Wandsworth Fringe Festival (1-17 May 2015) has officially become an annual celebration of fringe arts across the South West London borough. Led entirely by local participants, events this year include theatre, dance, art exhibitions and participatory workshops. With a month-long list of activities, you’ll be spoilt for choice, and may even learn something new about this corner of London. Words: Phillipa Rust
1 MOVE ART
9, 12, 14, 16 MAY
A curation of artforms and a collection of workshops, Move is a year-round event that aims to celebrate creativity through the appreciation of performance and movement. Move encourages all walks of life to come together and discover their artistic side, regardless of their level of experience.
This May, to recognise an ongoing production of over 200 workshops run by 10 established artists, the public are invited to take part in free sessions hosted at The Mason’s Arms (169 Battersea Park Road, London, SW8 4BT), The Magic Garden (231 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 4LG), Sprout Community Arts (74 Moyser Rd Furzedown, London SW16 6SQ) and Haven Lodge (c/- WoW Mums, 2 Wolftencroft Close, London SW11 2LD).
Workshop Moving Figures will be run on multiple dates by Putney-based artist Sophie Marsham, where participants can drop-in and take a guided sculpting class, with a chance for their work to be selected by the curator for exhibition in the official Move collection.
2 THE HANDLEBARDS: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
PUMP HOUSE GALLERY
6-10 MAY 2015
Local and international favourites The HandleBards, a 4-man, bicycle-powered troupe, will return to the Pumphouse Gallery piazza for one week to perform hits The Comedy of Errors and MacBeth, the only way they know how, with their bikes! The hilariously talented foursome use a collection of props they are able to transport only on bikes, and capture these well-known classic stories with their own special twist. Sure to be a performance you’re not likely to forget.
Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ; peculius.com
3 BATTERSEA ODYSSEY
KATHERINE LOW SETTLEMENT, BATTERSEA
15-17 MAY 2015
Immerse yourself in a special guide of Battersea with untold stories from life in the area from the past 100 years. Designed specifically for the Wandsworth Festival, Battersea Odyssey will see actors presenting and recreating stories in the perfect Battersea location of Katherine Low Settlement. The show is Lightbox Theatre’s newest, developed from over 18 months of workshops and interviews with locals.
108 Battersea High Street, London, SW11 3HP; lightboxtheatre.co.uk
4 THE SECRET LIFE OF FRANCIS BACON
THE BEDFORD, BALHAM
12, 13 MAY2015
This solo show will set out to illustrate the life and times of controversial and misunderstood artist Francis Bacon. Painter and designer of furniture, rugs and tiles, Bacon went on to paint masterpieces including his 1982’s ‘Study for Self-Portrait’.
Fresh off the back of a successful Australian tour, The Secret Life of Francis Bacon is an intense, intimate, and captivating insight into the mind of this eccentric, creative Irish artist. With script by performer Garry Roost, audiences are taken on a journey of the artist’s thoughts, experiences and eternal struggles.
77 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD; francisbaconplay.com
4 NOT DEAD YET
THE FOUR THIEVES, BATTERSEA
Lynn Ruth Miller is 81 years old, and has seen and done quite a lot of things. The 2013 TO&ST award-winner will give a stunning performance incorporating comedy, songs and stories, to tell of a life fully lived.
Having faced and experienced more than most, this show will lead you through 80 years of fun, fears, happiness and wisdom.
51 Lavender Gardens London, SW11 1DJ; lynnruthmiller.com
5 FANTAST HIGH STREET’S MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY & ALICE IN WONDERLAND
CORONATION GARDENS, BATTERSEA
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the weird and wonderful tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As part of the celebrations, Wandsworth Fringe Festival will host two special events:
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, a family-friendly performance, will see beloved characters from Wonderland join the public in an interactive performance in Coronation Gardens for cakes and other treats.
Coronation Gardens, Pirbright Road, Southfields, SW18; fantasyhighstreet.org.uk
Alice in Wonderland undergoes a new adaptation to be performed at Battersea Library for the Wandsworth Fringe. Director Ellie Pitkin has taken the original story and dropped it down the rabbit hole, right into the heart of Battersea.
Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill London, SW11 1JB; blackshawonline.com
6 SOUTH AFRICAN VOICES
THE FOUR THIEVES, BATTERSEA
3,6,7 &8 MAY 2015
True to the traditions of African sound, those looking for a night to remind them of home, or simply those needing a pick-me-up should not look past Soweto Spiritual Singers performing South African Voices. Having performed extensively across the world, the 27 member ensemble will perform an arrangement of spiritual, folk and traditional music and dance. A feel-good night for young and old.
51 Lavender Gardens London, SW11 1DJ
7 THE PAUL DUNTON ORCHESTRA LIVE AT THE BEDFORD
THE BEDFORD, BALHAM
7 MAY 2015
Paul Dunton brings his unique orchestra to The Bedford Pub for one night in May. Using a blending of pop and alternative with a nod to the classical, the orchestra, made up of violins, cellos, flute, bass and percussion, will perform alongside lead vocalists Charlotte Andrew and Poppy Alice.
77 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD; thebedford.co.uk
The Arch/ Under Putney Bridge
1,7,8,9,13 & 14 May 2015
A production by Swallowed Whole Theatre, SENSES is an experimental performance where participants will be encouraged to isolate themselves from the real world to get in touch with their own individual senses. The show explores the differences between live sound and recorded sound in a dark, outdoor space. Over 18’s only.
St Mary’s Church Putney High Street London SW15 1SN; swallowedwholethea.wix.com/swallowedwhole
9 MAGDALENE PLAYERS, TIME AND THE CONWAYS
Mary Magdalene Hall
14-16 May 2015
Popular amateur drama group Magdalene Players perform their brand new production, J.B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways. The three-act play takes audiences on a journey through time with the Conway family from 1919 to 1937 as a way of communicating family life in Britain during the inter-war years, and how one young daughter’s vision of the future is set to change everything.
Mary Magdalene Hall, Trinity Road London, SW17 7HP; magplayers.org.uk
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT wandsworthartsfestival.com