Wandsworth Arts Fringe has been quietly growing in the south of the capital for several years now. Covering all the genres and ranging across a diversity of loval venues the Fringe occupies the space between Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe with many productions moving to Wandsworth straight from Brighton or previewing before Edinburgh. That said, the fringe is far more than a stopping point with a vibrant and rich mix of local, national and international work bringing their creations to this human scale fringe. The fringe runs from 9th to 25th June 2023.
You can access the full programme here.
There is a helpful interactive map here.
So, what to see! Here’s our dive into the pot of possibilities with plenty of recommendations for you across all of the genres.
I want to see …. at Wandsworth Arts Fringe – our handy way to find a show and get booking.
I want to see…
… a Brighton Fringe 2023 award winning solo theatre piece from Nigeria, a one-man show about mental health, telling the stories of different individuals living in Nigeria. Then see Shadows.
… a new play that explores themes of guilt, sexuality, religion, identity, truth and race, set in a prison interview room. Then see The Prison.
… a dystopian drama set in the lead up to a raid on an illigal abortion clinic. Then see The Moral Women.
… a theatre piece about Battersea Power Station. Then see The Power and the People.
… a solo piece about Chet Baker. Then see Chet Baker: Let’s Get Lost
… a feminist clown theatre show. Then see Chick-in Show
… a musical performance featuring top classical singers with music by composers of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage. Then see Windrush 75th Anniversary Concert
… a chamber opera in Sanskrit. Then see Gaṅgā
… some jazz. Then see Modern Jazz
… a journey into some dark places through song and opera. Then see Dark Places
… a neuro-divergent show about grief, sisterhood, and how sometimes the scariest thing you can do is to take responsibility for yourself.- Then see Everyone’s Worried About Eve!
… an improvised opera. Then see Improvised Opera
… some work-in-progress comedy from an award-winning comedian. Then see Mates
… three guest comedians / history buffs who perform short stand-up sets based ‘on this day’ in history before exploring some possible alternative histories of Wandsworth and Balham people and events. Then see It Just So Happened – An Alternative History Show
… a show in verse and prose, with flashes of cabaret and aerial burlesque. Then see Speaking Out and Fitting In
Shows for kids and all the family
… some pre-school family entertainment. Then see The Unicornosaurus
… some puppet theatre for under 6s. Then see The Little Red Hen – Puppet Show
… a show for all the family that combines the warm, cosy feeling of childhood days gone by with whimsical fun for today – fabulous entertainment for children and adults alike! Then see Meg in the Magic Toyshop
… a new adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling classic. Then see The Jungle Book
… something unique, outdoor and promenade. Then see Out of the Deep Blue
… a faraway Ancient Egyptian adventure of music, mythology, and misleading puppets. Then see Queen of the East
… a new spoken word night, a line-up of talented spoken word artists and open mic slots. Then see Spoken Word Night
… some live storytelling. Then see Luscious Stories of Abundance
… a debut performance poet autobiographical solo show. Then see Warr;or
… a blend of short stories featuring characters you can relate to and believe in, roads not taken and different versions of events.. Then see Recollections May Vary
… a performance of poems, richly illustrated with famous paintings. Then see Out of the Frame: Poems on Paintings
INTERNATIONAL THEATRE PREVIEW – Award-winning Shadows from Nigeria via an award at Brighton Fringe 2022
The play “Shadows” offers a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition and the complexities of relationships. It serves as a powerful reminder that life is filled with both joy and pain, and that navigating these emotions can be an arduous journey. By delving into the depths of the main character’s experiences, the play invites audiences to reflect on their own lives and relationships.
Most people have experienced loving someone unconditionally, but it’s not always reciprocated. In the worst case scenario, the person is unpredictable and impossible to read, leaving you in a state of perpetual uncertainty. This exact scenario is portrayed in “Shadows”, a brand new play from the Lagos Theatre Festival, which is now showcasing at the Brighton Fringe for the first time in England.
With Ayodeji ADEJUMO at the helm, both as the writer and performer, “Shadows” promises to be a captivating theatrical experience. Ayodeji’s talent and dedication to his craft have garnered him recognition in Nigeria’s vibrant entertainment industry. His previous works have resonated with audiences, and “Shadows” is expected to leave a lasting impact on those who witness it.
Guiding the production is MACTAIWO OLUYOMI, an experienced director with a wealth of knowledge in the theater world. Having not only directed numerous plays but also been part of other renowned films Theatre Festivals globally, Oluyomi brings a unique perspective and a keen eye for storytelling to “Shadows.” His expertise ensures that the play’s themes and messages are effectively conveyed to the audience.
