|Community School students decorating a Fringe-themed Wells Dressing in 2009|
With the end of March deadline for discounted entries fast approaching, we already have an impressive 70 entries and are finding a lot to excite us!
With Fringe chair Keith Savage currently immersed in the Buxton Festival of World Cinema this week (go see!), here are just a few of the shows that have caught my eye. On the comedy front, look out for Radio 4 News Quiz writer Mike Shephard and over at the Green Man Gallery, Chris Norton Walker's it-shouldn't-happen-to-a-comedian reminiscences about backstage accidents as a gigging stand up. Kids have all the best fun and this year's offerings include two brand new events - Baby Loves Disco - a chance for tots to boogie at Buxton's Level 2 nightclub - and Buxton Drama League's unseasonal panto, Theseus and the Maze of the Minotaur. Incidentally, auditions for the latter take place on April 27 and 29 at 7.30pm at the Old Hall Hotel. Buxton Carnival (with our amazing float) is always fun for all the family and is run by the Buxton Wells Dressing Festival. They are looking for volunteers so do pop along to the Old Hall at 7.30pm on April 19 if you think you can help, particularly with the intricate process of decorating the wells with flower petals.
Some fresh new Spoken Word includes comic poet and singer Rob Barratt and Circus of Poets veterans The Glummer Twins, while eagerly awaited theatre includes new shows from Shadow Syndicate and The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company plus Romeo and Juliet Underground at Poole's Cavern from Butterfly.
A spectacular Music section includes many returning favourites from Amaretti Chamber Orchestra to early music specialists Partita and Africa's Lady of Song, Margaret Ferguson, to New Orleans pianist Dale Storr. Seasoned Fringe-goers will also welcome the return of folk singer Hojo after 10 years accompanied by flautist Richard Jurgens. There's also a chance to enjoy a flavour of European Blues Awards Showcase Weekend with Bluesman Mike Francis and something to please those still mourning the end of TV's The Night Manager as Stephen Roberts presents Cold War Music and discusses spy novelists including Le Carre. Listed under Dance but also featuring fantastic guitar playing, COZY with Japanese dancer Yozy Yu Zhang and Canadian musician Colin Garvey is also likely to be a crowd-pleaser.
Visual Arts are looking strong too with new exhibitions from Fringe Award winners Adrienne and Langley Brown and from Ilsa Elford of the award-winning Grinlow Art and Story Telling Trail. For those who can't wait for the Fringe to start, don't miss new artistic venture, the Buxton Garden Trail which takes place on the 11th and 12th of June and already has 14 confirmed gardens taking part with art on display.
We are likely to have a surge of entries in the next day or two so do keep checking back to see what's on. Underground Venues have reported more applications than ever so we look forward to seeing what's in store at this popular managed venue, enjoying residency downstairs at the Old Hall, probably for the last year as work on the Crescent begins in earnest. Entries for the printed programme close on April 17 and Keith and I will be busy proof-reading and preparing for the printer's deadline in the coming weeks so don't delay if you would still like to put something on at the Fringe!