Wednesday 1st to Sunday 19th July 2020
The biggest open-access Fringe between Brighton and Edinburgh, Buxton Fringe hosts some 600 events with music, theatre, comedy, spoken word, dance, film, children's events, street theatre, visual arts and more.
www.buxtonfringe.org.uk Facebook.com/buxtonfringe Twitter: @buxtonfringe
We are happy to let this image sit before you. This is the cover for next year's Buxton Fringe programme and we simply could not be happier with it.
Artist and graphic designer Catherine Webb - who lives and works in Buxton - has worked closely with the Fringe's designer, John Tromans, to produce a cover which is bold, immediate, confident and exciting. This is everything we hoped for when we invited artists to submit designs.
Catherine's design was selected from a strong entry - which you can see more of on the Fringe website. We plan to print a set of postcards featuring some of our favourite designs from those submitted in the New Year - do look out for them.
Meanwhile many, many thanks to all the artists who gave their time, imagination and skill in entering the competition.
Catherine Webb - winner of the art open competition for the Fringe40 cover - with Keith Savage, Chair of Buxton Festival Fringe
Right. We are up and running for Fringe40! Buxton Festival Fringe 2019 runs from 3-24 July and it will be our 40th and longest Festival. We opened for entries just 4 days ago and have 7 events listed on the website already and we are a bit too excited for our own good so early in proceedings. The prize for first entry - if there was one - would have gone to Paul Cromford who is bringing a brand new show - a song-cycle about our relationship with the Moon. The Ancient Pull can be heard at the Lee Wood Hotel. Paul has built a strong reputation for his intelligent music-making and this is a show to look out for. Also at the Lee Wood will be Sam Slide - a loyal Fringe supporter - with the latest instalment in his Trombone Talk, Trombone Tunes which is a whimsical musical autobiography. Sam will be supported in his story-telling by some musical friends. Expect good-natured and gentle entertainment. Terry Riley’s composition In C was very influential in some circles in the early 1970s. (It was also derided by some, but better to be noticed than ignored). We are very excited to see that a workshop for the piece followed by a performance is taking place at the URC in July. Expect some Fringe stalwarts to be there, eager to join KEMS in this venture.
Buxton Festival Fringe has announced the winner of its recent competition to design the cover of next year’s printed Fringe programme. Catherine Webb, a part-time teaching assistant at Buxton's St Anne’s Catholic Primary School and formerly a graphic designer at The University of Manchester, says she was “thrilled and tickled pink and everything in between” to be awarded the £100 prize for her winning artwork, an eye-catching design entitled Roar Talent, celebrating 40 years of the Fringe. Catherine says: “The overall look I have gone for is Art Nouveau which I feel is reflected in the design and architecture within Buxton. The lion is a representation of the lion's head at St Anne's Well, but also has symbolic meanings - strength, pride, courage. The Buxton Spa waters are depicted in the circle around the lion. In the mosaic background I have placed icons representing themes included within the Fringe.” She learnt about the competition through her friend Mandy Tootill, an award-nominated performer at 2018’s Buxton Fringe. Catherine adds: “As my daughter Milly is now at secondary school I have finally been able to find time to reconnect with my interest in art and design and this competition has been my first step”. Catherine’s stunning design will also feature on the Fringe’s flyer to be distributed early next year and possibly on other publicity materials. Two joint runners up were also announced, local artist Pam Smart and Ali Quas-Cohen. All the entries to the competition are due to be published on the Fringe website. Keith Savage, Chair of the Buxton Festival Fringe states: “Catherine’s design and image caught our imagination immediately. It is vivid, vibrant and confident. It sets the standard for all that we hope to achieve in Fringe40.”
Rebecca Mottershead and Caroline Small from the Green Man Gallery
helping us with "There was a pig went out to dig"
The opening of #Fringe40 was celebrated in grand style at the Green Man Gallery with a combination of food, drink and singing. We were lucky to have Rebecca and Tim Mottershead lead a workshop and the party singing of some Derbyshire Village Carols. (Including a world premiere performance of Tim's arrangement of Down In Yon Forest).
The Fringe is always here to help so here’s our virtual guide to November 14th’s wine and crisp-fuelled AGM at the Green Man Gallery in Buxton.
First off there was a wonderful new Fringe40 banner heralding the build up to next year’s 40th Fringe. It’s going to be a dual celebration as Buxton International Festival will be simultaneously marking its 40th anniversary.
