Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Fringe 2016 - Moments to cherish

Carnival cup moment (credit: Sophia Huxford Rodriguez)

All over again for another year and it felt particularly poignant as we bid farewell to the Paupers Pit as a Fringe venue. We very much hope to see Underground Venues in a new home for 2017.

Thanks to those who have made it all work so seamlessly, from our sponsor the University of Derby to all our other other supporters, Fringe Friends, venues, reviewers and volunteers. Most of all, a big thank you to our Fringe entrants and enthusiastic audiences!

Every year I personally end up seeing or doing something extraordinary. Here are some special Fringe moments to cherish.

-         Waving our huge prize cup to appreciative crowds cheering us on at the Fringe carnival.
-         Writing a sex scene for the first time in my life and in five minutes flat at a FED writing workshop
-         Watching a child spontaneously produce the missing invisible hippo blanket In Dr Zeiffal, De Zeigal and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught
-         Squirming on my husband’s behalf as he submitted to manhandling from the glorious Kagouls
-         Presenting the Spirit of the Fringe award to a gob-smacked Sam Slide
-         Realising what a beautiful place we live in at The Wild Peak exhibition
-         Choking back tears singing Jacob’s Distant Peaks song at our Kaleidoscope Choir performance
-         Crying over fake raspberry jam in War Stories
-     Realising that Jerry Sadowitz was not going to give the Fringe reviewer his notes back…
-     Feeling relief that dancer Lewys Holt was going to get his trousers back on...

That’s just a few of mine – why not tweet us your favourite #FringeMoments @buxtonfringe?

Marketing Officer

Buxton Fringe

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Buxton Festival Fringe 2016 - We're Ready, Are You?

The 37th Buxton Festival Fringe begins on Wednesday, July 6th. Our Information Desk is all ready and our volunteers are on hand to help you plan to get the most from the 19-day Festival.  The Desk is in the Conservatory - adjacent to the Opera House and the starting point for the Discover Buxton tram tour of the town which leaves hourly. The Desk and the tram both open for business at 10.00 hours.

The team at Underground Venues is also working hard to be ready for a launch party on Tuesday night (5th) - join us from 8pm if you are in town. There will be plenty of free entertainment to get you in the mood.

Fringe Sunday 2015 - "Jacques Brel: A Life A Thousand Times"

Fringe Sunday - our free party in the Pavilion Gardens - is this weekend, July 10th from 2.00-4.30pm. We have 9 performers lined-up for your enjoyment. The provisional timetable is as follows:
1] 2.00pm: Jacques Brel: A Life A Thousand Times
2] 2:15pm: Next Door Dance: The Beautiful Game
3] 2.25pm: Cozy
4] 2.40pm: Ed Billingham
5] 3.00pm: Belly Dance Flames
6] 3.20pm: Granny Grump
7] 3.35pm: Opera Seria
8] 3.50pm: Darren Poyzer
9] 4.10pm: Will Hawthorne and Band
Our thanks to all the performers who are freely giving their time.
We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

Buxton Fringe

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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Chelmorton Village Festival - 11-17 July

There wasn't space in the Fringe programme or on the website to give all the details of the Chelmorton Village Festival: so here are the latest details we have. Chelmorton is about 4 miles south of Buxton - take the A515 (Ashbourne Road) as far as the Brierlow Bar Bookstore and turn left and follow the signs.

The Brierlow Bar Bookstore is well worth a visit and is open seven days a week.

Chelmorton Village Festival dates: Monday 11th – Sunday 17th July 2016.
Preliminary details are as follows, but please keep checking the website as more details will be added.

