Big news: Wanstead gets its own theatre company

A new professional theatre company – the Wanstead Theatre Co – has been launched by a local actor. Its first production will be taking place in in April.

The company is the work of Fiona Gordon who has been the main mover in helping theatre come to the Wanstead Fringe, having been involved in the Railway Children and the Secret Garden productions.

The new company’s first production will be a revival of a play by Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole. It is Bazaar & Rummage, a tale of a group of agoraphobics who decide to embark on self-help by staging a jumble sale.

It was originally staged at the Royal Court in 1982, and the new production will recreate the 80s feeling with the right tunes, outfits and even a real jumble sale going on in the interval. It will be complemented with a serving of chicken in a basket (or veggie alternative), promising that the whole experience will be a memorable first production.

Fiona said: “As we all know, Wanstead has everything! Except for a professional theatre company. Encouraged and supported by the Fringe over the years to bring productions like The Secret Garden made me realise that our community is full of creative talent and residents who really love theatre. Our mission is to employ local talent, wherever possible, and bring the quality of the West End to Wanstead.

“We are a community that can really talk to each other so when we think about future productions, I know we can ask for suggestions and ideas and consequently put on a show that Wanstead really wants to see.”

The venture is being supported by the Wanstead Fringe, which hopes that it will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship and will mean more live theatre taking place in Wanstead.

Giles Wilson, chair of the Wanstead Fringe, said: “The whole point of the Fringe is to encourage and support cultural activities in Wanstead, so it’s the best news that Fiona’s new company is getting off the ground.

“We know there’s huge appetite for cultural events taking place here, and so this is really good day.”

The company’s website is here. The production is also being supported by local estate agents Petty Son & Prestwich.

Tickets are now available online here, through Wansteadium. There will be eight productions between 21 and 30 April.