|Fringe chair Stephen Walker (credit: Ian J. Parkes)|
|Fringe chair Stephen Walker (credit: Ian J. Parkes)|
|Steve Cowley in Battle Cry|
High Peak Bookstore, July 23rd & 24th as part of the Buxton Fringe Festival, 7pm doors, 8pm performance
This is the story of Adam, a British soldier who after 25 years of service now suffers with PTSD. Finally, he has agreed to attend a support session…but why doesn’t he want to talk about it? Maybe discussing the details hasn’t helped in the past? Maybe he feels misunderstood? Maybe he’s just not a guy who talks about his feelings? Or…maybe talking and reliving it is part of the problem? Adam feels alone and alienated; he believes that no one can possibly understand the problem as they weren’t there. They didn’t see the things he saw…it doesn’t come flooding back to them every time they close their eyes…
Some wounds are invisible. Adam’s certainly are. But is this a story where all hope is lost. Or could there be a future for Adam?? Maybe being heard is the first step?
Battle Cry is a play which gives a chance for such voices to be heard. Adam tells a story that will strike a chord with every military sufferer of PTSD, based on the true story of real-life people whose lives have been torn apart by the condition. The play is stark, uncompromising and most importantly genuine…as only true authenticity is appropriate for such subject matter.
Through diligent research with PTSD sufferers, Matt Fox & Steve Cowley have distilled the poignant, universal truth from the voices of many who have and do suffer every day from the effects of this condition. Battle Cry creates an authentic fiction from fact that will speak to every PTSD sufferer. This play is desperately needed as even now, these sufferer’s voices are not being heard. Why? Is it part of the training? Is it culture? Or are military personnel just expected to keep this quiet? Maybe the world believes they wouldn’t make good soldiers if they dealt with the emotional ramifications of their day job? Battle Cry is not a political piece of work; we make no comment on why these people have had to do the job they do. Rather we look at the results of these decisions, to speak to a wide audience and bring about awareness of this most pressing of issues through storytelling. A true, emotive human story being the most powerful way to get this message out. These soldiers shouldn’t have to explain themselves, but the world needs to hear their story.
We are thrilled to be finally returning to a live theatre tour after an unimaginably difficult period for the industry. We have kept ourselves busy during the lockdown with writing and online performances, but nothing compares to the experience of standing in the same room as your audience and delivering a play.
Battle Cry is an intense, emotive piece that brings the audience right into the mind of a man on the brink. The pandemic has brought mental health to the front of everyone's mind, and we can't think of a better subject to kick off our touring schedule with.
We hope our audience revel in the unique experience of a live performance and remember why theatre matters so much to us all.
Matt Fox - Writer
Matt Fox has written plays, opera’s and musical adaptations, which have been performed in the UK, U.S, Canada, Mexico and Australia. His most recent piece, ‘Fred Ted, Jack & Harold” toured the UK in 2018/19 before transferring to the USA in Autumn 2019. Matt’s work is published by Roister Doister Publishing Ltd and Off the Wall Plays in the UK and JD Drama Publishing in the USA.
Matt started writing for the theatre as a teenager when he joined a writer’s group at Plymouth Theatre Royal. He was the founder of Swindon Fringe Festival, runs the production company Madam Renards Ltd and is trustee for the JTP Trust, a South West music education charity. He regularly lectures on playwriting and theatre production at a number of UK universities.
Matt has written extensively on subjects, which the world really needs to discuss; whether it’s the ever-growing issues of suicide (To Sleep 2013), poverty (Family Play 2015) or the way we deal with death (The Life We Lived 2016), he has always wanted to cast a light on those areas where real stories need to be told. During the writing process the tales told by the soldiers he interviewed struck such a chord with Matt that he became certain this was one of the most important writing projects he had ever undertaken.
Steve Cowley - Actor
Steve Cowley has enjoyed a long and varied career as an actor, director, lecturer, workshop practitioner and writer. His passion, love and belief in the value of theatre and performance remains as strong and firm as ever.
Steve’s theatre credits include; Michael in (Ab)solution, Macbeth in Macbeth, Landlord in Two, Michael in This is Living, John Proctor in The Crucible, John Merrick in The Elephant Man. Steve created the roles of Soldier in Listen and Man in Dummy House, both of which were solo performance plays.
Steve is passionate about supporting new writers and has been fortunate enough to tour the UK and abroad with many new pieces of work including To Sleep, The Life We Lived and Fred Ted Jack & Harold. In addition to this, Steve has also worked on numerous corporate films and events.