Monday  11th July 2016
  • Scarecrow Judging (more details will follow)
  • Festival Pub quiz – garish shirts are positively encouraged for quiz goers.
Tuesday 12th July 2016
  • Crime Writers panel with Sarah Ward (Village Author)  6pm – 7.45pm
  • Comic Poet Rob Barratt (Village Institute) 8pm – 9pm
Wednesday 13th July 2016
  • Family Film at the Institute
Thursday 14th July 2016
  • Local walk around the village conducted by Harry Mayo
  • Hollinsclough Band (in the Church)
Saturday 16th July 2016
  • Village Day – where everyone is invited to have stalls in the village
  • Evening Disco -featuring music through the eras e.g 60’s, 70’s, 80′s and so on.
Everyone is invited to dress up in the music era of their choice and join the fun! Requests can be made when you buy your ticket.
Sunday 17th July 2016
  • Songs of Praise in the Church
In addition:
  • Teas and coffee will be served at the Institute throughout the week from Monday to Friday. Refreshments will be available at village stalls on the Saturday.
  • There will be a craft stall in the village institute from Monday through to Friday, selling crafts and gifts made by local people from the village. A great opportunity to grab some early Christmas shopping!
  • On the Monday through Saturday there will be an exhibition in the Church. Opening hours to be confirmed, with more details about the exhibition to follow.
  • Following the success and popularity of last years treasure hunt, Jan and Richard are currently hard at work devising one for this year! More details to follow when we know more….
  • We are also hoping that the pop up book shop which was located in our very own phone box, will also be available this year. Confirmation will be posted, as we finalise details.

Buxton Fringe

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Meet the Experts - Free events at the Buxton Museum

Buxton Museum has a programme of 13 free lunchtime lectures taking place throughout the Fringe. They start at 1pm and the outline programme is as follows:
Friday 8 July: Fascinating Derbyshire Finds with Alastair Willis of the Portable Antiquities Scheme
Sunday 10 July: The Earliest Derbyshire Pottery with Pauline Beswick from the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal
Tuesday 12 July: The Derwent Valley: the artists' perspective with historian Doreen Buxton
Wednesday 13 July: A walk through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with John Barnett from the Peak District National Park
Thursday 14 July: Buxton Diamonds with geologist Roy Starkey
Friday 15 July: Money, Money, Money with Anja Rhode from the University of Nottingham Museum
Saturday 16 July: Peak District Pre-history: Dowel and Fox Hole caves with Umberto Alberello from the University of Sheffield
Sunday 17 July: Joseph Wright's Derbyshire with Jonathan Wallis from Derby Museums
Tuesday 19 July: Are there really mermaids in Derbyshire? with conservator Anita Hollinshead
Wednesday 20 July: Ashford Black Marble: not black, or marble with Ros Westwood from Buxton Museum
Thursday 21 July: Lismore Fields: evidence of early visitors to Buxton with archaeologist Daryl Garton
Friday 22 July: Cave lions in Derbyshire and abroad with Dr Jill Cook from the British Museum
Saturday 23 July: Bear detective: the history of Britain's largest carnivore with Dr Hannah O'Reagan from the University of Nottingham.

You'll want to visit the Museum anyway to see the excellent Derbyshire Open art exhibition so it makes sense to time your visit for a free lecture.

Buxton Fringe

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Saturday, 2 July 2016

Darren Poyzer's Bloody Love Songs

Darren Poyzer brings the third in his series of 'Human Condition' shows to Fringe 2016, and once again he looks forward to Buxton with an open mind and great enthusiasm ...

Darren, you must think of Buxton as a 'home game' now ...
Yes, I'm very confident in the format and the team at Underground Venues, and I've come to totally love the performance space in The Paupers Pit. Fringe time as a whole finds me wishing I was in Buxton every day from start to finish.

Tell us a little about 'Bloody Love Songs' ...
For those new to my gig, I take a theme and apply some 'outside the box' images and music that I hope encourages people to re-think one or two important aspects of life. There's nothing too scary going on though, I look throughout to entertain and create a reassuring feel good factor for those who come to my shows.

