Wednesday 3rd to Wednesday 24th July 2019
The biggest open-access Fringe between Brighton and Edinburgh, Buxton Fringe hosts some 600 events with music, theatre, comedy, spoken word, dance, film, children's events, street theatre, visual arts and more.
www.buxtonfringe.org.uk Facebook.com/buxtonfringe Twitter: @buxtonfringe
We are happy to let this image sit before you. This is the cover for next year's Buxton Fringe programme and we simply could not be happier with it.
Artist and graphic designer Catherine Webb - who lives and works in Buxton - has worked closely with the Fringe's designer, John Tromans, to produce a cover which is bold, immediate, confident and exciting. This is everything we hoped for when we invited artists to submit designs.
Catherine's design was selected from a strong entry - which you can see more of on the Fringe website. We plan to print a set of postcards featuring some of our favourite designs from those submitted in the New Year - do look out for them.
Meanwhile many, many thanks to all the artists who gave their time, imagination and skill in entering the competition.
Catherine Webb - winner of the art open competition for the Fringe40 cover - with Keith Savage, Chair of Buxton Festival Fringe
Right. We are up and running for Fringe40! Buxton Festival Fringe 2019 runs from 3-24 July and it will be our 40th and longest Festival. We opened for entries just 4 days ago and have 7 events listed on the website already and we are a bit too excited for our own good so early in proceedings. The prize for first entry - if there was one - would have gone to Paul Cromford who is bringing a brand new show - a song-cycle about our relationship with the Moon. The Ancient Pull can be heard at the Lee Wood Hotel. Paul has built a strong reputation for his intelligent music-making and this is a show to look out for. Also at the Lee Wood will be Sam Slide - a loyal Fringe supporter - with the latest instalment in his Trombone Talk, Trombone Tunes which is a whimsical musical autobiography. Sam will be supported in his story-telling by some musical friends. Expect good-natured and gentle entertainment. Terry Riley’s composition In C was very influential in some circles in the early 1970s. (It was also derided by some, but better to be noticed than ignored). We are very excited to see that a workshop for the piece followed by a performance is taking place at the URC in July. Expect some Fringe stalwarts to be there, eager to join KEMS in this venture.
Buxton Festival Fringe has announced the winner of its recent competition to design the cover of next year’s printed Fringe programme. Catherine Webb, a part-time teaching assistant at Buxton's St Anne’s Catholic Primary School and formerly a graphic designer at The University of Manchester, says she was “thrilled and tickled pink and everything in between” to be awarded the £100 prize for her winning artwork, an eye-catching design entitled Roar Talent, celebrating 40 years of the Fringe. Catherine says: “The overall look I have gone for is Art Nouveau which I feel is reflected in the design and architecture within Buxton. The lion is a representation of the lion's head at St Anne's Well, but also has symbolic meanings - strength, pride, courage. The Buxton Spa waters are depicted in the circle around the lion. In the mosaic background I have placed icons representing themes included within the Fringe.” She learnt about the competition through her friend Mandy Tootill, an award-nominated performer at 2018’s Buxton Fringe. Catherine adds: “As my daughter Milly is now at secondary school I have finally been able to find time to reconnect with my interest in art and design and this competition has been my first step”. Catherine’s stunning design will also feature on the Fringe’s flyer to be distributed early next year and possibly on other publicity materials. Two joint runners up were also announced, local artist Pam Smart and Ali Quas-Cohen. All the entries to the competition are due to be published on the Fringe website. Keith Savage, Chair of the Buxton Festival Fringe states: “Catherine’s design and image caught our imagination immediately. It is vivid, vibrant and confident. It sets the standard for all that we hope to achieve in Fringe40.”
Rebecca Mottershead and Caroline Small from the Green Man Gallery
helping us with "There was a pig went out to dig"
The opening of #Fringe40 was celebrated in grand style at the Green Man Gallery with a combination of food, drink and singing. We were lucky to have Rebecca and Tim Mottershead lead a workshop and the party singing of some Derbyshire Village Carols. (Including a world premiere performance of Tim's arrangement of Down In Yon Forest).
The Fringe is always here to help so here’s our virtual guide to November 14th’s wine and crisp-fuelled AGM at the Green Man Gallery in Buxton.
