Wandsworth Arts Fringe returns 9-25 June with a new programme of supported projects, bringing playful, joyful cultural opportunities to SW London’s vibrant and diverse fringe festival
Artists receive over £36,000 in funding from Wandsworth Council. Tickets and the full programme for Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2023 will go live from Wed 26 April 2023. Wandsworth Council’s flagship arts festival returns from 9-25 June with 17 jam-packed, belly-laughing, awe-inspiring days of art, dance, music, theatre, comedy, film, circus and street performance.
As part of the council’s commitment to supporting artist development, and creating meaningful experiences for local audiences, the Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF) Grants help artists, makers and community groups realise their creative visions for the festival and engage with Wandsworth communities. For 2023, Wandsworth Council has distributed £36,617 among 20 organisations, including homegrown creatives and internationally acclaimed artists, for projects taking place over this year’s festival (Friday 9 – Sunday 25 June 2023). The WAF Grants are funded directly by Wandsworth Council, with a maximum award of £2,000 per project.
Festival goers are encouraged to try something new, from awe-inspiring circus by Zirkus Morsa to verbal gymnastics from performance poet Alice d’Lumiere . Contemporary circus show Tipping Point by Zirkus Morsa mixes acrobatics and balance board in a performance that pushes balance to the limit. Speaking Out and Fitting In! by Alice d’Lumiere is a performance of striking poetry, disarming comedy, and a celebration of Gender Fluidity from a part-time Transwoman playfully establishing her voice.
“Nothing quite rivals the creative energy generated by a live festival and I think this year is going to be particularly vibrant! I can’t wait to bring my own little show to WAF. I hope it raises some smiles, questions some preconceptions and maybe even helps bring a little extra joy; which is something we all need more than ever.” – Alice d’Lumiere
Independent tap dancer Petra Haller will take over the National Opera Studio with a week-long celebration of tap dance, while Artistes for Autism, led by MovementWorks, brings together autistic young people in the collaborative creation of a dance piece. Aged 11 – 15 years, these young dancers will meet at a new weekly Dance Club to create their performance and the final piece will be showcased as part of the larger Community Day of Dance hosted by the Royal Academy of Dance. Elsewhere, Hallomai Dance present Joy is Ours, an interactive outdoor dance performance for families in local housing estates.
“We are delighted to be touring ‘Joy is Ours’ as part of WAF2023. Whilst collaborating with local housing estates, Hallomai Dance are excited to share movement, creativity and joy throughout Wandsworth this summer!” – Anna Nicholls, Artistic Director, Hallomai Dance
The borough’s young musical talent will have the opportunity to shine with Wandsworth Street Concerts set to fill the streets of Wandsworth once again with music, in a series of free outdoor classical concerts, staged in the beautiful portico of St Anne’s Church. World Heart Beat Music Academy will work in partnership with The Oracle Collective, a creative agency of 35 young artists, in their project World Heart Beat Presents: The Oracle Residency held at their brand-new venue in Nine Elms. They will programme a series of masterclasses, workshops and performances to support and develop young musical talent in the borough.
“We are delighted to be part of WAF this year. Our collaboration with the exceptionally talented The Oracle Collective is an amazing opportunity to showcase homegrown talent in our brand-new venue at Embassy Gardens, inspiring future generations of Wandsworth musicians and being part of a vibrant local cultural offer” – Kim Morrison, Head of Programmes, World Heart Beat Music Academy
Opera lovers will be able to get their fill – with performances of Gaṅgā by Jataneel Banerjee and Carp Leaps over the Dragon Gate by Kathy Hall and Jose Navarro. Gaṅgā, a chamber opera in Sanskrit language, will premiere at the National Opera Studio and the Royal Academy of Dance, and tells the story of a celestial river goddess. Carp Leaps over the Dragon Gate, a Peking Opera dance-mime paired with recorded opera percussion music, is based on the legend of the carp known in many regions in China inspiring folk dances, drawings and lantern festivals. The short performance will be followed by a public workshop.
