Saturday, 31 December 2016
We know that 2016 was a difficult year for many people in so many ways and that the 'difficulties' experienced in Britain pale into insignificance compared with those endured by citizens of Aleppo, for example. However, we add our hopes and wishes to those for a happier 2017 wherever you live.
For Buxton Fringe 2017 holds out some exciting prospects and developments. New venues, new performers and some new shows are in the pipeline and news on all these will be published in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile we are delighted to share with you a taster of the artwork created for us for 2017 by Tom Mason - we love his playful image that draws on Buxton's past as well as capturing the joy and excitement of living in the moment.
The flyer for Fringe 2017 will be distributed in the coming months and Tom's work will be used on the cover of the programme published late in May.
For now, peace, health and happiness.
Monday, 5 December 2016
This artfully composed photo is evidence that the Buxton Festival Fringe 2017 is well and truly launched. We gathered at the Green Man Gallery (represented here by Caroline Small, left) on Saturday December 3rd and skillfully and enthusiastically led by Carol Bowns (middle above) we sung lustily, and sometimes tenderly, half a dozen carols associated with Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. Thanks to everyone who made the event happen. We'll be doing it again next year (assuming the planet survives that long) - Saturday, December 2nd, 2017.
But what would a launch be if there was no Festival? Happily we have some definite entries already (with plenty being planned and almost ready to confirm). First out of the blocks this year was Keith Large of Carrot Napper Productions. Keith and his team have brought comedy, drama and film to the Fringe in the past and it will be great to welcome them all back. Keith describes his latest work: Oh the lure of the Love-shed as out-of-work nightclub bouncer Vinnie Hollis attempts to recover a 17 foot prize carrot. Recently published in print to raise funds for the Stroke Association, this allotment aphrodisiac brings guaranteed laughs and love among the onions.
You'll be able to see The Carrot Nappers at the Lee Wood Hotel on Sunday, 9th July.
A big success - with audiences and critics - at Fringe 2016 was The Conductor which is an adaptation of Sarah Quigley's marvellous novel about a performance of Shostakovitch's 7th Symphony in besieged Leningrad. Performances take place this week in Rotherhithe, south east London. Only £5; if you can get there please do so.
Free, and closer to hand if you live in the Peak District, this Friday, 9th December is Navidad Nuestra which is a folk-drama based on the Christian nativity story written by Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez. Starts at 6pm and lasts an hour - in the cathedral of the Peak, St John the Baptist church.
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Not quite Christmas! Underground Venues last July - photo by Sofia Huxford Rodriguez
We don't exactly sleep through the autumn here at Fringe mansions but there isn't much day-to-day stuff to report. But now it is winter and things start to happen quite quickly.
For new readers a brief recap: the Buxton Festival was launched in 1979, the Fringe followed in 1980 and has taken place every July since. So the 2017 Buxton Festival Fringe will be the 38th - making it one of the longest-running Fringes on Planet Earth (we don't discount other worlds - though the Trustees haven't voted on the subject yet).
Buxton Festival Fringe is probably the biggest open access summer arts festival in England. Every year, over a period of 19 days, there are more than 500 separate performances and events, presented by 150 different artists or groups. All this in a town with a population of around 23,000. We are very proud of our town and the part we play in making it such a good place to live.
Buxton Festival Fringe 2017 runs from Wednesday July 5th through to Sunday July 23rd and as of today we are open for entries for next year's Festival. The Fringe does not book acts or performers - if you want to be part of the fun you are invited to set up a show. Our website gives information on how to do that but if you have any questions do write to us and we'll do our very best to help: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile we begin the fun this coming Saturday, December 3rd. Buxton's Town Team has organised a procession with singing through the the town centre and finishing up in the Pavilion Gardens - but wrapped around that is our own Derbyshire Village Carols event at the Green Man Gallery. From 2-4pm - brilliantly led by Carol Bowns - we'll be learning half-a-dozen or so traditional Derbyshire (some might be from Yorkshire!) carols. Then from 6.30-9.30pm - after the procession - we'll be back for a party. There will be mulled wine - and something to drink, for those that don't fancy warm wine - food and the chance to sing and sing. If you'd rather listen - well we'd love to see you at the Green Man Gallery.
We have just about got the artwork for the 2017 programme cover sorted - and we're very excited about that. Look out for news about that (and other seasonal events - Tideswell, December 9th, St Mary's Church, Buxton - December 14th) here in the coming days.
See you on Saturday - everyone is welcome!
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
|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?
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
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.
Sunday, 3 July 2016
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.
- Crime Writers panel with Sarah Ward (Village Author) 6pm – 7.45pm
- Comic Poet Rob Barratt (Village Institute) 8pm – 9pm
- Family Film at the Institute
- Local walk around the village conducted by Harry Mayo
- Hollinsclough Band (in the Church)
- 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.
Sunday 17th July 2016
- Songs of Praise in the Church
- 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 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.