MUST DO: Wanstead Fringe Festival

Open-air Kinema, live music, workshops, art, food and much much more over the next 7 days in E11

Wanstead Fringe Kinema. Photo: Geoff Wilkinson
Wanstead Fringe Kinema. Photo: Geoff Wilkinson
This Saturday, Wanstead’s annual Fringe Festival begins its week-long celebration of this postcode’s more creative residents.

With a whopping thirty events taking place in multiple venues, eagle-eyed punters can catch live comedy nights, open-air cinema, poetry recitals, a vinyl record night, a cult pop quiz, cookery demonstrations and various art exhibitions.

On top of this, the multiple literary events are bound to get a few thought waves flowing. Notably, the Guardian’s Hugh Muir and author John Rogers will embark on a public discussion about the changing face of London’s suburbs. They’ll be dissecting and discussing diversity, gentrification and development in East London (Wed 14th).

Not to mention a night of discussion with left-wing author Nick Srnicek’s on his book Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, a text that Owen Jones has called “a fascinating book about an alternative to austerity” (Thurs 15th).


There’s also a (surreal?) opportunity to roam around the sights and smells of Jazz Age London with author, historian and Wanstead local Lucinda Gosling, and olfactory expert Lizzie Ostrom (read more about her here, Wed 14th).

Chalkboard says yes. Photo: WF
Chalkboard says yes. Photo: WF
What would any festival be without a bit of choonage? E11 residents have come up trumps with offerings from some of the ‘hood’s rising stars, including indie rock group Recoupes and Luna Blaze (Tues 13th) at the petite Wanstead Tap. To top it off, a live acoustic night in the Manor House pub sees Wanstead-based acts take to the stage in a beguiling-sounding soiree entitled Keep your Freak Flag Flying (Fri 16th).

Meanwhile, the opportunity to grab a nocturnal photography walk or a guided gardening tour may offer some fresh insight into the area, whether you’re a newbie or seasoned longtimer. Yoga among the trees (Sat 17th), bookswaps and various events for ankle-biters including art and drama classes will also help to give the festie a warm and inclusive feel.

Did we mention the scran? We didn’t? A handful of independent eateries aim to showcase some of their wares at a fraction of the price as part of Wanstead Restaurant Week.

So, no excuses: get stuck right in.

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More information on tickets, times and prices here or follow @wansteadfringe
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