Fringe chair Keith Savage took a moment to reflect on a scorchio Fringe 2018 where Buxton experienced something close to cafe society - even though the Shakespeare Jukebox still managed to get soaked on one occasion (admittedly whilst performing The Tempest).
2018 was “a year of consolidation”, building on changes seen in 2017, with UV reporting increased audiences in its new venue of The Old Clubhouse, the Rotunda enjoying a busy second year in the Pavilion Gardens and ticket sales holding up well across the board. The Fringe was the second biggest ever with particularly high audience satisfaction ratings reported in our survey. Contributing hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economy, “the Fringe helps put Buxton on the map regionally, nationally and internationally”, said Keith.
The Fringe was able to work closely with a number of partner organisations throughout the year including its sponsor the University, the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust, HPBC, the Crescent, Buxton International Festival, the Green Man Gallery, Buxton Opera House, Friends of Buxton Station, the Town Team, Vision Buxton, The Springs, The Palace, The Old Hall and others. Over 170 Fringe Friends make a valuable financial contribution as well as acting as ambassadors for the event, while a strong Fringe committee with new members provides energy and ideas.
Looking ahead to Fringe40, Keith hinted at exciting plans including a brass band commission, a carnival collaboration with the Festival and an archive exhibition at the Green Man Gallery. Fringe40 will be an extended event running from July 3-24 and with a special one-off earlybird entry fee of £40 it is hoped that it will be a bumper event too pulling in plenty of performers, both local and from further afield.
Keith reminded us that Fringe40 will be his last as chair. He will have served tirelessly and enthusiastically for six years. So it will be all change at next year’s AGM - in other words that’s going to be an event you really can’t afford to miss!
We have agreed the dates for Buxton Festival Fringe 2019 - our 40th Festival and called Fringe40 henceforth.
We start on Wednesday July 3rd and finish a full three weeks later on Wednesday July 24th. (The Buxton International Festival will run from 5-21 July). We have added three days to the end of our established finishing date for two reasons. Some people have said to us - “The Fringe is great, but it is a pity that it finishes just as the school holidays start.” By extending our Festival into the first week of the school summer holiday we hope that companies and performers that dedicate themselves to entertaining younger audiences and their families will see an opportunity. The second reason is simply that we think that more artists and performers will want to be in Buxton in 2019 for Fringe40 and we don’t want them to be squeezed out. We will see how this works out for everyone before committing ourselves to extended Festivals in 2020 and beyond. We have also agreed on an extra low entry fee for ‘early birds’ at Fringe40. We open for entries on 1st December and for the first three months (up until the end of February) it will cost just £40 to enter Buxton Festival Fringe. Anyone entering in March will pay £70 and those waiting until April will have to pay £85. We close for entries on Easter Sunday - 21st April. We hope that the £40 fee - and this won’t be repeated in 2020 or ever again! - will encourage Fringe regulars, and those that we have not seen in Buxton for a year or two, to come back. For those who haven’t performed in Buxton before then 2019 is a good time to see what you have been missing. Although we are not opening for entries for another 7 weeks there is no reason why you should not be making plans. For anyone planning to bring a show or event to Fringe40 the first thing to sort out is a venue to perform at. If you go to our website and look at the ‘Take Part’ pages you will find dozens of potential venues. The smallest venues accommodate audiences of a dozen or so, the largest can take 400 or more. Some will charge nothing to ‘rent’ a space and most have very reasonable hourly rates. Get planning and organising now: a handful of events are all ready to announce on 1st December. If you are new to Buxton and you want any help or advice do write to us. We look forward to our biggest and bravest Festival yet and we want you to join us.
Next year is going to be very special for us as we celebrate our 40th Fringe! Following the success of last year's art competition to design the programme cover, we have launched another open-to-all contest so don't be shy - we welcome entries from anyone who can dream up a good design whether that's based on photography, collage, a painting or anything else that might make a good cover. All ages are welcome - you certainly don't need to be a professional artist! There is a £100 prize for the winner and the work of runners up will also be featured on the website. The choice of subject matter is completely yours but it would be great to see some entries celebrating Fringe40 - the first Fringe was in 1980.
