Thursday 9 July 2015

The Magic of Theatre at Buxton Fringe

Whether it is through the story itself, the unique location in which it is performed, or the sheer quality of the performance, this year Fringe theatre is set to take audiences into another world.

The magic begins with Butterfly’s adaptation of As You Like It, uniquely set in Poole’s Cavern where live acoustic music, love and laughter help create a lively “Shakespeare lock-in” as the audience moves through the atmospheric caves. The enchantment continues with The Ash Girl, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s darkly beautiful retelling of Cinderella performed by the REC Youth Theatre Company, and don’t miss the most charmed play of all, Uproot Theatre Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed in just one frenetic hour by two actors.

Shakespeare continues to gain a magical twist with inamoment theatre company presenting King Lear (Alone), a thought-provoking reworking of the original, whilst Fringe Award winners, Smooth Faced Gentlemen are bringing a new, all-female production of Othello, plus their stripped-down, ramped-up version of Titus Andronicus. Steve Larkin, also adapts a classic with, Tes - Tess of the D’urbervilles Re-imagined, reinventing Hardy’s heroine as a teenaged boy from a Newcastle council estate.

A more spooky atmosphere is also to be found, with The Rats in the Walls by Alexander Arts taking us to sinister Exham Priory, and Peaceful from The Off-Off-Off- Broadway Company focusing on a woman hiding from ghosts in her labyrinthine mansion. Both of these shows are performed in the distinctive setting of Underground Venues, also the place to see the classic gothic horror story The Turn of the Screw performed by That’s My Cue Productions.

Audiences are invited ghost-hunting with the Ghosthunters’ Club by Cul-de sac theatre set over the five creaky floors of the Scriveners Bookshop. Alternatively Lady M Youth Theatre brings a unique portrayal of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem in The Raven, whilst another young company, Dilate Theatre, brings the audience a gruesome murder mystery treat in Murder Weapon.

Action and adventure is also delivered with Curious Grin Productions offering an energetic and exciting production of Around the World in 80 Days. Rhema Theatre Company meanwhile tells powerfully dramatic true stories from the world of human trafficking in The ‘It’s Not Fair!’.

The magic of musical theatre is also very present in this year’s Fringe. Far West Theatre presents Jacques Brel: Une Vie a Mille Temps, a brand-new musical piece based on the life and works of the famous Belgian composer, whilst Departure Lounge, a musical by Sudden Impulse Theatre company, tells a more modern story, about four British boys returning home from a lads’ holiday in the sun. Behind the Blinds by Dreamshed Theatre invites us to a musical revue featuring comic and tragicomic songs, whilst Jim MacCool’s Parliament of Fowls, by the Performance Poetry Society, combines poetry and music in a magical combination, with a brand new version of Geoffrey Chaucer’s parable dream vision.

Sometimes all it takes is just two actors to bring a play magically to life. Seriously Funny by Dreamshed Theatre, portrays Tony Hancock and Kenneth Williams both on and off stage, whilst Sudden Impulse Theatre Company, brings to life Two by Jim Cartwright, just as the writer originally intended.

Who's bringing magic to your Fringe? Do add your comments about shows via the website's Enhanced Diary or in the Comments Book at the Fringe Information Desk.

Buxton Fringe

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