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.

It’s quiz time!

Alan Connor has a question for you. What do these four have in common?

Heathcliff, Superman, Tom Jones and Moses

Alan will be revealing the answer at the Wanstead Fringe Joy of Quizzing event on Thursday evening at the Wanstead Library.

He was the chief question setter for BBC Two’s Only Connect, and now sets questions for ITV’s hugely popular quiz The Chase. He also knows more about quizzes than anyone else, being the author of The Joy of Quiz, a fascinating book which explains where the strange British fascination with quizzes comes from. In the latest episode of the Wanstead Fringe podcast, he tells us what makes a good question and also reveals his favourite.

There are a few tickets still available for the event tonight – you can book them here.

It’s quiz time!

00:00 / 00:06:19

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. 

Wanstead Fringe podcast, episode 2: The sound of Saturn

The second instalment of the Fringe podcast is here, with some amazing nightsky activity, and an interview with Annabel Port who is appearing on Monday evening at the Larder.

(The reporter is Noémi Martini, music is  Jamie’s Song by Daizie Mae.)

Wanstead Fringe podcast, episode 2: The sound of Saturn

00:00 / 00:07:57

Fringe day 2: Jazz, theatre, stars

One of the photos in Hidden London, an exhibition of photos by Geoff Wilkinson, now showing at 84 Nightingale Lane. Details at

Day two of the 2018 Fringe includes photos, jazz, theatre, comedy AND another chance to learn about our place in the universe.

The final two performances of The Secret Garden will take the total of people having seen the production in Wanstead up towards four figures. And the presence of a star actor has been an added delight. Tickets are still available on the door for the 3pm performance.

There is afternoon jazz at Luppolo, comedy at the Manor House (sold out) and an extra event. The Astronomy night on Saturday was hindered slightly by cloud cover. But brilliantly Ricardo Cerezo will be at Overton Drive again tonight from about 8pm with his super telescopes to take advantage of a clearer forecast.

Fringe day one

Audience ready for The Secret Garden

The 2018 Wanstead Fringe kicked off in great style with delighted audiences at The  Secret Garden’s first performances, while the Makers Market and Duke Street Party kept the rest of Wanstead buzzing with activity.

Duke Street party


Stargazers gathered on Overton Drive to take part in Saturday’s Astronomy evening