The Fringe has a reputation for spectacular covers with 2018’s
programme using a vibrant design from artist Joanna Allen of New Mills,
winner of last year’s Fringe competition. Full details are available on www.buxtonfringe.org.uk//artcompetition2019.html. Fringe chair Keith Savage adds: “2019 is going to be a big year for Buxton and the
eyes of the world will be on us! Everyone that does anything to promote
the town will be looking to be at their best and the Fringe is no
exception. We look forward to showcasing some exciting original art.”
Please help us spread the word - the deadline is NOVEMBER 1st with entries submitted by email. We can't wait to see what you come up with!
Swimming in emotion at Fringe Sunday (credit: Ian J Parkes)
Well it’s the end of another fantastic Buxton Festival Fringe and after the excitement of the Awards Ceremony, I’ve been reflecting on all those other times during the Fringe when emotions have run high.
Here’s my personal list:
- An actor crosses herself in the wings before delivering an intense performance that has the audience in tears
- An art teacher tells me about the supposedly “non-academic” student who ended up creating a degree-level art project
- Crowds applaud our carnival float
- I sell half my art cards at a Fringe exhibition
- Our choir belts out “Things to Say” with its lyrics about “being quiet for too long, me head down in the crowds”
- An actor turns his back on the audience to rein in his emotions during a quietly devastating play
- A naked performer launches himself onto the crowd
- A lump of dough wails from her gas oven off stage
- Children decorate stones in the sunshine at Fringe Sunday
- A comedian finally makes successful synchronised swimmers out of a group of bemused volunteers
- A cascade of red paper engulfs the stage signifying ladybirds, life and hope
- A performer’s tireless publicity efforts result in a full house
- I finally “get” the comedian my husband has adored for years
- Seann Miley Moore shakes my hand!
Will you let us have your emotional highs? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us via Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, thanks again to all our reviewers who know better than any of us how to recollect emotion in tranquility to produce some great pieces of writing. Buxton Fringe
Some shows at the Buxton Fringe play no where else. Others are touring productions. The most ambitious tour is being undertaken by The Melting Shop with its play On Behalf Of The People. Over 30 performances will have been presented by the end of July with many "Sold Out" notices going up. The play returns to Buxton for three performances at the Bath Road Church Centre between 7-9 July. On Behalf of The Peoplefollows the fortunes of the Mason family coming to terms with life and love in a Yorkshire mining town in post-war Britain: how do George and Connie Mason, their returning soldier son Tom and his fiancée Liz, come to terms with their rapidly changing world?
On Behalf of The People was an original commission by the National Coal Mining Museum as part of its exhibition to mark 70 years since the nationalisation of the coal mining industry. The play premiered at the venue in summer 2017 before embarking on a community venue tour, receiving audience and critical acclaim. (‘Poignant and moving’ Buxton Fringe Review; 4* ReviewsHub) .
On Behalf of The People writer and The Melting Shop co-producer Ray Castleton said: “The play is based on extensive research about the people who lived in mining communities just after the war and how the aftermath of the war and the massive change – the election of the post war Labour government, nationalisation, the new health service and the development of social housing – impacted on their lives. I was keen to write a story about real people and how their lives and relationships changed; the audience reaction we received last year confirmed that the story touched people in its authenticity and honesty.”
Audience reaction to On Behalf of the People has been positive and enthusiastic. and this is what The Stage had to say about it:
"Castleton’s play steadily moves along in just under two hours, full of sequences of gripping domestic conflict and tender moments of stillness as our characters find themselves at the centre of the crucible of change. Beautifully structured and poetically written, with a good handful of Yorkshire grit and stark realism thrown in for good measure, Castleton’s play conjures up an atmospheric play-world that is sensitively informed by careful research into the time period it depicts. Director Charlie Kenber squeezes every last drop of atmosphere and realistic style out of the piece to great effect, providing his audience with a directorial vision that immerses them in the piece, and places them right at the heart of the action.
"The excellent cast also brings the audience closer to the heart of the action and the emotional turmoil their characters undergo, thanks to a sensitive and careful consideration of their portrayals, bringing to life some strong, memorable performances. They uphold the sense of sensitivity and artistic clarity that is woven into the very fabric of Castleton’s play – we get a tangible, respectful nod to the past, and feel as though the real people that formed the heart of Castleton’s research undertaken at the museum are sitting there with us."
