Tuesday 29 October 2013

Artsbeat November 2013 - Scrivener's & The Green Man Gallery

The brand new issue of Derbyshire's free Arts magazine - Artsbeat - is now to be had. It can be read online or if you prefer, and can find it, there is a full-colour 64pp paper version. Got my copy at Buxton Library but there are other places that stock it. It is pretty much a solo effort by Amanda Penman and is always marvelous.
A couple of Buxton stories in the new issue: a nice interview with Alastair Scrivener - his legendary bookshop stocks the mag of course. Alastair seemed to enjoy talking to Amanda and gives an interesting account of how he came to be a bookbinder.
Also an interview with Caroline Small - on behalf of The Green Man Gallery. Caroline is talking about how the Gallery is planning to survive for a second year (and we all hope much longer). You can, of course, support the Gallery by shopping there or attending any event or workshop that takes place. You might also consider becoming a Friend of the Gallery and giving £25. If you can afford it your kindness and generosity would be appreciated and rewarded. The Gallery is available on Mondays for hire for private events. It makes an interesting venue.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Exciting times ahead for Buxton and Buxtonians

Some people seem to find it easier to moan and complain than to see the exciting possibilities on the horizon. Maybe experience has taught them that a dense fog will shortly hide the horizon - so let's not get too excited, because what we thought might be there isn't in fact. So maybe the horizon I think is visible will never get any closer. However if we want reasons to be optimistic and hopeful here are some.

The current issue of the free and glossy magazine Pure Buxton includes a story about a possible new live music festival for the town. Well it's still a long way off and the exact shape and nature of the beast remains uncertain but it looks a real 'maybe' if not quite a definite. Vision Buxton will be continuing to develop the idea and more further news should follow early in the New Year.

If you want something that is 'definite' and sooner - well the Buxton Festival of World Cinema 2014 has been confirmed this week. Held from 25-30 March in the Pauper's Pit and the Arts Centre Studio, 17 films in 10 languages are being screened. Classics such as The Bicycle Thieves and The 400 Blows will be rubbing shoulders alongside newer films such as Philomena and Sunshine on Leith. For the full programme keep an eye on the Opera House website or Buxton Film.

The British Legion building - just behind the Museum - has been empty for a couple of years now but may be brought back into use as part of exciting plans to re-configure a number of buildings in Higher Buxton. No doubt it will be complicated and conversations will have to be had with Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Borough Council but the prospect of making fuller use of the Town Hall, the Museum and the Legion building (including some space for the arts) must be welcomed by all.

The Opera House has a new programming team and it is putting finishing touches to the Spring season. The annual Four Four Time festival is in February - among the headliners is the old Queen himself, Brian May.

Sooner than that, of course, November 2nd sees the town's Bonfire party at the cricket ground, Park Road. After the fireworks make sure you head for Beltane and enjoy pyrotechnics of a different sort with the music of Fuzzy Felt World who were a joy in Fringe 2013.

Oh, on November 8th The Academy of Urbanism announces its awards for 2014. Buxton is on a shortlist of three for the Great Town award; no disrespect to Cork or to Hastings - both fabulous places - but surely there can be only one serious contender? Hope so.

Monday 21 October 2013

Sensational Salsa Dancing in Buxton

Sensational Salsa is back in a new venue, The Old Clubhouse, next to The Opera House in Buxton.

Organiser Linval Smith says he is delighted with the new location. “It’s really central and there is a great atmosphere with the opportunity to enjoy a drink in the bar afterwards.”

The pay-as-you-go sessions are at the same time as before – every Tuesday with beginners’ classes at 7.30pm and improvers at 8.30pm. Says Linval: ‘We’ve had a few ups and downs recently and we apologise to those who have been missing their weekly salsa fix.’

Following an informal introductory session on Tuesday October 22, the classes start in earnest on Tuesday October 29. Classes cost £5 on a pay-as-you-go basis and there is also an option for book six weeks for a discounted price of £25.

Unlike high-energy zumba, salsa offers a slightly gentler form of exercise as new steps are marked out slowly before putting them to music. Says Linval: ‘By the end of the class, you will have had a real work out but it often doesn’t feel that way because you will have been so absorbed and having such a great time!’