First off there was a wonderful new Fringe40 banner heralding the build up to next year’s 40th Fringe. It’s going to be a dual celebration as Buxton International Festival will be simultaneously marking its 40th anniversary.
Fringe chair Keith Savage took a moment to reflect on a scorchio Fringe 2018 where Buxton experienced something close to cafe society - even though the Shakespeare Jukebox still managed to get soaked on one occasion (admittedly whilst performing The Tempest).
2018 was “a year of consolidation”, building on changes seen in 2017, with UV reporting increased audiences in its new venue of The Old Clubhouse, the Rotunda enjoying a busy second year in the Pavilion Gardens and ticket sales holding up well across the board. The Fringe was the second biggest ever with particularly high audience satisfaction ratings reported in our survey. Contributing hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economy, “the Fringe helps put Buxton on the map regionally, nationally and internationally”, said Keith.
The Fringe was able to work closely with a number of partner organisations throughout the year including its sponsor the University, the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust, HPBC, the Crescent, Buxton International Festival, the Green Man Gallery, Buxton Opera House, Friends of Buxton Station, the Town Team, Vision Buxton, The Springs, The Palace, The Old Hall and others. Over 170 Fringe Friends make a valuable financial contribution as well as acting as ambassadors for the event, while a strong Fringe committee with new members provides energy and ideas.
Looking ahead to Fringe40, Keith hinted at exciting plans including a brass band commission, a carnival collaboration with the Festival and an archive exhibition at the Green Man Gallery. Fringe40 will be an extended event running from July 3-24 and with a special one-off earlybird entry fee of £40 it is hoped that it will be a bumper event too pulling in plenty of performers, both local and from further afield.
Keith reminded us that Fringe40 will be his last as chair. He will have served tirelessly and enthusiastically for six years. So it will be all change at next year’s AGM - in other words that’s going to be an event you really can’t afford to miss!
We have agreed the dates for Buxton Festival Fringe 2019 - our 40th Festival and called Fringe40 henceforth.
We start on Wednesday July 3rd and finish a full three weeks later on Wednesday July 24th. (The Buxton International Festival will run from 5-21 July). We have added three days to the end of our established finishing date for two reasons. Some people have said to us - “The Fringe is great, but it is a pity that it finishes just as the school holidays start.” By extending our Festival into the first week of the school summer holiday we hope that companies and performers that dedicate themselves to entertaining younger audiences and their families will see an opportunity. The second reason is simply that we think that more artists and performers will want to be in Buxton in 2019 for Fringe40 and we don’t want them to be squeezed out. We will see how this works out for everyone before committing ourselves to extended Festivals in 2020 and beyond. We have also agreed on an extra low entry fee for ‘early birds’ at Fringe40. We open for entries on 1st December and for the first three months (up until the end of February) it will cost just £40 to enter Buxton Festival Fringe. Anyone entering in March will pay £70 and those waiting until April will have to pay £85. We close for entries on Easter Sunday - 21st April. We hope that the £40 fee - and this won’t be repeated in 2020 or ever again! - will encourage Fringe regulars, and those that we have not seen in Buxton for a year or two, to come back. For those who haven’t performed in Buxton before then 2019 is a good time to see what you have been missing. Although we are not opening for entries for another 7 weeks there is no reason why you should not be making plans. For anyone planning to bring a show or event to Fringe40 the first thing to sort out is a venue to perform at. If you go to our website and look at the ‘Take Part’ pages you will find dozens of potential venues. The smallest venues accommodate audiences of a dozen or so, the largest can take 400 or more. Some will charge nothing to ‘rent’ a space and most have very reasonable hourly rates. Get planning and organising now: a handful of events are all ready to announce on 1st December. If you are new to Buxton and you want any help or advice do write to us. We look forward to our biggest and bravest Festival yet and we want you to join us.
Next year is going to be very special for us as we celebrate our 40th Fringe! Following the success of last year's art competition to design the programme cover, we have launched another open-to-all contest so don't be shy - we welcome entries from anyone who can dream up a good design whether that's based on photography, collage, a painting or anything else that might make a good cover. All ages are welcome - you certainly don't need to be a professional artist! There is a £100 prize for the winner and the work of runners up will also be featured on the website. The choice of subject matter is completely yours but it would be great to see some entries celebrating Fringe40 - the first Fringe was in 1980.
