Wandsworth Council’s flagship festival, Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF), returns for 17 days of music, spoken word, theatre, comedy and dance across the borough from Friday 10th to Sunday 26th June.
With 150 events to choose from, get ready for an explosion of color on the streets, intimate live performances in surprise locations and a big celebration of dance, woven through our entire program, as we return to the pubs resumption from Wandsworth, theatres, galleries, studios and churches for another WAF year. Stroll through the parks and see the art among the trees and the dancers that spring up from the river path, peek inside the ancient arches of St Mary’s Putney and see them transformed into a small theatre, or catch something inspiring at Bedford’s iconic pub.
This year, WAF shines a spotlight on the emerging dance district of Wandsworth as the Royal Academy of Dance opens its brand new York Road headquarters, a stone’s throw from the London Children’s Ballet, Wandsworth’s first cultural anchor tenant to open last year, and for a long time -established the Battersea dance organizations bbodance and Tavaziva Dance.
On Friday, June 10, WAF will kick off with street dances. Everyone is invited to join us on a journey along the river around Battersea Reach, charting a course between bbodance and the new home of RAD and discovering the hidden music, spoken word and dance gems being created. road.
RAD will stage an incredible dance program throughout the festival, including Ballet Soul’s contemporary dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello – a live version of the 2021 lockdown dance film and Element Arts is raising awareness of climate change with its dance film installation, Ecological Beings. Also at RAD, Mercurial Dance is testing a new site-specific immersive game: Fame Game; Sheba Montserrat’s Shackles, The Whip and The Drum follow Rhythm and Dance guardian spirits as they guide Africans through slavery, in a tale of the creation of Caribbean dance; London Children’s Ballet moves Anne of Green Gables to Wandsworth after success at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre; and under the glow of 100 LED candles, E33’s contemporary ballet We’re Gonna Be Okay weaves personal stories and choreography, offering hope and light after the darkness of the pandemic.
The WAF Dance Weekender is set to be a two-day extravaganza of dance styles from around the world, appearing in public spaces around Battersea. Join us at York Gardens on Saturday June 18 for contemporary dance from London Butoh Dance Company and Hallomai Dance, and accessible dance workshops with dance troupe Magpie Dance. Shake your tail feathers with the most fabulous senior flock in town, PC*DC’s Royale Dancehall Flamingos, then head over to bbodance for African movement, drums, ballet and more with Tavaziva Dance and dancehall. ‘English National Ballet School. On Sunday, WAF takes over Battersea Reach with another full day featuring pop-up performances from Flamenco Con Gusto and Orleta Polish Folk Song and Dance, African drumming and movement from Tavaziva Dance, and even a chance to learn Japanese Tenshintaido with martial artist and calligrapher Béatrice Bovineau.
As part of Wandsworth Council’s commitment to open up arts and culture to all residents, WAF 2022 will host free activities in the borough’s parks, housing estates and public spaces. These include WAF Family Day at Furzedown Recreation Ground (June 12), Art in The Park at Wandsworth Park (June 12), Happy Feet – a giant communal painting done with dancing feet – at Alton Arts Hub (June 18) , the Alton Family Fun Day (June 25) and Hazelfest Art Reuse Green Festival on the Hazelhurst Estate (June 26). Jellyfish Theater returns to its caravan of dreams with a new adventure, visiting the parks and estates of Wandsworth throughout the festival. WAF 2021 Audience Choice Award winners, disability-led theater company The Baked Bean Company, take over Battersea High Street on Friday June 17 with a street party like no other – complete with dance performances, live music and creative workshops.
WAF continues its beloved and award-winning digital program WAF In Your Living Room, with online arts and crafts workshops from ActionSpace and the LGBTQ+ group Radical Quilting Shed Project, as well as a digital performance program, including a special adaptation of The Tempest by Disabled directed by Bloomin Arts theater company, a solo performance by dancer Tal Levy Cohen and a multi-character tour of Gary Roost’s Andy Warhol’s Factory.
