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The eighth Wanstead Fringe concluded at the weekend and, though Wansteadium has a vested interest in this, was a huge success. Many hundreds of people took part in events ranging from comedy to open air film to book talks to the Jumble Trail to a groundbreaking spoken word night.

Giles Wilson, chair of the Wanstead Fringe Association, said: “The Fringe was a massive success this year – there was so much pent up appetite for events that nearly every event sold out. Thank you to the event organisers, venues, sponsors, volunteers, and ticket-buyers – none of it could have happened without you. 

“And now is the time to be thinking about what Wanstead Fringe 2022 might look like. If you want to get involved, or even plan your own event, please do get in touch now with us via info@wansteadfringe.org.”

Ibizo Lami at the Spoken Word night
Film critic Ben Walsh talks about the great days of British horror
The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones on technology and social media

Wanstead’s new mural in development.

It came about through the good offices of organiser Kathy Taylor, the hospitality of India Garden, and the skilled brushwork of mural specialist Gavin McPhail. Kathy has been running the Mini Festival of Nightingales, something which we hope will grow in years to come.

Attendees to the Wanstead Festival (one of the largest in recent years, surely?) were among those seeing Gavin working at first hand as he put the finishing touches to the bird.

So far… we’re only half way through. Do send any pics you get to info@wansteadium.com.

Photographers Geoff Wilkinson, left, and Stefan Rousseau talk about some of their favourite photographs

Some more things to watch:

On Saturday, author and actor Joseph Elliott is speaking at the Library:

https://wansteadfringe.org/event/joseph-elliott-writing-and-acting/

And the ever-popular Graeme Matthews, aka BAM BAM will be doing children’s comedy on Saturday afternoon.

https://wansteadfringe.org/event/wanstead-fringe-comedy-for-kids-graeme-matthews-a-k-a-bam-bam/

And on Sunday it’s the Wanstead Festival with all the attractions we have come to know and love. But this year there’s a greener tinge than usual, with the High Street being closed and dedicated to being green. In particular there are bike riding events which you will need to pre-book for.

https://www.cycleconfident.com/sponsors/london-borough-of-redbridge/

We wish all readers a happy Fringe day — yes it’s the start of the 8th Wanstead Fringe today, a fortnight of cultural and community activities to make the most of living in this marvellous place.

The Fringe starts in earnest this evening with the launch of the Wanstead Bookclub, a new forum for booklovers to share recommendations and enthusiasms with other readers. The launch is taking place online on Friday evening at 7pm, and all Wansteadium readers are invited to join in – just go to the event page below and click RSVP to get a link.

https://wansteadfringe.org/event/launch-of-wanstead-bookclub/

On Saturday there is the annual Duke Street Party, as well as the Makers’ Market and a photo clinic for budding photographers by Geoff Wilkinson. On Sunday there is the return of Jazz Vespers, a magnificently cool church service in Christ Church.

Details of all events, including next weekend’s Kinema, are available at the Fringe website, wansteadfringe.org.

The centrepiece of the Wanstead Fringe, the open air Kinema, is returning on Friday 10 September. The event has become reliably the most popular event in the whole Fringe, and has always been a memorable, atmospheric event.

This year the film showing will be The Lorax, which was chosen as the 2020 film before Covid cancelled the Kinema at the last moment. This year there’s even more reason to show it: the Dr Seuss book it’s based on is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the message of children being able to make a difference to the environment could hardly be more timely. You can read more about why Fringe organisers have chosen the film here.

This year, to help with social distancing, the event will be held at the Kinema’s original venue, Wanstead Cricket Club. There will be a bar and hot food available.

The event has always sold out, so you are advised to get tickets now via the Fringe website. Click below for details.

Wanstead Kinema

And just as a reminder, here’s a taste of the atmosphere of the last Kinema from 2019.