February

Peopling The Palace Intergenerational Tea Dance
2pm-5pm, 5 adult, 4 concession, free for under 21s & over 60s

This is a chance for all the generations to come together and get dancing. Professional dancers will recreate the glamorous ballroom heyday with sounds from the roaring 20s, 30s, and 40s, not to mention a dash of sexy Latin and Swing moves. You will also be able to take part in an instant dance class, and of course dine on lots of tea and cakes.

Social Cinema: Deep End
5.30pm-7.30pm, 5 adult, 4 concessions

Take a flashback to the 1970s with this Deep End documentary that echoes the social history of the time and looks at the People's Palace in the days it was used as a cinema and swimming pool.

Peopling the Palace Opening Drinks Reception
8pm - 9pm, free

20th February

Life After Work 1: What's it Worth?
5.30pm 7pm, free

After you've finished work, head over the the festival and chat with other people about what you might do once you retire.

21st February

Life After Work 2: Working Lives

5.30pm 7pm, free

Chat about your working life. Should you stop doing the work you love? Should you have to go on working every day just to afford a living?

6.00pm 11.00pm Tickets: 10 adult, 8 concessions

An evening of intergenerational live art commissions with top tips from young artists.

23rd February

Life After Work 3: Utopia

5.30 7.00pm, free

Would a life without the need for work a utopian or dystopian world? What would we do with our spare time?

2boystv: Phobophilia
5pm, 6pm, & 9.30pm, 10-12 adult, 8-10 concession

Get taken to a secret location and witness a peculiar interrogation. This piece of interactive theatre unfolds through a complex meshing of sound, action, ritual and video projection. It is a a surrealist and dreamlike experience that poses the question: What is the role of the poet in an age characterised by fear?

Simon Vincenzi: Luxuriant
8pm, 10-12 adult, 8-10 concession

Simon Vincenzi is a 'radical theatre visionary', and his production, Luxuriant will be premiering at the festival. It is about a fiction cast of actors performing at the People's Palace.They try to reconstruct the classic 1933 musical film Gold Diggers, but go bankrupt during rehearsals.

24th February

Geraldine Pilgrim: Handbag

4.30pm, 5.00pm, 5.30pm, 6.00pm, 6.30pm, and 7.00pm, 4

A fifteen minute show with hundred dancers and a hundred handbags.

You can book tickets to all the events here.
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Why? Fun for the family
When: 17th - 24th Feb
Phone: 020 7882 2851
Where: Queen Mary University of London
Cost: 4-12
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