Theater and comedy on the fringes are truly back, with beloved Wandsworth venues such as The Bedford, Tara Theatre, The Arches at St Mary’s Putney, Theatre503 and Putney Arts Theater returning to full force after two years of lockdown and social distancing performance. Highlights include Boy Phil Green’s 90s comedy, taking us through a life of ADD, Tony Blair and terrible 90s pop songs, while Her Majesty The Queen (aka Carole Shaw) invites you to a Jubilee afternoon of quizzes, cake and SingalongaLiz; Theater503 presents an eerily prescient new play about the rise of an authoritarian state, Hangdog celebrates the musical gods of the 1960s, and two recent students from ALRA (now imnotarobot productions) take us on an absurd sci-fi adventure. .in which someone has to be thrown into space.
There’s plenty to see and do for Wandsworth’s young culture buffs too – Meg In The Magic Toysshop is a musical adventure for ages 3-7, bringing the Magical Libraries to life. Enjoy an uplifting afternoon of all your favorite songs from West End musicals and lively family films with UPLIFT Musical Theatre, and Oily Cart returns with The Lost Feather, a live sensory storytelling show designed for children with autism and/or disabled of all ages.
After a two-year hiatus, the WAF Schools Showcase returns with live performances by local schoolchildren at the Civic Suite at Wandsworth Town Hall. Climate change is a major theme for school projects this year, with eco-poetry displayed in borough libraries and green artwork installed on railings outside Wandsworth Town Hall . Young talent will also be represented with performances from Providence House, World Heart Beat Music Academy, London Children’s Ballet and Wandsworth Music Youth Council.
WAF is also set to showcase the talents of the borough’s young visual artists – winners of Royal College of Art scholarships (Louis Morel, Sena Appeah, Merlin Summer and Theo Chaudoir) will exhibit at the Outlined Gallery in Nine Elm; RCA fashion students worked with artists with disabilities from Share Community to create an accessible and sustainable millinery fashion show; and watch this space for details on a surprise RCA student residence at Battersea Park, kicking off with WAF in June 2022, as they (temporarily) fill shoes with big names.
In music, WAF once again welcomes the jazz and classical quartet Fuzion Four, the glamorous Marcus Megastar, Pawel Siwczak of the Bach Club (as part of the All Saints Music Festival) and two performances of classical music in the portico of the church Sainte-Anne presented by Wandsworth Street Concerts. Rogue Opera’s Opera in the Park is a cabaret-style family show featuring music by Bizet, Donizetti, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi; Gráinne Gillis pulls back the velvet curtain and gives us a naughty behind-the-scenes musical glimpse, and National Opera Studio opens its doors for Songs and Scones (a treat for opera fans and scones alike).
South London’s rising stars of afrobeat, rap, reggaeton, dancehall, grime, trap, hip-hop, soul and R’n’B get a chance to shine with the performances demonstration of On Da Beat studios and to watch the evenings organized by Kimber Skate Park. Inspired by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Eric Bibb and Lizz Wright, the poetic composer Melissa James interprets her folk roots and gospel with a good dose of soul. Elsewhere, the Meg Morley Trio will launch their new jazz album, and South London’s Giant Folk will fill All Saint’s Church Tooting with their FolkJazz sound.
Acclaimed poet John Agard makes his WAF debut with a project celebrating curiosity; and joins a program of spoken word events including Wordplay and Flow Live, community poetry group Lost Souls, Richmond & Wandsworth LGBT Equality & Ally Group, Words of Wandsworth’s Open Mic Picnic, a spoken word walk inspired by the River Wandle and a night of escape on Battersea Barge.
For hands-on activities, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and learn new skills, with workshops ranging from fan-making to quilt-making, flower arranging, dancing and martial arts, calligraphy, creative writing and more throughout the festival.
Each year, WAF showcases the rich mix of places, artists and communities in the Borough of Wandsworth through an inclusive, open-access program that anyone can take part in, whether as a performer, participant or member of the public.
Launched in 2009, WAF now attracts nearly 20,000 people each year to the streets, parks and venues of Wandsworth with its daring, boundary-pushing queues.
WAF’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, supporting and platforming creative talent and arts organizations in the borough, and fostering a thriving cultural economy by working in partnership with our communities, is at the heart of Wandsworth Council’s new arts and culture strategy 2021-31.
To find out more about the 2022 festival, visit www.wandsworthartsfringe.com