Monday 22 June 2015

Why One is Wonderful

Not long to go before this year's Fringe is underway and groups are busy rehearsing to make sure they put on their best show ever. For solo performers there is even more pressure to get it right. It is no surprise to see that theatre is once again the biggest category at this year’s Buxton Festival Fringe (July 8-26) with many performers daring to tread the boards alone in some exciting solo shows. Here's our round-up of some of them.

Never afraid of a challenge, Uproot Theatre Company, whose acclaimed past Fringe shows include Around the World in 80 Days, brings a brand new, one-man War of the Worlds. Equally adventurous is Joue Le Genre’s Emma Bentley who uses comedy, clowning and storytelling to describe the perils of playing Shakespeare’s men without a codpiece in To She or Not to She. Marrying Mr Darcy once seemed an impossibility for Lizzy in Pride and Prejudice. In Little Red Hen Theatre’s Lizzy Bennet Remembers, Prudence Edwards looks back on the incredible drama that led to their union.

The intimacy of a one-person show tends to suit reflective pieces. Nominated for an Actor Award at the Fringe last year, John Martin Stevens of Dreamshed Theatre returns with His Letters, in which long-lost love letters chart a touching wartime romance. In Skimming the Stones from Tilly Mint Theatre, the past exerts a particular pull on Alison, a woman surveying the house where she grew up and wondering if she can ever escape her memories. Meanwhile library theatre touring company offer a classic from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series, A Cream Cracker Under the Settee, with widow Doris, alone in her house, reminiscing about her life and confronting her own vulnerability.

Intimacy becomes a theme in itself in a number of taboo-breaking shows. Cameryn Moore returns with Phone Whore (A One-Act Play with Frequent Interruptions) about a telephone sex operator, as well as exploring relationships in a new show merging memoir and manifesto, Slut R(evolution): No One Gets There Overnight. M.A.I.R.O.U.L.A from Sturgeon’s Law is a one-woman show combining both insights into Greece with musings on sex, death and the human condition. Feminine sexual power is also explored in FoolSize Theatre’s bold, tragic-comic show, Women Who Wank.

For Ava Hunt, Acting Alone has become the title of her show with her comical journey as a TV actor and her contrasting experiences of working in refugee camps in Palestine leading her to question whether any one person can make a difference. With last year’s Fringe Actor awards both going to solo artists, it is clear that in theatrical terms at least, one person certainly can. For further details on a wealth of Fringe theatre see

Interest is certainly building with enquries this morning from a group travel organisation and Buxton Tourist Info - wanting more programmes!

Buxton Fringe

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