’18 things I’ll remember about the 2023 Wanstead Fringe’

This has been by far the biggest Wanstead Fringe yet, with more than 3,300 tickets sold and a massive range of cultural events being supported by the people of Wanstead, South Woodford and further afield.

Everyone who attended or took part in an event will have things they remember about it, but here are 18 from Fringe chair Giles Wilson. Add yours below.

  1. The atmosphere of dusk in St Mary’s churchyard as Patrick Marlowe – uplit against the gravestones and night sky – recounted tales to chill.
  2. The Technicolor glow of the Kinema screen, as the title music begins and an enthralled hush descends in the Christchurch Gardens.
  3. Soprano Lucy Crowe singing with her 11-year-old daughter lifting their voices in song.
  4. Ian Dunt’s verdict on Suella Braverman.
  5. Will Gompertz getting carried away talking about paintings, pulling out his own laptop and showing pictures he wanted to talk about to the audience.
  6. Jonathan Coe saying one of his inspirations for writing fiction about true events came from B. S. Johnson – “Someone has to keep the records.”
  7. Virtuoso Pete Black bringing down the house with a repertoire of guitar classics, performed with skill and joy. (His co-star Martyn Hawkes was no slouch either.)
  8. The sheer energy of  Andrew Atha, dressed up as a robot penguin.
  9. Actor Kurt Lucas, playing an Australian rugby player in Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson, haring around the stage, tripping and falling headlong but staying completely in character throughout.
  10. Realising that lots of Wanstead looks like it comes from a Ladybird Book, in a good way.(Thank you, Helen Day.)
  11. Author Paterson Joseph, asking if he might be allowed to read from his Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho, and then suddenly becoming Sancho and giving a dramatic rendition of the first few pages of the book… audience jaws dropped.
  12. Comedian Mark Silcox standing outside Eton Manor following his stand-up routine, chatting happily with the audience, never once slipping out of being Mark Silcox.
  13. Benedict Taylor and his viola extemporising the flight of the skylark up and down the aisles of St Mary’s.
  14. The deluge which hit Wanstead before Natalie Lee‘s book event – and that everyone still came out to hear her.
  15. Singer Lydia Gerrard winning her audience.
  16. Dark Isle – a piece of Scotland coming to Overton Drive.
  17. Photographer Russell Boyce saying that stopping to take a photograph gives you a different result from just taking a photograph.
  18. Eddie Nestor’s fascinating and candid fireside chat with his friend Victor leading him to wonder if he’d be fired in the morning.
  19. The simple pleasures of teamwork.

One thought on “’18 things I’ll remember about the 2023 Wanstead Fringe’”

  1. So many highlights – but grateful thanks to our musical talent for a string of amazing performances including Pete Black, Simone Spagnolo and the Skylarks collective. The drama content was also stellar – thanks to our directors/producers for a brilliant programme.

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