Annette Gregory will be singing at The Green Man Gallery
This year’s Buxton Festival Fringe sees a rich and varied programme of music-making. In keeping with the Fringe ethos people will be able to see and hear music in some unexpected places. Will Hawthorne is leading something of a one-man campaign to reach out to new audiences. His band performs Poole Incarnate, a play with rock music, about the outlaw who gave his name to the local Cavern both at the caves and the Working Men’s Club. Will also leads the music at Give Peas A Chance down at the Serpentine Community Farm. Some of the local pubs are joining in the Fringe fun hosting free music events. The Tap House - which serves a comprehensive selection of Buxton Brewery product - has six nights of live music featuring some of the best bands in the region. The Cheshire Cheese welcomes back the close harmony quartet Close Enough - which left Buxton with such lovely memories last year. Also at The Cheese is The Occasional Band with a selection of Irish jigs, reels, slides and songs. Nearby at the recently refurbished Old Sun Inn Fringe-goers can hear the Herding Catz Blues Band on part of their tour of the town. The Catz are also playing at The Palace Hotel and on The Blues Train from Manchester to Buxton. One of last year’s Fringe favourites was the Buxton Studio Choir which goes from strength to strength and is about 50-strong these days. The Choir can be heard at The Palace as can the relaxed sounds of The Basin Street Jazz & Blues Band which will deliver a happy mixture of standards and originals. Returning for his third Fringe is Egriega bringing a new cabaret-style show to The Hydro Restaurant. Frank Sinistra - Sex and Drugs and PR has all the Egriega hallmarks that many have come to love: his mixture of humour, satire and a compelling delivery. The Burbage Institute has become the venue of choice for classical guitarist Ed Billingham. This year he is joined by Jo Kay in a programme including a Bach Toccata and pieces from the Italian Renaissance. One of the exciting new additions to the Buxton Festival landscape for 2018 is the Spiegeltent which will be a big attraction in the Pavilion Gardens. Brought by the Buxton International Festival, one of the events being staged there is the prize-winning Kaleidoscope Choir which rehearses and performs in the area all-year long. The Green Man Gallery has become a regular venue for quality music throughout the year. For this year’s Fringe it has three performances. The excellent jazz singer Annette Gregory returns with her band to present some of the best-loved songs by the Iikes of Julie London and Sarah Vaughan. Cathy Rimer is a local singer and songwriter who unerringly touches on all the things that matter in our lives. She has a beautiful voice and is a charming host, making an evening with Cathy well-spent. Cenote is a duo - mixing songs with piano, fiddle, guitar and bouzouki, drawing on traditions and stories from Derbyshire, the west of Europe and Iraq. Their show Of People And Place will illuminate the lives that pass often without notice. The team at Underground Venues presents an intriguing mix. French countertenor Adrien Mastrosimone tells of the life of Edith Piaf. Une Vie En Rose is both poignant and memorable. Also upstairs at The Clubhouse is the now traditional evening of songs and music from local performers, Club Acoustic, always relaxing and entertaining with the occasional surprise not far away. Much the same might be said of The Good Ole Boys who draw on a collective history that includes swing and skiffle. Johnny Dysfunctional & Sounds Bizarre have been gigging in London recently, polishing up some new songs with expert Specials guidance. They are back at The Arts Centre: hear the result. For details of many more music events at Buxton Fringe see buxtonfringe.org.uk
This year’s Fringe boasts a massive comedy section bursting with originality. Last year’s Comedy Show Award-winners, The Kagools, are back with their family-friendly, non-verbal comedy, a hoot from start to finish, and one half of The Kagools, Claire Ford will be doing some clowning of her own in her new show Unboxed. The other Kagool, Nicola Wilkinson, will also be stepping out as a solo act, her show Happy offering stand-up, party games, and, intriguingly, pies. Fringe comics routinely cross genre boundaries with Nathan & Ida’s Hot Dog Stand offering clowning, mime and dance from the stars of The Dead Secrets, and The Big Fat Running Show using live music, songs and comedy to look at running culture. The Shrimps: Prawn Stars will meanwhile use audience suggestions to come up with lively improvisation, fun and games. The spirit of farce can be felt in KinkyBoot Institute’s Cheaters: A Play about Infidelity while storytelling is at the heart of TMT’s My Friend Tony and the Tiny Circle of Love. Comedy does not have to be frivolous. Steve Day: Adventures in Dementia is a bittersweet exploration of his father’s Alzheimer’s while Mandy Toothill’s Twin Peaks finds the comic laughing in the face of breast cancer. Professional gambling is the subject of Ross Brierley’s Accumulator, with Steve Vertigo looking at the power of data and AI in his topical show As Far As I Can See. Aidan Goatley’s The Vicar’s Husband explores what happens when an atheist’s wife trains as a vicar, causing him to question his true purpose. There is more mental turmoil in the fast-paced and visual Id Ego Superego from Col Howarth. Whole worlds can be evoked in comedy shows, whether it is a Welsh village fete in Karen Sherrard’s warm-hearted A Fete Worse Than Death or something altogether more extra-terrestrial in Gemma Arrowsmith’s Earthling, pondering what aliens did with the earth mementos sent up by NASA in 1977. The comedy category at this year’s Buxton Festival Fringe is the biggest ever with 42 separate events. See buxtonfringe.org.uk for full details of everything in this exciting section. The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.