Theatre and spoken word fans won’t be disappointed either, as I’MNOTAROBOT Productions presents Wandsworth New Writing Fest, a two-week festival of new performance at The Arches at St Mary’s Church in Putney.
“Two weeks of non-stop entertainment, right on your doorstep, what’s not to love?” – I’MNOTAROBOT Productions
Youth theatre company Group 64 also focus on happiness and well-being with a powerful, thought provoking and timely piece of theatre devised by 14 young people, sharing their experiences of being young and seeking JOY in this chaotic modern world.
There will be a chance to learn a new skill or pick up some local history – London Independent Story Prize is organising a series of free creative writing workshops during the festival open for all levels of writers. And festival-goers can explore the art, architecture, history, future and lived experience of Battersea Nine Elms with History Speak on a guided walking tour which transforms the neighbourhood into an immersive outdoor gallery.
Several projects will explore how creativity can support health and wellbeing. WAF fan favourites, The Baked Bean Charity, who work to promote education and social inclusion for adults and children with special educational needs and disabilities, present an unmissable film festival run and curated entirely by people with learning disabilities. Beans on Film will bring you tongue-in-cheek shorts, vibrant cameos, and some personal stories along the way. Goddess Power Fashion & Art Show, by Fée Uhssi, is an art and catwalk show aiming to promote self-empowerment and community cohesion by involving women of Battersea to take part in the project, incarnate a mythical goddess of their choice, and model the collection on the day.
“I am delighted to be taking part in the WAF this year and to have the opportunity to share my passion and love for Arts, Fashion and Textiles with my community in Battersea and Wandsworth, while promoting the power and benefits of artistic expression when it comes to improving our wellbeing.”- Fée Uhssi
St George’s Hospital Charity’s Arts Team will host a celebration of the work of their three resident artists through an interactive exhibition, intimate performances, arts activities and a display of short films documenting the artists’ time on site. The showcase will provide a valuable insight into the impact of arts in hospitals.
“St George’s Hospital Charity is delighted that the work of our talented Resident Artists, patients and staff will be showcased as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2023. St George’s Hospital is at the heart of its vibrant and diverse South-West London community, supporting the health and wellbeing of local people. It’s a pleasure to be part of such an impressive programme, alongside our neighbouring arts organisations and local creatives” – Amerjit Chohan, Chief Executive, St George’s Hospital Charity
An exciting festival programme will also be popping up in Wandsworth’s local churches, All Saints Church in Tooting is hosting All SaintsTooting Arts Festival – a series of performances designed to embrace a variety of styles and performers focussed on building community through the arts.
There’s plenty of fun in store for all the family, even for WAF’s littlest visitors. Returning for it’s fifth year is Hazelfest, run by Work and Play Scrapstore, promising an afternoon for the whole family to get crafty on the Hazelhurst Estate. Families from Roehampton’s Alton Estate will have the chance to get involved in London’s first community-led social and colour therapy sculpture, Happy Puffs, led by artist Sol Golden Sato, and Vintage Vendetta Productions will also return with Meg in the Magic Toyshop, an interactive theatre show for under 5s which will delight young audiences with storytelling, songs and dancing in local libraries.
“Theatre can be such a wonderful creative outlet for all ages and I am so passionate about the opportunity to share it with the young and young at heart for a second year running!” –Merrilyn Greer, Vintage Vendetta Productions
Councillor Kemi Akinola, Wandsworth Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for the voluntary sector, business engagement and culture says:
“Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2023 promises to be another brilliant celebration of the wealth of creative talent in our borough. I am delighted that through the council’s WAF Grants scheme we can continue to support local talent, alongside creatives working at an international scale, to bring an eclectic mix of ambitious cultural projects to Wandsworth.”
Find out more about the 2023 festival and find up to date event details from 26 April 2023 here…
WAF 2023 Grant Awards Listings:
Speaking Out and Fitting In!
