Torriano Meeting House


Poetry Art Politics Community 

Torriano Meeting House  is a user-funded grass-roots volunteer-run arts and community organisation in Kentish Town. We are best known for our poetry events but we have many other long running strands including storytelling for adults, writing and storytelling workshops, hosting local political campaigning groups, theatrical events, left wing folk club, and we very much support grass-roots creativity and social change.  

Torriano is a space for you to organise events and projects.

“What is the purpose of resisting corporate globalization if not to protect the obscure, the ineffable, the unmarketable, the unmanageable, the local, the poetic and the eccentric? So they need to be practiced, celebrated and studied too, right now.” – Rebecca Solnit


Médecins Sans Frontières fundraiser

ruthA sale of original textiles, framed photographs and cards by Ruth Ingram

Saturday 12th, and l9th October 2.30. – 6.p.m. and Sunday 13th, and 20th October 2.30 – 6.p.m.

All purchased items can be taken away immediately. Prices between £10 – £ 35 (cash or cheques)

Launch of poetry pamphlet, Travelling Light, by Frances Galleymore

Saturday October 12th, 6-8pm

Long-time resident of Highgate, Frances Galleymore was a professional writer all her adult life, producing novels, short stories, reviews, television scripts, screenplays and, from 2006, poetry. In September this year, two years after her death in June 2017, she will be in print again, as a pamphlet of some of her work is published by Poetry Salzburg under the title Travelling Light, the poems selected and edited by fellow poets Isabel Galleymore – Frances’s niece – and Fred Beake.

Copies of the collection will be on sale, and there will be readings by Isabel, Fred and other poets of note. Frances was a member of Highgate Poets until leaving London in 2013; another Highgate Poet, Norbert Hirschhorn, describes how, with Travelling Light,

“Frances … takes us by the hand through the thickets and ambushes of life with a tender lyricism, magical, sometimes even funny.” Robert Peake declares that “In the brief time we are given, one could do far worse than to journey so lightly, yet so keenly aware, as she has done throughout these poems.”

Admission to the event is free. A place can be reserved by registering with Eventbrite:

Saturday 5 October 10.57am – 9.57pm

“Imagine a place where the latent genius in all of us becomes ripe, expresses itself and communicates with others.

A place where the human mind and human creativity explore the arts and the sciences for the delight of being alive.

No certificates are awarded at this university, no prospectuses have to be printed, no students have to bribed to study, there is no fear of ‘outcomes’.

This place is also a nursery, a laboratory, a music hall and a kitchen.

Since 2014, Fun Palaces have been built all over Britain and have spread across the oceans as far as Dar es Salaam, British Colombia and New Zealand.

Presently, Fun Palaces exist only for a day or a weekend at the beginning of each October and their fabric is made of constructions of the imagination erected within the bricks and mortar of host buildings.

The Fun Palace was conceived by theatre director Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price in 1961. It was an idea that a new sort of building could break down the exclusion exuded by institutions, that it would be a revolutionary, fluid space which never grew stale and which enabled and responded to the energies and flows of the community.

Joan wrote: ‘we are going to create a university of the streets – not a gracious park, but a foretaste of the pleasures of the future. The “Fun Arcade” will be full of the games that psychologists and electronics engineers now devise for the service of industry, or war.

‘Knowledge will be piped through jukeboxes…. An acting area will afford the therapy of theatre for everyone: men and women from factories, shops and offices, bored with their daily routine, will be able to re-enact incidents from their own experience, wake to a critical awareness of reality…. But the essence of the place will be informality – nothing obligatory – anything goes.

‘There will be no permanent structures. Nothing is to last more than 10 years, some things not even 10 days: no concrete stadia, stained and cracking, no legacy of noble contemporary architecture, quickly dating…. With informality goes flexibility.’

Cedric Price designed the aviary at London Zoo and hugely influenced architects to think about the politics of communities and their relationship to structures. He never got to build the Fun Palace but it remained an powerful vision.

In 2014, writer and performer Stella Duffy wanted to celebrate the centenary of Joan Littlewood’s birth by setting up a campaign for cultural democracy where the spirit of Littlewood and Price’s dream would be continued.

The idea is that anyone anywhere can build a Fun Palace and invite the neighbours in because curiosity, creativity and conversation are inside all of us. Culture is what happens when people come together.

I have been part of creating Fun Palaces at Torriano. I have found there is an exquisite pleasure in trusting that culture happens all by itself. A pleasure in overcoming the doubt that is manifested in scheduling, providing, entertaining, fundraising, teaching.

Stepping into a Fun Palace is a free-fall down a rabbit hole and on landing you discover you have arrived in the best possible place for being human.”

Emily Johns

Torriano Fun Palace

Torriano Poetry


Jo Roach and Anna Robinson.

7.30pm. £5/£4 according to pocket

Readers from the floor welcome

Jeremy Corbyn at Torriano

Kumiko Shimizu’s sculpture installation Luna +I and Jeremy Corbyn is on show all of September. Open and meet the artist Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-4.30pm.

15 Sept 7pm, Tape slides viewing at Torriano

28 Sept 3pm, 11a St Martin’s Almshouses, Bayham Street NW1 0BD Conversation with trees


Stephen Watts reading

Torriano Poetry

Sunday 15th September, 7.30pm, £5/£4 according to pocket

Stephen Watts reads his own work and translations including poetry of Kurdish Syrian poet, Golan Haji

Torriano Fun Palace

5th October, 2019 – 11:05AM – 10:06PM

This year we will build palaces! Horray for Cedric Price and Joan Littlewood!

Geodesic domes will be made, memory palaces constructed, the beauties of low dimension topology grappled with, cardboard towns built, poems read, orange peel sculptures crafted, stories told, knots knotted, recordings made, films watched. All this using inspiration, paper, string, sellotape and brains.

All welcome. Bring an experiment, a poem, a biscuit, a thought, or just bring yourself.

Culture grows from its roots

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