Wandsworth Arts Fringe Reveals 2018 Programme

Wandsworth Arts Fringe Reveals 2018 ProgrammeWandsworth Arts Fringe launched its 2018 programme today with a rich array of shows and events to suit all ages, interests and tastes. During its nine-year history, South London's premiere arts festival has gone from strength to strength. This year is the biggest yet with the festival playing host to over 170 shows in over 55 venues across the borough from May 4 to 20. With an eclectic range of arts and culture, every conceivable space both indoor and outdoor will buzz with activity and creative endeavour.

As usual, Wandsworth Arts Fringe programme is packed with an appetising mix of theatre, circus, music, outdoor arts, dance and comedy.

Revealing some of the highlights, WAF Producer Cath Mattos says, "WAF 2018 is set to be our biggest and most inclusive festival yet! We have new pop up and touring venues coming to town for the festival and over 170 events will make all corners of Wandsworth in May so exciting and vibrant. We encourage you to explore our shows and events and take a risk on something new."

Councillor Leslie McDonnell, Mayor of Wandsworth said, "We are delighted that Wandsworth Arts Fringe is back for its 9th year. With events and activities taking place across the borough, WAF reflects the vibrancy of the borough and helps create and cement a sense of community in the area. Wandsworth Council is proud to support WAF".

As always THEATRE is at the heart of Wandsworth Arts Fringe. Theatre highlights include:

Traitors, Cads and Cowards by Martin McNamara. Staged in Wandsworth Prison where the play is set. It's the Summer of 1916: the Easter Rising in Dublin has been crushed, its leaders executed; the Somme Offensive, where a million men will die or be wounded, is about to begin. In the military wing of the prison, Liam, an Irish Volunteer from the Rising, is bunked in with British army deserter Alfred, a young veteran of the trenches on Verdun, and Henry, a conscientious objector.

Stunning Meara at St Mary's Church. A musical play about selective mutism sufferer falling in love with an Asperger's Autism sufferer.

Blackshaw at Putney Arts Theatre - a radio play by Chris Buxey, performed with live foley (sound effects). Hit YA author Stuart soon realises that there might be more than the usual vampire sharks and giant man-spiders preventing Frankie from making it to the end of her latest adventure! Ages 10+

We Are The Lions, Mr Manager: Jayaben Desai and The Grunwick Strike at Tara Arts. The story of Jayaben Desai, the inspirational leader of the 1976-78 Grunwick Strike who stood up for workers' rights and against oppression with selfless dedication and created a national movement for human rights and dignity in the process.

Also at Tara Arts I'll Say it Again! A Season of Work by Women Artists marks 100 years of women's suffrage.

Dada For Girls' Fetish at The Arches, St Mary's Church, Putney. The 2017 winners of the WAF Petit Prix for Breakthrough Theatre and Gothenburg Award for Most Provocative Show explore themes of obsession in their new immersive theatrical explosion Fetish. Be transported into an outrageous and outlandish world of the avant-garde and absurd.
Also at The Arches is Twins Macabre. Comedy. Horror. Sass. Having been found guilty of hundreds of crimes, instead of being locked up two young criminals have skyrocketed to an insane level of fame and celebrity! Twisted sketches and comedy songs.

It's a big year for CIRCUS at Wandsworth Arts Fringe, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the very first circus performance in England by the impresario Philip Astley, near Waterloo

Circus highlights include:

Pitchbend Productions's Battersea Circus Garden, with its brand new Big Top in Shillington Gardens (near Clapham junction) will host a circus extravaganza.

The awe-inspiring acts include the craziest, funniest and acrobatic family of misfits The Hogswallops by Lost In Translation - a seamless blend of physical comedy and spectacular circus skills.

The breath-taking Fauna, combining high level acrobatics and physical theatre with live music.

Knot will tell the story of two hearts making sense of perfection as a frustrated lover meets a jilted dreamer.

Plus two new commissions supported by WAF: Grit, by Parkour masters Esprit Concrete and Our House by Sadiq Sadiq and Vendetta Vain - a breath-taking celebration of queer sexuality, cultural heritage and identity. Look out for workshops in the weeks leading up to the festival!

Wandsworth Arts Fringe is known for its rich programme of OUTDOOR EVENTS, with the borough's parks flourishing with colour and creation.

Outdoor Events highlights include:

'Flagz' Mas Band hosting another spectacular day of Carnival at York Gardens. Performances, costumes, workshops, and the best Caribbean Rhythms abound in this early summer extravaganza.