Emmanuel OKOCHA, the producer of “Shadows,” is well-known for his contributions to the arts scene. His passion for promoting meaningful and impactful works shines through in his involvement with this production. Okocha’s dedication to supporting thought-provoking performances ensures that “Shadows” receives the attention it deserves.
Christopher Iheuwa aka Chris Iheuwa is a University of Ibadan trained Actor , Producer, Script Writer , Editor and Director. With over 25 years of Radio, Stage, TV and Film experience. Chris speaks several local Nigerian languages. He has starred in over 50 (Nigerian) by Nollywood movies and over 20 stage plays across Nigeria. Chris has also written and directed a number of movies. He recently bagged the role of Headmaster Abaga in the Wale Adenuga remake of The Village Headmaster series. He is a Masters degree candidate in Filmmaking at the University of Bradford and the Co- Producer and UK Liaison Officer of the play Shadows , the Nigerian entry for the Brighton Fringe Theatre Festival.
“Shadows” tackles the topic of mental health and the significance of maintaining emotional well-being.
Through the lens of Peter’s story, the play sheds light on the struggles many individuals face in their daily lives. It serves as a catalyst for conversations surrounding mental health, encouraging society to address these issues openly and compassionately.
Dates and booking info here
PREVIEW – Deck the Stalls
Cheap Art brings Lydia Brickland’s new play DECK THE STALLS! to Wandsworth Arts Fringe on 15th and 16th June.
The lowdown: “HR Sandra has her tits out and is singing Don’t Cha by The Pussycat Dolls on Karaoke. DJ Dave is on the decks (although nobody asked him to). And Middle Management Maddison – well Middle Management Maddison is a prick. Serena’s office Christmas Party is tragic. Like BEYOND tragic. Fuck Christmas – seriously Christmas can F*** right off. “
This show is “for anyone who has had to endure the: ‘There’s no washing up fairy’ posters and passive aggressive office lunchroom sticky notes. A dark comedy exploring grief and anger at Christmas time, this anti-panto is filled with humour and wry wit.”
Following the success of their sold out performance of Cameron Corcoran’s Mosquito at the White Bear Theatre, Cheap Art welcomes back performer Laura Rea in the role of Serena – an ambitious, sincere young woman grappling against her inner dissatisfaction and desperate to escape the monotony of day to day life. As Serena struggles to come to terms with the loss of her father she is thrown into a cacophony of ennui and zeal, forced to navigate the office christmas party whilst contending with her own resentment and reliance towards those around her.
Laura Rea – Actor
Laura is an actor, teacher, and theatre-maker originally from Gateshead in the North East of England, and trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is a founding member of Cheap Art and is passionate about collaboration and removing hierarchical structures in the rehearsal room. Laura enjoys telling stories which explore the complexities of relationships with a focus on making the northern voice heard. Her credits include Mosquito (White Bear Theatre), The Emoji Project (The Hen & Chickens Theatre), Jacqueline Wilson is Gay (CAKE theatre), Living Well Is The Best Revenge (Distracted Rat), The Censor (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama), Love & Information (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama), DATE (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama), The Tin Soldier (NE Theatre Space), Provocations and Revelations (November Club), The House of Lost and Found (NE Theatre Space), and Reflections of Newcastle (November Club).
Lydia Brickland – Writer
This new play is by Lydia Brickland, a writer, performer and burlesque artist from Gateshead in the North East of England. She likes to tell stories about big complex issues in a fun, lively and accessible way. Her work is humorous, playful and there is a radical kindness in all of her work. She is particularly interested in how queer women and non-binary folk take up space on stage and screen. Her writing has been performed at Live Theatre, Newcastle, The Lowry, Manchester, Camden People’s Theatre, to name but a few.
She is one of the founding members of North-East based comedy collective Your Aunt Fanny. Who create work that vividly captures a night out on the town with your oldest, wildest, filthiest friend. She’s written and performed with them on numerous productions and tours including; Minge Unhinged (2019 – 2020), Bonnie and Fanny’s Christmas Spectacular (2019 & 2021) and The Cumback (2021). There new show ‘Muff Said’ enjoyed a great run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022. Your Aunt Fanny have taken work to; Soho Theatre, Vault Festival, Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Alphabetti Theatre, Tron Theatre and many more.
Don your rose-tinted glasses and escape to the pink party for an hour of sheer brilliance. – Broadway World, Muff Said 2022
Chloe Cattin – Director
Chloe is a Director and Theatre Maker from Zimbabwe. Chloe has a BA (Hons) Degree in Theatre and Performance (Theatre Making) from the University of Cape Town where she was a member of the Golden Key Society and was on the Deans’ List. Chloe is an alumnus of the Lincoln Centre Theatre Directors Lab in New York and the Directors Lab Mediterranean Barcelona.
Details and booking info here.
We’ll be updating this page regularly throughout the Fringe.