Protecting the Arts: Do Your Bit

It’s not often we do things seriously here at The Cat’s Back, mostly we save that for the Youngs pubs. However, it’s time to be a little more serious than usual, at least for however long it takes you to read the rest of this blog post.

As most of you know Fragility has taken over our pub for the Wandsworth Arts Fringe, providing us with just over two weeks of quality art in all its forms. From life drawing, to sketch shows, to drag kings and queens alike, from operatic Shakespeare to improvised Shakespeare. Our pub has been filled with creators and actors, their crew and their audience. All with one thing in common- the ambition to create and enjoy something that is wholly good, in all senses of the word. And not only in our pub, since 2016 Fragility has hijacked venues for the Wandsworth Fringe to bring art to hard to reach audiences and give accessible and affordable space to fringe performers in London.

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But obviously, people are as people tend to be- c*%#s. Whats next was written by Andrew and Charlie from Fragility:

“Fragility Takeover was founded in 2016 by two artists to give artists and audiences a fair experience in London Theatre. We wanted to give artists a safe, low risk, low fee space to try and make a decent living from their performances without ever skimping on the quality of the venues or the experience for the audience. People often don’t realise that only two of us orchestrate all three sites that see 68 companies and around 2000 audience through their doors for three weeks every year.

These venues get a modest grant but are primarily financed, up front, by credit cards and in kind gestures.32266549_1662652943848849_4415429356147441664_n.jpg
On Saturday morning we arrived at our flagship venue, The Putney Arches to find that someone had broken into our tent venue. They hadn’t stolen anything but they had cut open three of the four canvas walls, sliced through hundreds of pounds of electrical cabling and, most tragically, cut through nine custom sized theatrical drapes, on loan to us by our kind supporters at Putney Arts Theatre…


…Yesterday we managed to put on all 14 of our scheduled performances with minimal problems and we’ll be running another full week of programmes over five exciting venues next week, but we face the realisation that £10,000 of damage is substantially more than the amount we can ever dream to make from this festival.” (Read the rest here) 32536676_1662652880515522_4457727693022035968_o

In short- they need your help. If you ever wanted to feel like you were truly part of something, then now is the time to do your bit. People who work in the arts, and especially those who we have met here for the Fringe, are the most unassuming and hard working people there are. With that said, Andrew and Charlie have set up a Go Fund Me page where you can donate as much or as little as you like. Whether you’re local and have enjoyed the positive impact that Fragility has been committed to making in your area, or an empathetic stranger from afar- any amount you can afford will make a difference.

Still, as their new phrase says “Fragility by name, resilient by nature.” Andrew, Charlie and all of the performers have swung themselves well and truly back onto the horse. The shows have gone on as they always will, but that doesn’t make it okay. 29843928_15262132580_r

So, that’s all from us really. We wouldn’t be the community pub we say we are had we not written this. I keep saying that the best part about working behind a bar during the Fringe, is the people I get to meet. The weird and wonderful conversations that we have with people that seem to go as quickly as they came. Each one representing what it really means to work in the arts and love every second of it.

Click this bad boy to donate.

Cheers guys.

P.s, They’re still going strong, so if you’re in the area please go and show your support down at the arches under Putney Bridge. Buy a drink, watch a show, or just say hi. Every year they bring the arts to Wandsworth, Let’s help them to keep rocking.

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