OaKomotion! is a carnival for everyone in the neighbourhood to celebrate the culmination of the Furzedown Oak Community Project. There will be hip-hop, music, juggling and dancing in the streets surrounding the Furzedown Oak sculpture trail.

Big Art Picnic in Heathbrook Park and Tooting Common. Created by WildCity artists, a collective which brings communities come together in the great outside. You are invited to build a giant, interactive tunnel installation as a unique overground extension of the Northern Line and then picnic in your own construction.

Seed Bomb Dance by Edible Arts. Choreographer and gardener Lorraine Roberts creates a dance flashmob amongst the blooms of the gardens of R.O.S.E Community Centre, Nine Elms, as residents and visitors alike join in, learn the moves and strut their stuff.

Big Red Poetry Tour at The Errant Stage ­- a collaboration between The Errant Stage and Helsinki Poetry Connection, to bring the best performance poets and emerging spoken word artists of Helsinki and London to Wandsworth Arts Fringe in 2018. Travelling right to your doorstep with The Errant Stage's big red transforming van are four award-winning slam poets: Nihkee Akka, Sean Mahoney, Toby Thompson and Outi-Illuusia Parviainen.

WAF on Wheels also at The Errant Stage, Wandsworth Arts Fringe presents - a showcase of the finest and funniest, the most daring and delightful WAF has to offer. 'WAF on Wheels' comes to a town centre near you, with snippets of shows from the festival to give you a taster that will tantalise!

DANCE comes hop-skipping and jumping over Wandsworth this May with highlights including:

Royal Academy of Dance at their headquarters in Battersea Square - Workshops for all ages and free guided tours of the academy for a peak inside the studios and heritage archives. Discover their unique collection of shoes, costume designs and photographs. Plus a full day of free performances on their pop up stage on Battersea Square!

Intoon Dance present Please Select: (City) at Platform 1 Gallery. This site-specific dance performance and live stream video brings you to another city while you help landscape the space. You make your own choice of capturing the performance, and please... mind the gap.

Swing Patrol by Swing Fling at The Big Top. Immerse yourself in the swinging '40s. Enjoy the fabulous Swing Patrol dancers as they put on a first-class floor show for your pleasure. Take the fun taster lessons throughout the evening, jump into the competitions. Whatever your experience, it's a fun night out.

Tavaziva with Ruzha Ruzha: African drumming and dance weekend at Providence House. Learn rhythmic African drumming techniques and dance improvisation skills at these exciting workshops for 10-18 year olds. Come to day one for African drumming and dance or both days to create a performance for a friendly local audience at 'Flagz Carnival' on Sunday at 4pm.

There is also a plethora or VISUAL ARTS at Wandsworth Arts Fringe. Highlights include:

Protesting for Diversity by Gil Mualem-Doron - through workshops at CARAS and Hazelfest (in the Hazelhurst estate), participants can create their own colourful collages and placards supporting diversity and cohesive communities, as well as explore the exhibition developed CARAS's refugees and migrants.

Linda Bell and Action Space at Pump House Gallery - Bell's sculptures and installations explore a wide range of materials and processes, all with a strong tactile quality. She will be working with members of the public to develop their own installations and sculptures. Action Space support artists with learning disabilities and have supported Bell as one of their resident artists since 1999.

Louis Morel at The Exhibit. Aged 18, prolific artist Louis Morel suffers from severe sensory processing problems, making it hard for him to leave the house. He unleashes his vivid imagination about the world outside with a free exhibition. His new video animation will also be showing at Be:UFest.

The Pavilion at Pump House Gallery returns with a programme produced especially for WAF. Workshops, performances and events complement the themes of the gallery's exhibition 'We are having a little flirt'. All activities are free, suitable for all ages and open for all to drop-in to.

MUSIC has always been an important part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe and this year is no exception with the borough pulsating with rhythm, harmony and energy for two full weeks. Highlights include:

'i' the Opera - Opera at Balham Bowls Club is the first ever opera to have been co-written by an Artificial Intelligence. 'i' tells the story of the creation of an android girl, a birthday present for a spoilt princess in a mystical castle in the sky. Featuring 3D animation, upcycled costumes, live and electronic music, and a libretto generated by a neural network, this will be a feast for the eyes and ears.