Striking performance poetry, disarming comedy, and a celebration of Gender Fluidity from a part-time Transwoman playfully establishing her voice
Alice d’Lumiere generally prefers to go unnoticed; she wants to be an ordinary person on the train. She’s happy to be anonymous; a sensible, middle-aged woman. However, she’s also a Poet and Performance Artist; and cursed with an occasional, but irresistible desire to speak up, stand out and sometimes be the fairy on top of the Christmas tree!
This is a show in verse and prose, with flashes of cabaret and aerial burlesque, in which Alice playfully explores her wonderful, occasionally counter-intuitive, position, striving to both fit into another gender, whilst at the same time yearning to establish a unique, personal voice.
Speaking Out and Fitting In! is a celebratory show about how delightfully queer life can be when you decide to step beyond your birth gender.
Location: National Opera Studio, Wandsworth Town
All Saints Church
All Saints Tooting Arts Festival
The All SaintsTooting Arts Festival is designed to embrace a variety of styles and performers with a range of experience together in an event focussed on building community through the arts. The Church is a venue with excellent acoustics which will be opened up to a range of performers and audiences including jazz, classical, contemplative music and a celebration of local community events.
Location: All Saints Church, Tooting
JOY was originally devised by 14 young people and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe 2022. A powerful, thought-provoking and timely piece of theatre that shares the experiences of a young person in 2023 and asks whether they can be joyful in this chaotic modern world. The mental health of young people is at the core of all Group 64’s work and they are tackling this head on in this beautiful show which comes from the hearts of this young generation. Group 64 are known for creating challenging, and high-quality shows with young people. The performance will be followed by a chat and pizza with the cast and crew and follow up workshops for local young people.
Location: Putney Arts Theatre, Putney
Joy is Ours
Hallomai Dance will be touring an outdoor interactive dance performance Joy is Ours across Housing Estates in Wandsworth during WAF2023. Exploring the themes of connection, community, and playfulness, the 20-minute piece is aimed at early years children (6 months – 4 years) and their families.
Location: Alton Estate, Winstanley & York Road Estate, Doddington & Rollo Estate, Hazelhurst Estate, Henry Prince Estate
Art and Architecture Walking Tour of Battersea Nine Elms
History Speak invite audiences on a guided tour to explore the largest regeneration project in Europe. Discover iconic architecture and public works of art in Battersea Nine Elms alongside historic landmarks. They will explore the past, future and lived experience of the area in times of rapid changes. The experience will transform the neighbourhood into a gallery. Bring your camera or sketch book and let the city inspire you!
Location: Rainbow Plaque – My Beautiful Laundrette
Wandsworth New Writing Fest
An exciting festival of new theatrical performances at The Arches in Putney! Supporting emerging artists and creating a vibrant new arts scene, complete with plenty of laughs, captivating storytelling and a riverside bar. The diverse double-bill programming encourages the audience to see multiple performances and gives creatives a chance to support each other.
The two weeks will be packed full of entertainment, from theatre, to spoken word, to scratch nights, all nestled under Putney Bridge, providing a platform for new voices.
Location: The Arches, St Mary’s Church, Putney
Gaṅgā, a chamber opera in Sanskrit language, will premiere at the National Opera Studio and the Royal Academy of Dance as part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2023.
The story of Gaṅgā: a saga of heartbreak, promise and love. Gaṅgā is a powerful, yet helpless, celestial river goddess, whose womb becomes the medium to fulfil the higher purpose of gods and men. Cursed and doomed to be born as mortals, the eight Vasus choose Gaṅgā to be their mother. She promises to release all but one from the curse; the last must live on earth. Gaṅgā chooses her beloved Shantanu, mighty king of Hastinapur, to be the father. But, to keep her promise, she must also break his heart.
