Wandsworth Arts Fringe: 6th to 22nd May 2016
16 days of art and performance across London’s largest inner borough
110 events at theatres, pubs, libraries, parks and public spaces
300+ performers and lots of opportunities to get involved!
WANDSWORTH ARTS FRINGE is the rapidly growing, popular annual showcase of creative activity and entertainment that takes place across the borough of Wandsworth in sunny May. Wandsworth, London’s largest inner London borough with a population of around 300,000, stretches from Wandsworth to Putney, Tooting to Balham, Battersea to Roehampton. In the past three years the number of events and activities has more than doubled from 50 in 2014 to 110 this year.
Wandsworth Arts Fringe is a kaleidoscope of cutting edge and highly original work designed by and delivered by the people taking part. And most of it is free. WAF is produced by Enable Arts on behalf of Wandsworth Borough Council.
Says Justine Kenyon, Programme Manager for Wandsworth Arts Fringe: “WAF is a cornucopia of creative activity, a marketplace for new ideas and audiences. As a fringe festival, anyone can get involved from professional to amateur, and all artforms are welcomed. The aim is to provide a vital platform for new work by first timers as well as entertainment by established names. We want to encourage audiences to flex their viewing habits, discover something different and get involved.”
Independent Fringe producer, Cath Mattos, supports a highly motivated team of local representatives who are passionate about encouraging local participation and audience attendance. “It’s a real coming of age year for Wandsworth Arts Fringe in 2016,” says Cath. “In carving its own identity it’s establishing a solid place on the local cultural landscape and wider arts scene. Although Wandsworth Arts Fringe is a showcase of local talented performers and organisations it also attracts contributing artists from all corners of London, nationwide and a couple of international artists too. The quality is high and innovative, there is something for everyone to see from Edinburgh Fringe previews at The Cat’s Back to site specific and immersive experiences such as the Midnight Run exploring the Nine Elms development area.”
Events include a day of outdoor arts in Heathbrook Park, a small green space just a minute from Wandsworth Road station. The Park will host a medieval puppet show based on Chaucer from pop-up venue The Fabularium, a guided tour of the trees by street performer Barnaby Gibbons, and a giant squid spectacle from Puppets with Guts.
Activities will be hosted by a variety of venues including pubs: a Russian holiday home will be installed at The Bedford in Balham over three days by Dash Arts; ‘The Dacha’ (left) funded by Arts Council England Grants for Arts, will immerse audiences in Russian culture over three distinct periods: 1913, 1937 and post Soviet 90s with multiple activities including films, plays, music, books, games, dressing up and plenty of tea.
The Fringe also brings an energetic boost to local businesses – reports from the last two years suggest that forgotten spaces and buildings were creatively revitalised while numerous shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes across the borough enjoyed an increase in traffic and sales. This year shops, cafés and bars will be opening their doors to performers including performance artist and clown, Francesca Martello, who will present a show about bread in several bakeries, cake shops and cafes around the borough.
Cllr Jonathan Cook Wandsworth Council’s arts and culture spokesman. “With venues ranging from theatres and parks to pubs and bookshops, the Wandsworth Arts Fringe offers local people a huge range of arts and events right on their doorstep and helps turn our town centres and public spaces into lively, thriving centres of culture.”