The classes are suitable for adults of all ages and there is no need to bring a partner as pairs tend to swap around. There is also a follow-my-leader section where participants dance in rows behind Linval and dance partner Justine.

For further please contact Sensational Salsa on 07811 100191 or email sensationalsalsa@yahoo.co.uk .

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Not The Messiah - in London's Leicester Square

The Buxton Festival Fringe blog team is seldom to be found in London - and next week is no exception. It is half-term week evidently and some may have a chance to roam and wander.
If you are in Leicester Square between 22-26 October at 7pm - well say 6.45 to avoid being embarrassingly late - you can see the much praised and awarded Three's Company production of Not The Messiah. It was in Buxton and Edinburgh but for those for whom crossing the Thames is a journey far enough (and in this case I know what of I write - even if I can't actually write it) then the Leicester Square Theatre may be just the ticket. Ferret around on the Three's Company blog for a free ticket offer (buy-one-get-one-free).
The show is great and George Telfer is divine. Tell George we sent you and ask him about Father Christmas at the Co-op, Chesterfield.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Piff is Punchdrunk

This took quite a bit of detective work - so I'm sharing it anyway, interested or not. Piff the Magic Dragon is always loved and cared for when he fetches up in Buxton - especially if Mr Piffles is in tow. Well, John van der Put (aka PtMD) is part of an exciting show at the National Theatre - http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/the-drowned-man-a-hollywood-fable
No one has mentioned free tickets or anything but I'd love to go - perhaps take in the Paul Klee show at the Tate Modern while I'm there...

Fringe-wise what is new[s]? Regular Fringe entrants will know that the cost of entering goes up the closer we get to the closing date. Good news for 2014 is that the cost of entering is the same as it was in 2013, 2012 and probably 2011 (I can't remember that far back). Anyway we open for entries on 1st December and it will cost you £45 to be part of the biggest Arts Festival between Brighton and Edinburgh (very probably). If you enter in March the cost goes up to £65. Delay until April (and we close for entries on April 20th) and the cost goes up to £80. So it makes sense to enter early - a] it is cheaper and b] you get more exposure on the website and 3] your show is more likely to be noticed if you enter before any last minute rush.

We have dozens of potential venues in Buxton and beyond. If you own a pub, club, café, hotel, church or house and want to be a Fringe venue then please let us know. Meanwhile the newest clutch of Fringe venues will be on the Market Place - which is good news for people on the south side of town. It will save walking down the hill and back up again. Entrants, check out The Market Place if you're bringing a show to Buxton Festival Fringe 2014 (9-27 July).

The Learning and Participation team at Buxton Opera House is doing loads of interesting work - with events and workshops run many days. For more information go to Kaleidoscope. The Community Choir is a big hit. The Arts Club is also going down well - next session on 22nd October [Explore printing with collage and drawing techniques] with further sessions on November 5th and 19th.

The Fringe AGM takes place on Wednesday November 13th, 7pm at The Old Hall Hotel. Officerships and committee places are up for election. We'll report on this major democratic event sometime afterwards. You can meet most of the committee more informally if you wish at a small party to launch Fringe 2014. Be at the Green Man Gallery on Sunday December 1st from 6-8pm. There could be mulled wine, nibbles, carols and several floors of contemporary Buxton-grown art to enjoy.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Buxton Festival 2014

The first news of the programme for the Buxton Festival 2014 was announced this week. The Festival runs from 11-27 July and four opera have been announced already. They are:
The Jacobin by Dvorak;
Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck;
Otello by Rossini and;
Gloria, a Pigtale by Gruber.

It is also worth reminding Buxton people that a community choir is run at the Pavilion Arts Centre on a number of Tuesday lunchtimes. Next meetings - starting at 1pm - are on: 15 & 29 October; 12 & 26 November; 10 December. The first meeting was hugely successful and we look forward to developments.

Finally, for now, Buxton actor Michael Grady-Hall married Mariam today. Best Men were two other Buxton luminaries - Tom Crawshaw and Yaz Al-Shaater. Mike, Tom and Yaz do - of course - make up Three's Company and have been running Underground Venues during the Fringe for the past 8 years. Congratulations, love and best wishes for a long and healthy life together to Mariam and Mike.