back with a new show 20-22 July at Underground Venues
This year the Fringe is packed full of amazing stand-up comic talent.
Inspiration comes from many sources with family foibles being top of the list. In her preview show 10,000 Decisions, Robyn Perkins (English Comedian of the Year Finalist) marries family stories and neuroscience as she explores the nature of decision-making. Australian Adam Vincent, writer for TV’s The Last Leg, believes family demands are controlling his life. Juliet Meyers’ family includes her rescue dog Homer who appears on stage with her. High-energy comic Daniel Cook meanwhile wants to talk about his pet cat. Comedy can be quite confessional, witness Upstart Crow’s Rob Rouse and his “journey of enforced introspection” or performer Jim Campbell who says he’s had a breakdown “so you don’t have to!” Political comic Alex Kealy considers himself to be a ball of anxiety while joke-writer and stand up Gerard Harris is a self-confessed Attention Seeker. Owen Roberts hit such severe writer’s block that his act is called: “I Let A Six Year Old Write My Show”. Meanwhile joke-merchant Phil Chapman is appearing on stage with his own personal comedy crutch that just happens to be a spatula… Tone varies enormously with zany puns from masterly comic Richard Pulsford and punbelievable Darren Walsh and a dark edge from seasoned Fringe comedian Amadeus Martin and from Fringe Award-winning Harriet Braine whose Apocalibrary imagines a world where “Trump has literally broken the internet”. The #MeToo movement comes under scrutiny from Harriet Kemsley whilst award-winning Nathan Cassidy exposes the secrets behind - and even his involvement in - the 2008 financial crisis. Comedy can be found in a variety of settings but particularly in managed venues, Underground and the Rotunda. Offering extra value for money is the ever popular comedy showcase Barrel of Laughs at Underground or new initiative Comedy at the Rotunda in conjunction with Off the Kerb productions. The comedy category at this year’s Buxton Festival Fringe is the biggest ever with 42 separate events. See buxtonfringe.org.uk for full details of everything in this exciting section. The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.
Radio 4’s multi-award-winning musical comedian Jay Foreman offers Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children as part of Buxton Fringe’s vibrant For Families section also featuring the delightful Darling family in Peter Pan A Musical Adventure, a swashbuckling youth production from Mad Hatters Music. These are just a few of the eagerly awaited family shows coming to the Fringe in July. It is never too early to become a Fringe-goer; babies and young children as well as children with complex needs are given a warm welcome by Collar & Cuffs Co offering an award-winning multi-sensory musical, Little Meerkat’s Big Panic, at Underground Venues. There is also Babbling Vagabonds with their Grinlow Woods promenade theatre piece A Wild Walk - The Golden Thief, and an interactive dragon show The Reluctant Dragon from Munchkins & Monsters Theatre. These last both include a workshop element and “have a go” is definitely the philosophy behind Stone and Water’s long-established Tiny! event in the Pavilion Gardens. This year’s theme is Underwater so be sure to join them in making a mermaid, dolphin or other creature of the deep. Storytelling never goes out of fashion so Stone and Water will also be offering Lost Stories of Buxton at Buxton Library while Buxton Story Tellers will be offering Soup and Stories at The Cafe at The Green Pavilion. Chelmorton Village Festival is also in the For Families section this year and with good reason - check their website chelmorton.net for details of their family-friendly dog show, scarecrow competition, Saturday stalls, tombola and more. Keith Savage chair of the Fringe states: “We are glad that there are such interesting shows in interesting venues that will engage young children. There is no more receptive an audience and some of my most vivid Fringe memories are of performances that my own children found absorbing.” Further Fringe events in other categories, such as Fringe Sunday in the Pavilion Gardens, are also suitable for children - look out for the handy family-friendly, smiley face symbol in the programme. The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.