The Fringe has a reputation for spectacular covers with 2018’s
programme using a vibrant design from artist Joanna Allen of New Mills,
winner of last year’s Fringe competition. Full details are available on www.buxtonfringe.org.uk//artcompetition2019.html. Fringe chair Keith Savage adds: “2019 is going to be a big year for Buxton and the
eyes of the world will be on us! Everyone that does anything to promote
the town will be looking to be at their best and the Fringe is no
exception. We look forward to showcasing some exciting original art.”
Please help us spread the word - the deadline is NOVEMBER 1st with entries submitted by email. We can't wait to see what you come up with!
Swimming in emotion at Fringe Sunday (credit: Ian J Parkes)
Well it’s the end of another fantastic Buxton Festival Fringe and after the excitement of the Awards Ceremony, I’ve been reflecting on all those other times during the Fringe when emotions have run high.
Here’s my personal list:
- An actor crosses herself in the wings before delivering an intense performance that has the audience in tears
- An art teacher tells me about the supposedly “non-academic” student who ended up creating a degree-level art project
- Crowds applaud our carnival float
- I sell half my art cards at a Fringe exhibition
- Our choir belts out “Things to Say” with its lyrics about “being quiet for too long, me head down in the crowds”
- An actor turns his back on the audience to rein in his emotions during a quietly devastating play
- A naked performer launches himself onto the crowd
- A lump of dough wails from her gas oven off stage
- Children decorate stones in the sunshine at Fringe Sunday
- A comedian finally makes successful synchronised swimmers out of a group of bemused volunteers
- A cascade of red paper engulfs the stage signifying ladybirds, life and hope
- A performer’s tireless publicity efforts result in a full house
- I finally “get” the comedian my husband has adored for years
- Seann Miley Moore shakes my hand!
Will you let us have your emotional highs? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us via Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, thanks again to all our reviewers who know better than any of us how to recollect emotion in tranquility to produce some great pieces of writing. Buxton Fringe
Some shows at the Buxton Fringe play no where else. Others are touring productions. The most ambitious tour is being undertaken by The Melting Shop with its play On Behalf Of The People. Over 30 performances will have been presented by the end of July with many "Sold Out" notices going up. The play returns to Buxton for three performances at the Bath Road Church Centre between 7-9 July. On Behalf of The Peoplefollows the fortunes of the Mason family coming to terms with life and love in a Yorkshire mining town in post-war Britain: how do George and Connie Mason, their returning soldier son Tom and his fiancée Liz, come to terms with their rapidly changing world?
On Behalf of The People was an original commission by the National Coal Mining Museum as part of its exhibition to mark 70 years since the nationalisation of the coal mining industry. The play premiered at the venue in summer 2017 before embarking on a community venue tour, receiving audience and critical acclaim. (‘Poignant and moving’ Buxton Fringe Review; 4* ReviewsHub) .
On Behalf of The People writer and The Melting Shop co-producer Ray Castleton said: “The play is based on extensive research about the people who lived in mining communities just after the war and how the aftermath of the war and the massive change – the election of the post war Labour government, nationalisation, the new health service and the development of social housing – impacted on their lives. I was keen to write a story about real people and how their lives and relationships changed; the audience reaction we received last year confirmed that the story touched people in its authenticity and honesty.”
Audience reaction to On Behalf of the People has been positive and enthusiastic. and this is what The Stage had to say about it:
"Castleton’s play steadily moves along in just under two hours, full of sequences of gripping domestic conflict and tender moments of stillness as our characters find themselves at the centre of the crucible of change. Beautifully structured and poetically written, with a good handful of Yorkshire grit and stark realism thrown in for good measure, Castleton’s play conjures up an atmospheric play-world that is sensitively informed by careful research into the time period it depicts. Director Charlie Kenber squeezes every last drop of atmosphere and realistic style out of the piece to great effect, providing his audience with a directorial vision that immerses them in the piece, and places them right at the heart of the action.
"The excellent cast also brings the audience closer to the heart of the action and the emotional turmoil their characters undergo, thanks to a sensitive and careful consideration of their portrayals, bringing to life some strong, memorable performances. They uphold the sense of sensitivity and artistic clarity that is woven into the very fabric of Castleton’s play – we get a tangible, respectful nod to the past, and feel as though the real people that formed the heart of Castleton’s research undertaken at the museum are sitting there with us."