Location: National Opera Studio, Wandsworth Town & Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea
Kathy Hall and Jose Navarro
Carp Leaps over the Dragon Gate –A Peking Opera Dance and Mime
London Chinese Opera Studio proudly presents ‘Carp Leaps over the Dragon Gate – A Peking Opera Interlude’ 《鲤鱼跳龙门-京剧小品, a 6-minute performance of Peking Opera dance-mime paired with recorded opera percussion music, followed by a 40-minute workshop. The newly devised work by Kathy Hall and Jose Navarro is based on a legend known in many regions in China inspiring folk dances, drawings and lantern festivals. The story follows a carp striving to swim upstream to jump over the Dragon Gate and turning into a dragon free to roam the heavens and the seas. The finale will be the dramatic transformation of the carp into a spectacular dragon!
Location: National Opera Studio, Wandsworth Town
Website: https://londonchineseoperastudio.co.uk https://josenavarrotheare.com
London Independent Story Prize
Creative Writing Workshop
London Independent Story Prize offers a series of free Creative Writing Workshops, open to all levels of writers, from beginner to experienced. Amal Chatterjee, who teaches fiction at Oxford University, will give online Creative Workshops. Jessica Andrews, an award-winning author, will give a hybrid Creative Writing Workshop at the gorgeous Royal Academy of Dance.
Location: Online & Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea
Artistes for Autism
Artistes for Autism, led by MovementWorks, will bring together a group of autistic young people in the collaborative creation of a dance piece. The young people, aged 11 – 15 years, will meet weekly at Dance Club to create their performance.The final piece will be showcased as part of the larger Community Day of Dance at the prestigous Royal Academy of Dance.
Location: Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea
Website: https:// works.org/artistes-for-autism/
Wandsworth Arts Fringe Tap Dance Days 2023
Petra Haller, an independent dance artist and tap dancer based in London, curates the first Wandsworth Arts Fringe Tap Dance Days. Each day will be a celebration of tap dance from all angles. Her one week run at National Opera Studios consists of 9 unique concerts featuring film installations, spoken word, improvised music, jazz standards, a Wandsworth Arts Fringe partner day, a tap dance immersion day, 3 zoom panel talks during the week, and 2 live talks.
Location: National Opera Studio, Wandsworth Town
Goddess Power Fashion & Art Show
Goddess Power Fashion & Art Show is an art and catwalk show showcasing Fée Uhssi’s Art of Fashion Wrapping ethical capsule collection alongside bespoke upcycled jewellery and accessories created with a group of women from Battersea/ Wandsworth area. The project’s aim is to promote self-empowerment and community cohesion by involving women of Battersea to take part in the project, incarnate a mythical goddess of their choice, and model the collection on the day.
The main event will also showcase the Goddesses from the world upcycled dolls project by Fée Uhssi and an Art of Fashion Wrapping installation at the Nine Elms Pavilion.The catwalk show will be followed by a community party with music and the audience will be invited to join a dancing session.
Location: Nine Elms Pavilion Riverside Walk
Sol Golden Sato
Alton Happy Puffs – Immersive Colour Therapy Installation
This summer, artist Sol Golden Sato and the people of the Alton Estate will make London’s first community led social and colour therapy sculpture, in a series of fun family workshops. Happy Puffs at the Alton estate will be made using colourful mesh fabric to create an immersive colour therapy installation that you can walk in and bathe in colour.
Location: Alton Arts Club, Roehampton
St George’s Hospital Charity
Arts St George’s Resident Artists Showcase
St George’s Hospital Charity’s Arts Team host a celebration of the work of their three Resident Artists through an interactive exhibition, intimate performances, arts activities and the display of short films documenting the artists’ time on site. The event will also showcase the St George’s Staff Choir, who meet weekly to sing together to enhance their wellbeing, led by acclaimed Choir Leader, Georgia Duncan.
This event will be developed over the coming months, in response to input from the hospital community. The final showcase will provide a valuable insight into the impact of arts in your local hospital.