Tried and tested performers The Glummer Twins are back with their Morecambe and Wise-style comic poetry on the joys of ageing, while Fringe award-winning performers Mr Simpson’s Little Consort return with Ayres and Graces, an adults-only evening in the company of 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys. History offers a rich source of inspiration with Michael Gibson giving a rare performance of his translation of the 14th-century romance Sir Orfeo complete with harp accompaniment from Gill Page. Trouble At T’Mill, a Discover Buxton/Buxton Fringe co-production, highlights the moving stories of child workers at Derbyshire cotton mills, while actor Paul Webster presents two contrasting one-man shows, one on the last hours of Hitler, the other focusing on author Willie (W. Somerset) Maugham. Past and present collide in Mirth of Forth’s Conflict of Interest in which stand up Richard Pulsford explores the legacy of his ancestors who fought in the First World War. LJN Company’s Twilight and Darkness is an evening of spooky tales, some local in origin, and a new Buxton Fringe initiative, Bring a Book and Share a Story, at Buxton Library invites readers to share their literary enthusiasms reading out favourite passages and perhaps swapping books. Spoken Word can offer a quiet interlude and a chance to reflect. Jane & Jim Poetry Theatre presents Town, a sketch in words and music inviting audiences to think about the world’s forgotten souls “left behind by indifference and the lack of hashtags”. Fringe chair Keith Savage comments: “The Festival period can be a bit frantic at times. It is good to have the chance to slow the pace and concentrate the focus. Many of the stories - intimate or broad in scope - that can be heard as part of the Fringe will entertain and give pause for thought.” The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.
In a growing comedy section at Buxton Festival Fringe, character comedians are proving a star attraction. Multi award-winning Charles Adrian becomes spinster librarian Ms Samantha Mann delivering invaluable advice to the audience in her show Behind the Agony. Cutlery safety advisor and Buxton Fringe Comedy Award nominee Ian Crawford believes he can save lives with his show Accident Avoidance Training for Cutlery Users - Level 2. Audiences can let their hair down with Jay Bennett aka power balladeer Yasmine in An Audience with Yasmine Day. Several performers are able to create multiple characters. BBC Three comedian David McIver pulls this off in his defiantly silly show David McIver Is A Nice Little Man, while Omar Ibrahim: Cosmic Clown offers a fusion of characters, stand up and some unexpected dancing. Returning to the Fringe with a brand new programme is James Hurn paying tribute to a classic comedy show in Hancock and Co - One Man, Many Voices. Adding some welcome eccentricity is all-singing, all-crazy Mr Twonkey in Twonkey’s Night Train to Leichtenstein and Fringe award-nominated Covent Garden star Mike Raffone whose Brain Rinse, featuring a host of different characters, is bound to bring out your inner ninja. The comedy category at this year’s Buxton Festival Fringe is the biggest ever with 42 separate events. See the Fringe programme online for full details of everything in this exciting section. Fringe chair Keith Savage says: “With a comedy section bigger than ever it will be interesting to see what this year's performers choose to focus on. Will they be tired of Brexit and Trump - whose UK visit coincides with the Festival - or will they take a more sideways, more personal look at the world? It is often said that laughter is the best medicine, but do we know what the illness is?" The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.
Buxton Carnival Race Day - Rob Wilson's entry to the 2018 Derbyshire Open.
See it at the Buxton Museum
Fringe-goers looking for something new will be excited to visit an atmospheric exhibition hidden in the basement of a bungalow on Buxton’s Lightwood Avenue. Autopoiesis - Sights, Sounds and Objects by CJ Robinson and Hugo Edwardes will feature projection and sculpture in a distinctive setting. Future Artists @ Buxton Community School highlights the talented young artists who regularly wow visitors to their annual show at Buxton Museum, while 3 of Us Going Somewhere presents recent work from three award-winning Buxton artists: inventive paintings and drawings by Langley Brown, embroidered photomontages by Adrienne Brown and geometric paintings by Norman Elliott. Another award-winning artist, Louise Jannetta, will be exploring abstraction in her latest show held in her art studio.
