Snapshots from the Fringe

The past week has been the most amazing Wanstead Fringe yet, with nearly every event sold out. We had nearly 800 people at the theatre, more than a hundred at the opera, three sold-out comedy nights, one sold out comedy afternoon for kids, 120 Jumble Trail stalls, 300 people at the Kinema (above), talks, demos, live music (below) and more and more and more…

The point of the Wanstead Fringe, which is run by volunteers, is to support and encourage cultural activities in Wanstead. On behalf of the Fringe Association, Wansteadium hopes people will agree that has certainly been the case this year.

And because it’s impossible to mention every event, or thank every person who was involved, here is a selection of visual memories of the week.

Nathan Nicholson from The Boxer Rebellion headlines at the acoustic night Keep the Freak Flag Flying



Podcast star Annabel Port

Stargazing at Overton Drive

The Fringe reaches its climax

Croon River at the Wanstead Tap on Friday evening

It’s been an amazing Fringe week with an awesome range of cultural events – nearly every event has been sold out – and today is the day it reaches its climax. Events today include:

    • There are more than 130 stalls for the Jumble Trail (compared to last year’s 47, which was itself a record).  It runs from noon until 4pm. Printed maps of the trail are available to be picked up from More Italy, the Oxfam Bookshop, and La Bakerie – and you can see a mobile-friendly Google Map version of the trail including some stall details by going to

    • A workshop for writers wanting to learn the dark arts of fictional crime, hosted by author Isabelle Grey at Wanstead Library

    • Geoff Wilkinson is leading another photo walk (sorry – sold out)

    • A recital entitled Sea Pictures by international performers mezzo-soprano Ulrike Wutscher and  pianist Marzia Hudajorova, which will include music by Schubert, Lehmann, Robert and Clara Schumann and which will be followed by a cream tea. This will take place in Christ Church from 2pm, and tickets are available on the door, priced £15 for adults and £12 for concessions.

    • Events taking place on Christ Church Green, including a barbecue run by the Duke

    • Wanstead’s first ever Comedy for Children with Britain’s Got Talent star Johnny Awsum (a few tickets left at the time of writing)

    • The mighty mighty Kinema – for many people the highlight of the Fringe – returns with Paddington 2 (sorry – completely sold out)

    • The traditional acoustic night featuring local talent, at the Manor House from 7.45pm (details here). We haven’t made a huge deal of this yet but the line-up is fantastic, including The Boxer Rebellion,  Gordon Taggert, Ali MacQueen and Mick Terry, whose new album is out, including this single:

    • And then to round things off, a Pop-Up Party Disco night at the Cuckfield, and DJ Mollywood at Luppolo.

After all that, it’s time for a deep breath.

And then on Sunday from 11am there’s the event which was the original inspiration for the fringe,  the Wanstead Festival on Christ Church Green.

Fringe roundup (and release of more tickets)

A wonderful photo of the astronomy night at Wanstead Cricket Club on Sunday night, and you can hear more about what was seen there by listening to the second episode of the Wanstead Fringe podcast, which is here.

On Monday evening it was Bake Off time as the La Bakerie team show some of the secrets of breadmaking (and Geoff Wilkinson shows his skills too). It was a full house – and there’s a second chance to learn some of the tricks of the trade later in the week. See below.

Fabien and Franck at La Bakerie

At the other end of the High Street, radio and podcast star Annabel Port attracted an audience from miles away as well as close to home. Her book, Annabel versus the Internet, was written partly in the Larder, and much of it set in and around Wanstead and Snaresbrook.

Housekeeping notes

Tuesday’s events are:


  • There are now a further five tickets available for the Hands On Cakemaking at La Bakerie on Wednesday night. Get them here.
  • And there are a further 50 tickets available now for the children’s comedy on Saturday afternoon starring Britain’s Got Talent star Johnny Awsum. They are expected to go quickly. You can get them here.