Wandsworth Arts Fringe Kicks Off This Weekend

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By: Jun. 09, 2023
Wandsworth Arts Fringe Kicks Off This Weekend

Wandsworth Arts Fringe Kicks Off This Weekend

Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF) is back with a jam-packed, belly-laughing, awe-inspiring new line-up featuring street performance, dance, live music, theatre, comedy, film, exhibitions, spoken word and more.

Now in its 14th year, WAF has become known for daring artists and audiences alike to take a walk on the wild side and test something new. Discover an intimate festival of brand-new theatre at The Arches underneath Putney Bridge, sparkling nights of comedy and cabaret at The Bedford (and beyond!) and let us take you to church for a feast of music. Fringe-goers can hear the world's first chamber opera in Sanskrit, try a workshop in Peking Opera and Peruvian dance, or catch a spectacular street performance from Autin Dance Theatre and their Sea Giant puppet, Eko, as he roams the high streets of Tooting and Balham on the final weekend of the festival.

The Wandsworth New Writing Festival is a brand-new showcase for work by emerging theatre-makers, hosted in the atmospheric arches in St Mary's Churchyard, Putney. Performing in WAF for the first time in 2022, IMNOTAROBOT Productions are now supporting other early-career theatre-makers to use WAF as springboard and space to test out new ideas.

WAF fosters homegrown talent, but it's also a chance to experience Fringe productions from around the world: Instinct Pictures' Shadows is a solo performance from Nigerian artist Ayodeji Adejumo, and New York/Philadelphia-based Perspective Collective present the UK premiere of Dark Places, a mini-opera adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, Young Goodman Brown.

WAF is an opportunity to celebrate the rich creative history of our beautiful corner of London. Visitors can take an art and architecture tour of Battersea and Nine Elms, or explore the secrets of 575 Wandsworth Road, the former home of Kenyan born poet and novelist Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006), who transformed his modest terraced house into a work of art.

WAF honours the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Windrush this year with a concert from Pegasus Opera Company, featuring gospel, spirituals, opera, musical theatre and songs inspired by the black diaspora, and two special events from Black Heroes Foundation, celebrating Flip Fraser (founder of The Voice newspaper) and London's first Black Mayor, John Archer, who became Mayor of Battersea in 1913.

June is also Pride Month, and WAF is celebrating with LGBTQ+ variety nights Furzedown Pridestravanganza at The Furzedown, and CaBIret at The Bedford. Explore gender fluidity with cabaret artist and aerialist Alice D'Lumiere at National Opera Studio, and enjoy queer re-imaginings of two Shakespeare classics with The Merry Wives (Film on Film Entertainment) and With Love, Juliet (Square One Entertainment).

Wandsworth Arts Fringe has long been committed to providing an accessible, and culturally diverse programme of performances and activities which appeal to a broad range of people in Wandsworth and beyond. WAF Audience Choice Award Winners two years running, The Baked Beans Charity, will be showcasing short films by disabled film-makers, and Share Community - who work with learning disabled adults - present Kubera Meets Ganesha, a performance and exhibition in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). RAD's The Magic of Dance community day is set to showcase their own young dance students alongside disability-led companies, including MovementWorks, who have been working with autistic young people aged 11-15 to create a new dance piece, Artistes for Autism, and Weave Stories, who have collaborated with D/deaf teenagers from Oak Lodge School in a multimedia work, Our Long Walk.

This year, WAF is expanding this commitment to accessibility and outreach by offering refugees and recently displaced people living in Wandsworth free access to all the events throughout the festival.

Councillor Kemi Akinola, Wandsworth Council's Deputy Leader and cabinet member for the voluntary sector, business engagement and culture said:

“Every year, WAF showcases the rich mix of places, artists and communities in Wandsworth borough through an inclusive, open-access programme that anyone can be part of – be it as a performer, a participant or as an audience member.

Launched in 2009, WAF now attracts close to 20,000 people every year to Wandsworth's streets, parks, and venues with its exciting and eclectic line-ups. Community-minded at heart, but always with big aspirations, WAF is a unique melting pot of creativity from both local and International Artists.

WAF's commitment to inclusion and diversity, to supporting and platforming creative talent and arts organisations in the Borough, and to promoting a thriving cultural economy by working in partnership with our communities, is at the heart of Wandsworth Council's Arts and Culture Strategy 2021-31.”

Book your tickets now! Visit Click Here to browse the full programme of over 130 events and book your tickets.


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