Buxton is renowned for its creative community with Nature’s Patterns at the Pavilion Gardens showcasing art of different media from High Peak Artists. The popular and long-established Burbage Art Group will be exhibiting at the Burbage Institute with cakes and a children’s quiz and The Green Man Gallery Artists present Something Like the Colour Purple, an exhibition exploring the hue in creative ways and featuring more than a hint of UV light.
Visual Arts is much bigger than it looks in the programme thanks to major collaborative shows like the award-winning Great Dome Art Fair from the hugely talented Peak District Artisans, and the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery’s ever-spectacular Derbyshire Open now in its 36th year and celebrating the county in all its diversity. The newly refurbished museum is celebrating its 125th anniversary and its exhibition Collectors and Curiosities: Buxton and Beyond will display some of its lesser known art and objects.
Finally Buxton Photo Challenge 2018 from Chapel Camera Club hopes to inspire creativity from the public. All you need is a camera and an empty memory card to take part in its special one-day photography challenge taking place on Buxton’s Carnival day, July 14.
Full details of all Visual Arts are on www.buxtonfringe.org.uk and in the printed programme.
Comments Fringe chair Keith Savage: “Buxton, the Peak District and Derbyshire have long held a fascination for creative artists and it should come as no surprise that artists respond to the energy in the landscape. Nor should we take for granted all the hard graft that goes into making art that satisfies our curiosity and gives such enduring pleasure.”
The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.
The Buxton Festival Fringe has always had a strong programme of musical events and this year is no exception. With almost 40 separate performances - from cabaret to symphony orchestra - the choice is mouth-watering. Six of Buxton’s churches - and Eyam Parish Church - will be hosting singers and musicians.
On the Market Place the Methodist Church welcomes the combined forces of the Tideswell Male Voice Choir and the Burbage Brass Band for what is sure to be an uplifting concert. The City of Manchester Opera is back with a programme of popular French arias and choruses. Two other vocal performances - both featuring COMO’s Margaret Ferguson - are in the programme. Margaret will be singing with The Maia Singers and as part of the quartet Vocivoices. Both concerts will include a mixture of much-loved opera and popular songs. Expect Mozart and Gershwin to feature prominently!
Partita - an ensemble specialising in Early Music - has been part of the Fringe for more than 20 years. The quality and variety of playing, singing and programming has earned a keen following. Partita offers two different lunchtime recitals at the Methodist Church. Also returning is the excellent Cheshire Chamber Collective whose concert includes quintets for strings and wind. The Sovereign Saxophone Octet brings wind music of a different kind. Arrangements of music written before the sax was invented will sit happily alongside jazz standards and originals.
The highly-talented pianist Eden Walker is making his Fringe debut at the Methodist Church. A graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Eden’s programme includes major works by Beethoven, Scriabin and Liszt.
The beautiful Arts and Crafts St Mary’s Church is worth a visit anyway but especially to hear Steven Wilkie and Simon Mercer playing music for violin and organ by Bach, Handel and Elgar. You can also hear the 30-strong Ordsall Acappella Singers with their joyful sound. They promise cake too!
It would be second helpings for the Singers because they are also performing earlier in the day at the United Reformed Church. The URC is home to a recently restored Broadwood grand piano which Jill Crossland is playing. Jill’s recordings of Bach have been enthusiastically received. The Broadwood also figures in Smoky Folk’s informal evening of song and music by a trio of proud northerners.
St John’s is the town’s biggest church and it will be well-filled by the High Peak Orchestra bringing music by Sibelius and Tchaikovsky, whose piano concerto will be played by Matthew McLachlan. The concert will benefit Blythe House Hospice and there will be an exhibition of original artwork to see. Also at St John’s is a special event - Vision - which uses words and music to relate the story of Abbess Hildegard of Bingen. This event is also part of the Buxton International Festival programme.
St Peter’s Church, Fairfield, is hosting performances by Mr Simpson’s Little Consort which delighted audiences last year. Expect beautiful and haunting music by Purcell and Monteverdi. The Consort will also be playing at Eyam Parish Church. The Manchester Recorder Orchestra works tirelessly to rescue the reputation of the much-maligned instrument. Featuring nine sizes of recorder, an arrangement of Pictures At An Exhibition as well as original works, the performance at a Trinity Church might just change your life.