Wanstead Fringe: Our Picks

Wanstead Fringe runs from 9th – 30th September, now in its tenth year, with 100 plus shows and events. You’dd find Wanstead in the North East of London and its near where the FringeReview editor grew up! It ha sa community feel, is easily accessible and there’s plenty on offer across all the gentres. Here are some of our recommendations.


Homegrown Wanstead Theatre Co, bring Chris England’s Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson to the Fringe, “a sparky and engaging comedy set on that glorious morning 20 years ago when England won the Rugby World Cup for the first and only time.” The play will feel very immediate and immersive as it is “in the fictional Greyhawks Rugby Club and performed in the very real Eton Manor RFC on non-match days of the actual Rugby World Cup 2023.”

For “an evening of celebrating femme fatales, divas and gals just being gals via musical theatre hits from the last 50 years” get along to The Bull for Catapult Cabaret: All Girl Band.

For an “atmospheric show raises awareness of ME, an ‘invisible illness’, through the lens of a mother/daughter relationship, you’ll need to book to see The Room Upstairs. “Based on true events, this play with original compositions explores how this condition gradually penetrates every element of someone’s life and proves how sometimes laughter is not only the best medicine, but often the only one that’s available.”

Award-winning Robot Penguin is billed as a bizarre, irreverent comedy about depersonalisation and the neurodivergent experience through the ‘lens’ of an undercover robotic penguin.”

For a new musical, see Dark Isle: a new musical. “written by Wanstead-based actor and writer Katherine Tripp, alongside Matthew Hessey and composer Ralph Warman. The performance will be a concert version of the musical, with two acts and a short interval. The musical is based on the true story of the ‘Flannan Isles Mystery’. In 1900 three lighthouse keepers mysteriously disappeared from their posts on the Flannan Isles in the Outer Hebrides. The musical is a depiction of what ‘could’ have happened, and how it affected the women who were left behind.”

Wanstead Comedy Night feat Glenn Moore is our first comedy pick. This is “an evening of stand-up headlined by Mock the Week regular GLENN MOORE. Recognised for his brilliant joke-writing ability, Glenn received superlative reviews for both his Edinburgh shows and his sell-out UK tour. His many TV and radio appearances include Richard’s Osman’s House of Games (BBC) The Russell Howard Hour (SKY) and BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show and The News Quiz. Support acts include the unique and wonderful MARK SILCOX.

Our music choice takes in classical song intertwined with folk, entangled with experimental indie and reimagined with free improvisation, all presented by leading exponents of these respective fields.” That is all wrapped up in To a Skylark: Classical, folk and experimental music and no more than a tenner!

Jazz Vespers will be your desitnation for some jazz at the Fringe, combined with a candle lit church service. Black promises “a virtuoso guitar concert”, inviting you to “be mesmerised by exquisite music from around the world from the Romantic Period to today, featuring works by Tarrega, Morel, Cardoso, Ferrer, York, Brouwer, Barrios, and much more.”

There also a host of events at the Wanstead Book Festival and foodies will love the menu of food and drink events.

A busy, buzzy Fringe that we are glad to put on your radar.