Fringe hurrahs

Wansteadium decompressed last week following the Fringe, which was a great success all round, with many events selling out. The Wanstead Kinema once again was an atmospheric triumph, as the picture above demonstrates, and the whole week was a great demonstration of the potential of Wanstead for cultural revival.

Anyone who would like to be involved in planning next year’s Fringe, please do get in touch with the Wanstead Fringe Association at

Giles Wilson, chair of the association, said: “It takes a village to raise a fringe – so thanks to everyone who was involved either as a venue host, an event organiser, an attendee, a sponsor – Petty Son and Prestwich and Edwards Duthie especially – or as a member of the Friends of the Wanstead Fringe. Thanks also to Wansteadium for its stalwart support.*

“This was the biggest and best Fringe yet, and we’re determined to make 2018 even better. But we need people to join in – and now would be a good time to express interest (not least because we’ll hold you to it).”

*private joke

Scenes from the Fringe V – plus the final Fringe rundown

A great Fringe Thursday saw sell-out crowds in three places at once across Wanstead. Here are some of the images:

Squeeze’s Chris Difford talks to Dan Clapton at the Wanstead Tap in a sell-out event
Sinnerman Paul Sinha regales another sell-out crowd at the Wanstead Comedy Night at the Golf Club

Vincenzo Cossari at a packed More Italy reveals secrets of Olive Oil

A couple of images from earlier in the week – the coffee tasting workshop at Bare Brew
More from Bare Brew

Friday’s Fringe activities are almost under way ATOW.

*Two Jingle Bop sessions took place in the Cherry Tree, thanks to Fringe stalwart Suzi Harnett.

*The pop-up restaurant by Ali Noor, also in the Cherry Tree, is a sell-out and is setting up now.

*Jazz night with Martin Wheatley and Julie McKee is starting at the Wanstead Tap at 7.30pm. Just a few tickets left.

*The traditional and celebrated Fringe Acoustic Night, featuring Mick Terry, Ben Kelly, David Bird, James Healey and more besides will take place in the Manor House from 8.15. Free entry.

*A cocktail night at the Duke will feature the intriguing story of Hackney Downs-based vodka producers Our/Vodka.

A few words about Saturday

*Fringe favourite Tree Yoga – meet Kat at the Cherry Tree for yoga on the park – and help raise money to plant more trees. Meet at 10am.

*JUMBLE TRAIL – Nearly 50 stalls will be joining in the 2017 Fringe Jumble Trail. Here is a map for your reference, but you can also see a live map on your mobile at the Jumble Trail site… The weather forecast seems to be improving all the time, so a good day should be in store.

*Young musicians will play on Wanstead High Street around lunchtime.

*The Taste of Wanstead will take place on Christ Church Green at 2pm. Details here. It will be followed by a pre-Kinema BBQ for all those lucky enough to have Kinema tickets.

*The KINEMA – for many the highlight of the Fringe – swings back into action from 6.30. Bring something warm, something waterproof (just in case) and something to sit on. If it’s pouring, it will be held inside. But we don’t want to do that! We want another amazing Kinema evening.

*Ollie and Alex will round off a packed day with live music at the Nightingale.

*The Wanstead Festival – the event which gave the Fringe its inspiration – takes place on Christ Church Green on Sunday from 11am to 6pm – free entry. 

Scenes from the Fringe IV

If you missed guitarist Pete Black’s recital at the Larder on Wednesday evening, you missed a treat. Here’s a flavour of what he had to offer.



And meanwhile over at the Cherry Tree, Ben from Bombetta educated palates with wine and cheese, and Geraldine Roberts regaled with Wanstead regency anecdotes

*Thursday is one of the biggest days of the Fringe so far, with Chris Difford of Squeeze talking at the Wanstead Tap (sold out) and Paul Sinha delighting the Wanstead Comedy Club (also sold out). There are a few places left for the Olive Oil tasting at More Italy at 6.30 and Fringe favourite Geoff Wilkinson will be judging an amateur photography competition at the Nightingale.

*There is an additional event going on tonight – a fundraiser at Dama De Elche on Cambridge Park for the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability and Stroke Association. A prize raffle draw will take place – with prizes donated by Wanstead businesses. Full list of prizes here. Get tickets from the restaurant or Biyoni or Zoology.

Wanstead on screen again again

Filming which has been taking place at Overton Drive and St Mary’s church this week is for a new adaptation of Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair. The lead role Becky Sharp will be played by Olivia Cooke. According to Variety, it’s a joint venture between ITV and Amazon, and is being made by Mammoth Screen, the same company which makes Victoria.

(Thanks to ever alert Melanie Hartt for tips and pic.)

Scenes from the Fringe III

Writer Chloe Seager talks to potential young writers at the Oxfam Bookshop

Wanstead is alive with cultural events, thanks to the Fringe and the Art Trail. Here is another taste of some of the activities.

And a belated note about the Organ and saxophone concert by Boguslaw Grabowski & Maciej Sikala on Saturday night. Maralyn Ryan writes: “The musicians received a standing ovation after a sensational performance. Our Lady of Lourdes church reverberated with the uniquely beautiful sounds created by the two instruments. Afterwards, over a glass of wine, it was great to see how the power of music had brought so many people together. A truly great evening!”

Wednesday’s events include:
* An introduction to Bowls for anyone who hasn’t played before – at the Wanstead Central Bowls Club in Nutter Lane.
* A guitar recital by the hugely talented Pete Black at the Larder (a few tickets remaining)
* An evening of fine wine, tasty cheese and Wanstead-based scandalous anecdotes (a few tickets remaining)
* A talk by author Pippa Kelly about her book which explores issues around dementia and family
* An Irish music night at the Nightingale.

Some advance notice:
* There are still some tickets yet for the Olive Oil workshop on Thursday night – where you will learn what makes a fine oil and how to tell the difference. Details here.
* On Saturday, the Taste of Wanstead event will take place in a stylish marquee on Christ Church Green – it’s a four-course taster menu with ingredients all available on Wanstead High Street. Contact for tickets.
* Saturday’s Kinema is already half sold-out. (If it’s rainy and windy, it will be indoors, so will still be a magical climax to Fringe week. Get your ticket here.)