Are all the songs your own writing?I usually write these shows with allowances for unscripted moments and flow, so it's fair to say that every song will be either an original, or an original interpretation of a song people might already know.

Why the title 'Bloody Love Songs'?I wanted something a little edgy, to reassure people that this wasn't a stroll through cliche. Love can be painful and messy, and not everyone believes in it, even though it really is all around us. This was one of many potential titles, and it just happened to fit my mood on press deadline day!

Your two previous shows here were very well received and you have a 'Human Condition' theme. How many shows will there be?As life goes on there will always be a reason to write a new show, and as it happens these themes I hope are always relevant in the current day, in our hopes for the future, and in our historical research. When I came here with 'The War To End All Wars' in 2014, I was transformed by some of the research I undertook into World War 1 ... it's that epiphany moment I found then that I hope I can deliver with each new show.

It may be a little early, but if all goes well, is there a show theme for 2017?
Provisionally yes, the theme and title will be 'Home', and I intend to research what home means to different people in different places, and deliver songs that tell their stories. We'll see though, one step at a time ...

And finally, will you be visiting any other shows during Fringe 2016?Yes, I am scheduling visits to see Steve Roberts and Sam Slide for sure, and hopefully Jerry Sadowitz. I will likely take a punt on something different and unknown, and of course I'll be around for some 'Fringe @ 5' and 'Fringe Sunday' on the bandstand.

Thank you Darren, see you during Fringe 2016
Thank you too, it will all be fabulous for sure!

Darren will be performing on 9, 14 & 20 July at Underground Venues as well as at Fringe Sunday on July 10th and Fringe@5 on 12, 13 & 19.

Buxton Fringe

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Thursday, 30 June 2016

"Cloaks" - a new play

"Cloaks" is a new play by Alison Dunne. It is set in a theatre cloakroom where customers' coats become characters. It stars Lesley Emery and Charlotte Bond. Alison kindly agreed to answer our questions about her play and fishhouse theatre. You can see "Cloaks" at the Lee Wood Hotel on 7, 8 and 10 July.
"The coats in the cloakroom come to life to represent various characters in Kath's life, the donkey jacket is her first boyfriend in the 80's, Kev, while the parka is her sister, Marie. So each coat she interacts with is reminding her of someone in her past. Sometimes the coats are inhabited by Sam, who takes on the character and sometimes the coats are puppets almost, or even empty. So while the coats are not necessarily their owners they are a person suggested by the nature of the coat.
"Cloaks wasn't written with Lesley and Charlotte in mind. I wrote the play for an East Midlands competition and then developed it further with the advice and guidance of the Derby Theatre Writers Group. When Lesley, who had been to Buxton Fringe previously with her show What Would Sharron Davies Do? and had a brilliant time, approached me and Charlotte to see if we'd be interested in taking something to the Fringe this year it seemed as though all the stars aligned. I just happened to have a play right there that needed an older and a younger actor and so I sent it to them and they liked it. Having them in the roles has definitely deepened my understanding of the characters. We've done a lot of character development for the main characters, Kath and Sam but also the many roles Charlotte has to step into, including Kath's mum and dad. Accents have come with characters and Charlotte ranges across the country from Wales to a Cockney Ann Summers's party host.

"I'm hoping that the play will appeal to women of all ages but also to men. The play focuses on a relationship between an older and a younger woman, where each are missing things, fathers, lovers and crucially, parent child relationships. So I think anyone who has had a parent or a child might find something to engage them in the play. I'm not sure I can speculate about men might learn about women from watching the play but I'd very like to hear from them if they do learn something!
"fishhouse is a brand new theatre company. Whilst I have been writing for what feels like forever I was barrelled into the world of writing for stage by the 1448 Festival in Leicester in 2013 and as a result have become part of a thriving theatre community in the city and beyond. fishhouse was conceived in response to my own experiences and my feeling that I wanted to make work about women that was by women though not entirely for a female audience. I felt I wanted to represent women's experience on stage and in particular older women's experience as this seems underrepresented in the worlds I move in, full as they are of wonderful, vibrant and new work by young companies. We are not a young company in terms of our make up, although we are new.
"We ran a successful crowd funding campaign to raise funds for building our set as our company is as yet unfunded which was an experience and very heartening. In fact our generous funders gave us more than we asked for. None of us had been involved in crowd funding before, other than in giving donations and were very pleased with the results. It meant we were able to have our set built and then painted by the very lovely set designer Emma Jane Pegg. The whole experience has been collaborative for the company with everything from sourcing props to making badges and singing thank you songs for crowd funders being shared between us. We're very much looking forward to getting to Buxton Fringe, not only to perform but to get to see some other things too."

