Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Buxton Fringe - the point of no return
Today's the day that our local printers, Galloways, are even as we speak printing 18,000 copies of the Fringe programme. Somewhere amongst all that detailed information there is bound to be some kind of mistake but right now I'm finding it quite liberating to consider that after weeks of proofing and pouring over it, finally we can do nothing whatsoever about it!
The programme may of course be perfect (thanks to Eric Tilley's design, it certainly looks beautiful) but even if that's the case, it's quite likely that there will be the odd change to events before the Fringe happens, which is where the website comes in as the perfect place to publicise any alterations. We advise audience members to check on the website before seeing a show and our trusty Fringe Information Desk is also well aware of the current state of play during the Fringe itself.
While we've been putting together the programme, Fringe performers will have been organising their posters and flyers and no doubt experience the same mixture of excitement and angst as artwork is finally signed off and given to the printer. If you have a shop window in Buxton please be sympathetic when asked to display a poster - think of it as free decoration!
Then in the lead up to the Fringe, performers rehearse like mad to minimise the risk of mistakes on the night. The show happens - it goes well or not but either way there is a massive sense of relief and usually a great need to unwind in the Fringe Club afterwards!
Looking at the Fringe programme however, I'm interested to see how many performers actually court a little danger. Improvisation experts Scrap the Script and To Be Continued in our Comedy section are inviting audiences to shout out ideas on the night ready for them to be transformed into instant sketches while impro troupe ComedySportz has put itself in the For Families section, which can mean only one thing - children in the audience!
Everyone knows that Fringe favourites The Shakespeare Jukebox on the Opera House Forecourt are hugely practised at what they do but don't underestimate the element of risk here too - it's the audience that chooses which Shakespearean scene from the Jukebox menu will be performed each time. Buxton Drama League is also behind the brand new Panto Capers Workshop on July 19. Talk about making it up as they go along - the idea here is to create a scratch panto within a day!
American author Helen Keller once said: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all". So let's embrace Fringe bravery in all its forms, from the frisson of signing off a piece of print to the massive adrenaline rush of stepping out on the boards to make an audience laugh. Break a leg!