Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Modelling in the Park

The last time Fringe personnel went modelling in the Pavilion Gardens we were standing in the river... The question of "Why?" is something even we are still working on, but to cut a long story short, let's just say that there is not much we won't do in pursuit of a striking image for the Fringe programme.

Happily this year's programme cover has happened without the need for any more such shenanigans - though we are sure you will enjoy this relatively sane picture of Tom Mason and Fringe chair Keith Savage posing in the Gardens at the weekend. Tom, in case you are wondering, is our latest programme cover saviour having come up with the great idea of using actual tiny models positioned against a historic map of the town.

A Fringe fan and former Buxton Community student now working as a graphic designer in Portishead, Tom tells us: "I took inspiration from the current trend of photographing model figures in humorous real world/full scale situations. I enjoy model making (in particular railway modelling) and therefore I wanted to use my skills in this field to produce an image that reflected the fun and vibrancy of the Fringe in miniature.”

The background map, reproduced by permission of The National Library of Scotland, brings a great sense of heritage and place to the design. Of course great ideas don't come from nowhere and Tom had a few mishaps along the way as he experimented with several set-ups around the town. “During a photo shoot for a potential cover image beside the lake in the Pavilion Gardens we were set upon by an angry goose. The subject of the shoot, a model figure relaxing at the water’s edge, unfortunately didn’t make it…”

Just to make things more difficult, Tom’s cover image also had to work with the programme’s new format this year. Explains Keith: “Our programme has been printed with a ‘portrait’ shaped design for years. We asked designer John Tromans to do a mock-up in a ‘landscape’ format and we think it makes the programme look more spacious and easier to read. We’re delighted with the outcome.”

Can't wait to see it? While you can of course see all our events building up on the Fringe website, the printed programme is due out at the beginning of June and will be launched officially and in style at a party at The Green Man Gallery on the evening of June 3rd. All welcome, so please come and raise a glass with us. Who knows, we might even take your photo!

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

End of the Pauper's Pit - Real Fact!


We've spent the last couple of days dismantling the Pauper's Pit theatre in readiness for the arrival of the team which is working on the Buxton Crescent Spa Hotel redevelopment. For those that doubted the day would ever come here is some photographic evidence. Recent events suggest that photos can be interpreted in all sorts of truthful ways and some may say this is evidence that a really great theatre is being constructed.

We hope to recycle all the equipment and open a new theatre/cinema somewhere in town - but it will never replace the atmosphere that the Pauper's Pit had. Thousands of shows were presented in the Pit - comedy, theatre, dance, magic, film, music. We laughed, we cried, we shouted and were stilled.

You can hear an interview on High Peak Radio which touches on the Pit and its successor venue - The Old Clubhouse. While it is tempting to look back, we are at the stage where Fringe 2017 is barely five months away and we must press on.

Already we have over 20 shows and events lined up for July. At this stage 'Music' is the biggest category and some exciting shows have been added in the past few days. Our collaboration with the Buxton Festival has already produced one exciting show. The Dodo Street Band play on Tuesday July 11th as a Festival/Fringe showcase. The DSB will bring an exciting mix of European and British folk tunes played with energy, passion and great delicacy (when required!) They also have some smart hats - check out the video link.

A little more restrained, we suppose, will be Annette Gregory with her tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at The Green Man Gallery on July 7th. Also on the 7th (and the 8th) Close Harmony Classics will be singing at Scrivener's Bookshop, the Cheshire Cheese and the Green Man Gallery - so no excuse for missing them. They'll be singing four-part harmony versions of 'Hello Dolly' and 'Coney Island Baby' among other things.

Plenty to look forward to already with another 120 or so events still to come!

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Underground - but not as you knew it!

The Old Clubhouse - Buxton

We knew that Buxton Fringe 2017 would have to have a different shape and face to that of 2016 after confirmation that the two venues in the cellars of the Old Hall Hotel would be lost as performance spaces as a result of the multi-million pound redevelopment of The Crescent as a 5* spa hotel. Over the past 11 years "Underground Venues" has been at the heart of much Fringe activity presenting numerous award-winning shows - comedy, theatre, music and more besides. People have been asking for months - "What is happening to Underground Venues?" Well, now we know. The following was posted on Underground's website earlier this week:

"We are very pleased to announce that Underground Venues has arisen from the loss of our original home under the Old Hall Hotel, to find a new home for 2017 in festival hub The Old Clubhouse. Following eleven successful years, Underground will return with another hand-picked programme of events at the 2017 Buxton Fringe.
"Popular with Festival and Fringe audiences for many years, The Old Clubhouse, opposite the historic Opera House, will form our new base of our operations. A brand new theatre space for 2017 will join an all-day Fringe Club and information desk, while the Arts Centre, just over the road, will continue to host our larger-scale acts.
"Underground Venues 2017 will run 4-23 July.
"Applications for all types of performance will open at the very start of February.
Keep an eye on the website and our Twitter and Facebook for more information."

This is excellent news for everyone involved with Buxton Festival Fringe - audiences, performers and other venues. It will help maintain the profile of the Fringe and draw people to it. If you want to bring a show to Underground at The Clubhouse make www.underthefringe.com a favourite and watch out for news.

Meanwhile a clutch of exciting shows are already confirmed for Fringe 2017. Mart Rodger's Manchester Jazz has a short residency at the Conservative Club. Mart's New Orleans inspired band played to almost 150 people at a recent Buxton lunchtime gig and we are thrilled to bits that the Band will be with us on 7, 14 & 21 July.

Among others returning to Buxton is the Sovereign Saxophone Octet which plays at the Methodist Church on 12 July. The Octet can be expected to bring a varied programme of arrangements - some music associated with the saxophone, other pieces that had origins long before the instrument was invented.

New to Buxton, and we very much look forward to welcoming him, is Richard Navarro who will be travelling from Kent. Richard writes for choirs and he will be working with local singers and put on a very special concert in Trinity Church on 8 July. You can see and here examples of Richard's past work here.

Over the coming weeks and months we'll be doing our best to highlight the shows Buxton audiences can look forward to this summer. If you are performing here send us your news and stories and we'll share them with audiences and readers.

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Wishing for a happy 2017

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.

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe

Monday, 5 December 2016

Carols, Carrots, Conductors, Christmas

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.

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe

Thursday, 1 December 2016

We're Back!

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: info@buxtonfringe.org.uk

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! 

Buxton Fringe

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe

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

Website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk
Facebook: buxtonfringe
Twitter: @buxtonfringe