Location: St George’s Hospital
The Baked Bean Charity
Beans on Film
The Baked Bean Charity are back (with a new name, too!) for another year at the Wandsworth Arts Fringe. Spread across 4 days, Beans on Film is a film festival not to be missed. Run and curated entirely by people with learning disabilities, Beans on Film will bring you tongue-in-cheek shorts, vibrant cameos, and some personal stories along the way.
The Baked Bean Charity is a performing arts and education provider for people with learning disabilities. Going 26 years strong, the Charity prides itself on creating fantastic opportunities with inclusion, social integration and celebrating diversity at the forefront of their work. From musical theatre and dance, to life skills and art, they have it all on offer.
Location: The Exhibit, Balham
Vintage Vendetta Productions
Meg in the Magic Toyshop
It’s first thing in the morning at the Magic Toyshop and Meg the doll can’t find her best glove… She needs your help! With timeless children’s classics from the era of Danny Kaye and Shirley Temple, Meg in the Magic Toyshop combines the warm, cosy feeling of childhood days gone by with whimsical fun for today – fabulous entertainment for children and adults alike!
‘an educational 40 minutes that ignited the imagination and engaged even the toughest critics below the age of 5 – a lovely interactive Fringe production that is ideal for families with young children.’ (The Serenade Files)
Location: Wandsworth Libraries
Work and Play Scrapstore
Hazelfest is an annual community event which provides a free afternoon of arts and crafts-style fun for all the family. Work and Play Scrapstore uses recycled materials to provide 16 activity stalls on the green outside the Hazelhurst Estate, including facepainting, CD portraits, magic butterflies, Lucky Dip, Paint a Tree, Plant a seed, Wish Tree, Weaving, Crafts & Crowns, Junk Kites, a Listening Cart, storytelling, the Pollock painting Rooms, football training in the estate’s ‘cage’ and three live performances – usually dance, a choir and live music.
Location: Hazelhurst Estate
World Heart Beat Music Academy
World Heart Beat Presents: The Oracle Residency
World Heart Beat Music Academy will work in partnership with The Oracle Collective to programme a series of masterclasses, workshops and performances to support and develop young musical talent within the borough.
The Oracle Collective is a creative agency of 35 young artists, led by emerging singer, songwriter and producer Anjelo Disons. The Oracle Collective has a strong following and has gained a reputation for putting London’s freshest Jazz, Soul and R&B talent on the map. As part of the collaboration The Oracle will present Endz Jazz Soul, a night at showcasing the best emerging musicians from across London.
Aspiring young musicians from across the borough will also be able to take part in an accompanying free workshop series exploring music and radio production in World Heart Beat Music Academy’s state-of-the-art media studios, have a go at song writing and learn about the music business from The Oracle’s professional young musicians.
Location: Embassy Gardens, Kimber Road
Wandsworth Street Concerts
A summer series of 6 free classical music concerts held outdoors in the beautiful portico of St Anne’s church, Wandsworth.
Lukas Bowen and the Medea String Quartet will be returning with the Walton Viola Concerto and more Laura Marconi; Richard Robbins performs Britten’s five Canticles accompanied by horn, harp and piano; and the Zimmermann Band will present three Bach cantatas, including Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and closing off with Monteverdi’s Tirsi e Clori on the series finale.
Please bring a friend, a chair or picnic blanket and refreshments will be available, including Wandsworth’s favourite Victoria Sponge.
Location: St Anne’s Churchyard, Wandsworth
Tipping Point is a contemporary circus show mixing acrobatics and rola bola (balance board), silence and uproar, curiosity and tenderness. With their fresh, simple and poetic approach Zirkus Morsa question human behaviour by using circus technique, dance and (object) theatre. In Tipping Point, Zirkus Morsa push balance to the limit through their amazing hand-to-hand technique on the rola bola.
Stranded on stage, on an island, exiled, two characters start over. Despite the failures, they continue to look for precious moments of(f) balance, however small they are, the moments when everything is going well, when they feel alive, without conditions, together or alone. Only to lose this fleeting feeling again and start their search all over again.
Location: Kimber Skate Park
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