Wandsworth Arts Fringe returns

Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2023

  • Artists receive more than £36,000 in funding from Wandsworth Council.
  • Tickets for Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2023 will go on sale on Wednesday April 26.

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World Heart Beat Music Academy

Wandsworth Council’s flagship arts festival returns from June 9-25 with 17 days of art, dance, theatre, comedy, circus and street performance. 

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. 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.

"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 outdoor interactive 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

Young artists will get a chance to shine. Wandsworth Street Concerts is 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 can enjoy 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 includes I'MNOTAROBOT Productions presenting 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 (pictured above) 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 (pictured above), 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 will be family events including - returning for a fifth year - Hazelfest, run by Work and Play Scrapstore. 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 (pictured above), 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

 Kemi Akinola, Wandsworth Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for the voluntary sector, business engagement and culture said: “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: www.wandsworthartsfringe.com

Carp Lepas Over the Dragon Gate