What's Your Sound? at Battersea Arts Centre - an evening in the company of reigning world beatbox champions, The Beatbox Collective. Individually they have won almost every beatbox competition in the world. Together this vocal super group creates a wall of sound that simply has to be heard to be believed. Featuring a team of the UK's top vocal artists, this award-winning show of mind-blowing sound, energy and beats is not to be missed.

Will Purdue and Liza Bec - Beyond the Blonde/Rumour and Confession: EP launch at The Half Moon. Songwriting, storytelling and stunning audio-visuals from folk/country artist, Will, and alternative multi-instrumentalist, Liza, whose Cohen-esque baritone and pure soprano soar over their six-piece band.

Look out for several pop up music interludes all over Wandsworth on the weekend of the 12-13 May, including a classical, jazz ad pop favourite numbers by Vincent Brass Ensemble at Putney Pleasance and all-female a cappella harmony by The Treblemakers at Battersea Park Bandstand.

As always, FAMILY is at the heart of Wandsworth Arts Fringe. Highlights include:

Gafa Collective's Baba the Bad Baboon (How the Baboon Lost its Tail) - The Arches at St Mary's Church, Putney. A musical by Sani Muliaumaseali'i for younger audiences aged 5+. Baba will destroy the world if he can't rule it; only warrior goddess Poluknalai can stop him - but will she regain her confidence in time? Audiences say: "wonderful songs and acting."

Juozo Miltinio Dramos Teatras with The Witch's Necklace at The Big Top. An imaginative piece of children's theatre based on a traditional Lithuanian fairy tale, 'The Witch's Necklace' uses physical theatre, puppetry, clowning and live music to tell a story about how inner beauty wins over appearances. Suitable for children aged 6+.

World Heart Beat Music Academy's open day - trial sessions in piano, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, tabla and guitar from the arts organisation who provide access to instruments and free or subsidised music tuition to children and young people of Wandsworth particularly those who come from challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds. Suitable for children aged 5-12 years.

What would a fringe be without COMEDY and Wandsworth Arts Fringe has certainly got some treats in store this year. Highlights include:

Wes Barker at The Arches at St Mary's Church, Putney - Canada's favourite comedy magician will fool and charm your pants off with his brilliant magic and shockingly funny stories. With 50+ million YouTube views, Wes has appeared on 'America's Got Talent', Netflix, and was a winner on 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us'!

Gillian English with She Wolf at The Arches at St Mary's Church - Queen Margaret was the original Cersei Lannister. She was the model for Claire Underwood. She was a woman so cutthroat and cold, she would give Lady Macbeth a run for her money. Only, none of that is true. The way we view women in positions of power hasn't changed much.

Struan Logan - Struan All Over The World at The Arches at St Mary's Church. The Scottish comic regales tales of backpacking and performing through Australia, NZ and Asia, and his attempts to understand various cultures and not make an ass of himself. "Doesn't stoop to childish sugar-filled bribes" -The List; "Hilarious" - Aussie Theatre

Zahra Barri - Zahra: Warrior not Princess at The Arches at St Mary's Church. Zahra has never stood in front of a mirror and taken a selfie. From Kim Kardashian's career to Kim Jong-un's Korea, the world is a constant mix of war and priss, and Zahra really wants to be a warrior, not a princess.

INCLUSIVE ARTS are becoming an increasing feature of Wandsworth Arts Fringe. Highlights include:

Seeds of Art Foundation / Re:zone8 present BeU: Fest at King George's Park. BE:U Fest is South London's new inclusive youth arts festival, where raving meets inclusivity. A full day of interactive workshops, performances, arts & crafts, live entertainment, food stalls, sports and more! And if it all gets a bit much, why not chill out in the quiet, multi-sensory tent for a while.

Georgie Morrell with Eyecon at The Arches, St Mary's Church, Putney. Georgie Morrell is back with her third solo show in association with The New Wolsey Theatre. Georgie Morrell is a comedian, award-nominated actor and the official poster girl of disability. After two successful stand-up shows, sold out tours, the official autobiography and becoming the star of her own BAFTA-winning TV show, she has been catapulted to fame, fortune and celebrity. Georgie is back with her very own brand of disabled 'lolz' and banter telling the story of how she became an 'Eyecon.'

Please use the Wandsworth Arts Fringe programme and visit wandsworthartsfringe.com to see the full listings and the new accessibility features, which aim to guide you through the festival events. For all the latest information, insights and updates follow WAF @WAFfringe #WAF2018 on twitter and @wandsworthartsfringe #WAF2018 on Instagram.


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