Buxton Fringe

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Monday, 27 June 2016

Getting Close-up and Personal with Sam Slide

Here is the latest in our series of exclusive Fringe Blog interviews. Sam Slide is well-known in Buxton and to Fringe audiences. A great friend of the Fringe - when he's not performing you'll catch him at other events. Here are our questions and Sam's answers - we don't think he is giving much away. Trombonists for you!

People are said to resemble their pets. Do musicians resemble their instruments?
Interesting to mention pets - musicians get attached to their instruments, which do have their own personalities.  Violin players talk about that a lot but it's the same for brass instruments, small differences in weights, dimensions and even the type of metal can make an instrument feel very different.
I don't know if there's a trombone personality, but you need to be comfortable with your chosen instrument.  I think a lot of musicians have similar personalities, at least as far as the music goes.  I've always got on well with musical people I've met over the years, although there have been a couple of exceptions!

The trombone isn't a sexy instrument - like the trumpet or saxophone. Why did you choose the 'bone' - or did it choose you?

Sounds like a question for Cameryn Moore [Of Phone Whore fame - Fringe 2014/2015. ed.]  I think that's only because the sax and trumpet are more common.  The trombone covers the same range as the human voice, with the same ability to bend and slide notes and produce a wide range of tones - so it's the winner for me.  The story of my musical background is all part of the show but I can't remember exactly how I came to play the trombone - It was over 40 years ago. 

Sam - you've got a lot of friends many of whom will come to your shows. Do you find it reassuring or worrying when you see those familiar faces out there?

A bit of both - it's reassuring to see familiar faces, but then there's more pressure to play well.  Once I've started playing I'm less aware of who is there, I just do my best to entertain them all.  The worst thing would be having a really good trombone player in the room.  Actually, that has happened.

You seem comfortable in a range of musical settings - brass bands, jamming with jazz musicians - do you have any preferences.
That's right, I enjoy playing a variety of music.  I've never been a dyed-in-the-wool brass band enthusiast but I do enjoy the occasional outing with our local Burbage Band.  This usually involves getting cold and wet playing Christmas carols or getting warm and wet in the Carnival parade - look out for Sam Slide in a red jacket on the 9th July.  I do admire the work Burbage do in training young players.
Jazz is different, there's no written music in front of you - it's all about listening to the other players.  Once you get used to that it's surprising how quickly a group of strangers can get it together.  It's also a pleasure to meet so many different people with a common interest.
I've no desire to play orchestral music, bagpipes or the banjo but I'm happy to have a go at most other things.  Thanks to Buxton Fringe I've even played with the Morris dancers which was great fun.     
Sam - this is the third year you've done this show. What new tunes and revelations can we look forward to?

That's a secret - you'll have to come along!  Obviously, the autobiographical theme is what it is, but I've added some new stories.  The last two shows had similar playlists so I've tried to change as many tunes as possible this time, keeping some of the old favourites.  There will be a few surprises, which may include a guest vocalist!

Sam and Friends will be entertaining at The Old Clubhouse on 12th and 19th July.

If you want your Fringe 2016 show featured on this Blog contact us at: and we'll set-up an interview for you.

Buxton Fringe

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