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Professor aims to put people back into East End’s People’s Palace

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 05 October 2010

ARTISTS and university professors are inviting the public to an open discussion on the future of the famous People’s Palace in London’s East End. The historic theatre in the Mile End Road hasn’t been used for regular public performances for 50 years

By Mike Brooke

ARTISTS and university professors are inviting the public to an open discussion on the future of the famous People’s Palace in London’s East End.

The historic theatre that now forms part of Queen Mary university college campus in the Mile End Road hasn’t been used for regular public performances for more than half-a-century.

Now academics from Queen Mary are anxious to turn it back into a public venue.

Their campaign sparks off next Saturday with an open forum billed as Putting the People Back in the People’s Palace is to air ideas on how the restored building can be used for contemporary performance.

“Art and culture needs space to grow in London’s East End,” says Prof Lois Weaver, who chairs the open discussion. “The People’s Palace is perfect for that.

“We’re drawing inspiration from its history as a meeting point for health, education and entertainment, a rebirth as a centre for the arts.”

It is part of a week-long Air Project featuring performances and dialogues from Peggy Shaw, Ernst Fischer Ron Athey and Prof Weaver.

The People’s Palace was first opened in Mile End Road in 1887 to bring education and entertainment to the East End, but was destroyed by fire in 1931. It was rebuilt in 1937 and used for performance until it was acquired by the adjoining college in the 1950s.

Anyone can go along and listen or even speak to the March 13 open forum which starts at 3pm.


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