Wednesday 24 June 2015

Going Underground for a laugh

credit: Ian J Parkes

With the Fringe's notorious cartoon sheep still to be found somewhere on our website (answers on a post card please) let it not be said that we at Buxton Fringe don't know how to have fun!

So with the sun shining, here's our look-ahead to a host of fantastic Fringe shows that we think will have you laughing this July.
 Underground Venues offers a packed programme with TV and radio stars including Max & Ivan from BBC1’s W1A with The End; ex-policeman and Radio 4 comic Alfie Moore with A Fair Cop Stands Up; and Juliet Meyers, BBC comedy writer for Sarah Millican, with her show None of the Above.

Buxton also boasts the best in sketch comedy this summer: Fringe Comedy Award winners The Dead Secrets offer a whirlwind odyssey through the wondrous exhibits of the Curiositorium; Beasts, familiar from Radio 4’s Sketchorama, make their Fringe debut and LetLuce presents Let Progress Luce, enticingly described as a “weird but relaxing show set at sea”.

Fans of improv comedy will not want to miss the Edinburgh sell-out, Absolute Improv, bringing its quick wit and audience participation to the Fringe again. There is also Rhinoceros, an interactive, virtual board game by Harry Carr, and for one night only, Right Here Right Now Impro, accompanied by Fringe favourite Sam Dunkley on piano. For improv with a difference, Oliver Meech’s magic show is created at the drop of a (top) hat from audiences’ suggestions, and Ben Van der Velde promises to “empty his brain out onto the stage” in his madcap show, Strudelhead.

The Fringe is proud to have thought-provoking shows covering every topic from weddings - with Caimh McDonnell’s Bride and Prejudice and Tilly Mint Theatre’s The Best Man? - to children, with Andrew Watts’, How to Build a Chap, exploring fatherhood. Mortality also gets a look in with Older than the Oldest Dog that Ever Lived from comedian Peter Brush and Stories About Love, Death and a Rabbit from Ms Samantha Mann (aka Charles Adrian Gillott). Phil Buckley’s Big Idea finds the comedian in reflective mood as a chance encounter makes him decide to turn his life around, while comic and poet Rob Gee presents a guide to losing the plot in his show Fruitcake: Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward.

Two shows even offer to solve audiences’ problems with Danny Pensive: Life Coach, by John Cooper, promising to leave us believing we can achieve anything, and Tina Bradshaw bringing her unique brand of warm-hearted life-coaching to Tina’s Proverbials.

The contemporary world proves a huge inspiration with Sajeela Kershi exploring society’s mixed-up views about Muslims in her show Shallow Halal; Three’s Company & KPS Productions tackling the life of Britain’s favourite comedy politician in Boris: World King; and Abi Roberts (now only performing on July 21 because of TV commitments) referencing ITV’s favourite stately home in her show Downtown Abi featuring Labrador, Al Qaeda.

Also offering a great sense of place is award-winning Amadeus Martin in God Created Brixton and local Derby boy Chris Fitchew with his show Oops!, recounting his hilarious journey from Derby to London and back again. Comedian Maxine Jones has been there, done that but is about to come Full Circle as she plans to move back to the UK after 25 years away.

Tackling matters futuristic, 2014 Fringe Comedy Individual Award winner Nathan Cassidy brings two shows, Back to the Future I and II, reflecting on the one thing that really has changed over the last 30 years, whilst Paul Kerensa in his show, Back to the Futon Pt2, expresses his regret that there are still no hover boards in 2015. Time travel is also a theme in MJ Hibbett (and Steve)’s two-man comedy rock opera, Hey Hey 16K.

In a Comedy section boasting all types of entertainment, there is also a musical parody of the funniest disaster in cinematic history in The Room: The Musical and razor-sharp comedy songs from James Sherwood in Sherwood Jam.

Spoilt for choice? Underground Venues’ Barrel of Laughs offers a great selection of sketch and character comedy talent, alongside fantastic stand up all in one show. The three performances sell out every year so early booking is advised.

Buxton Fringe

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Twitter: @buxtonfringe

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