Steve is delighted to not only be working with Matt again, but to be given the opportunity and honour to be the voice of so many PTSD sufferers.
|The inimitable Sam Slide (pic credit Ian J Parkes)|
haywire Theatre will bring Adam Barnard’s wonderfully morbid play, Buckets, to this year’s Buxton Fringe Festival, to be performed at the High Peak Bookstore & Cafe on the 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th of July, doors opening at 7:30pm.
buckets is a story about why you shouldn’t go skydiving with your hamster. It is a story about video games. About how to pull off a successful mugging. About how to tell someone you love them, and how to make sure they say it back. But mostly, buckets is a show about the weight we have on one another's lives, and the world we leave behind once we’re gone.
Making their festival debut with Adam Barnard’s 2015 play, haywire will take audiences on a journey of loss, affection, laughter and absurdity through thirty-three intertwined scenes. Some connected, others stand alone, but all attempt to answer, in their own way, the thoroughly unanswerable question: what do you do with your time if you know your time is running out?
Building on the success of haywire’s digital season, which was described as “Powerful” and “Brilliant”, the amateur production (by arrangement with Nick Hern Books) will be an excitable dance through the highs and lows of everyday life, reminding audiences of the simple joy of connection and the weight we have each other’s lives.
Director: Liv Clarke
Producer/Designer: Lucy Haslingden
Cast: Lisa Jayne, Will Griffiths, Lucy Haslingden
All tickets available through the Buxton Opera House (https://buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/event/buckets) , £10 standard, £8 commission, as part of the 2021 Buxton Fringe Festival. For more details visit www.haywiretheatre.co.uk, or head to @haywiretheatre on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Think The Mighty Boosh meets The Wicker Man, but with a northern woman who looks a bit like the girl from The Exorcist with a better sense of humour. Welcome to Tittitutar Town. An unusually odd place, 2,000 miles up North (somewhere near Manchester) where some of the weirdest characters you’ll ever come across live. Him Indoors (written by award-winning comedian Sonja Doubleday) is a laugh-out-loud, absurd comedy horror show, attracting alt-comedy fans and horror-heads alike.
In the quaint Northern town of Tittitutar, something’s not quite right, and a very serious journalist is determined to get to the bottom of it. A spooky woman claims she has a small man living inside her. A tiny little man trapped in her belly. Don’t believe it? Come along on the journalist’s journey and find out for yourself…
Him Indoors is performed by comedy powerhouse Sonja Doubleday, along with co-stars Nina Atesh (playing a handful of equally strange Tittitutar inhabitants) and Christian Cascone as the ambitious, cocky, yet slightly exasperated journalist.
‘A woman talks to a two-inch man without any explanation, clouds sing pop songs for no reason, two shop attendants dance to a robot cat because they could; absolutely nothing followed any set of rules that I’m used to and I laughed out loud constantly’ (Sam Esame)
‘I might have proposed marriage as it's such a delight. As it is it's inventive, imaginative, insane and probably many other fantastic words that begin with i, and definitely worth seeking out,a stunning piece of absurdity' Alex Finch (comedy to watch)
After some dates at Brighton Fringe, Him Indoors can be found in Buxton on July 15th, 16th and 17th at Underground Venues at The Old Clubhouse @2:30pm
|Buxton's floral displays might have more than a hint of Fringe orange this year|
(credit: Stephanie Billen)
|photo credit: The Wildlife Trust|
Calling all wildlife lovers, poets and conservationists. You won't want to miss this!
Live at this year's Fringe, Yorkshire poet, writer and conservationist Steve Ely will be sharing his poems dedicated to two of the UK's fastest declining species, the Willow Tit and the European Eel.
Steve will read from his books Zi-Zi Taah Taah Taah (the words to the willow tit's song for the uninitiated) and The European Eel at the events, which are sponsored by Milners Law, who have offices in Leeds, Harrogate and Pontefract.
Also a big Ted Hughes fan, proud Yorkshireman Steve will reveal how his home county shaped the work of the former Poet Laureate.
For full details of these events see the full press release below. With entries starting to build up, we hope to bring you the inside stories on a host of other shows in the coming months. In the meantime don't forget to check out the Fringe website.
Yorkshire poets and poetry at Buxton Festival
Poet and writer Steve Ely will be sharing some of his passions with audiences at this year’s Buxton Festival Fringe.
The European Eel and the Willow Tit are two of the fastest declining species in the UK. Their populations have crashed by 95% in 50 years. As it happens Willow Tits do relatively well on some brownfield, former industrial sites and Steve Ely lives close to a former coalfield in Yorkshire and is able to monitor bird numbers locally.
He published a small volume of poems Zi-Zi Taah Taah Taah: the song of the Willow Tit three years ago. This year sees publication of his book-length poem The European Eel. For the Buxton event Steve will read poems from the books and talk about how autobiography and interests in conservation and literature came together in their writing.
Steve’s observations of the natural world sharply inform his writing and this is evident in a further collection published this year, Lectio Violant - ‘profane readings’ that were the result of contemplative study of parts of the New Testament in the King James’ edition.
Steve also teaches creative writing at University of Huddersfield where he is Director of the Ted Hughes Network. Hughes - who was poet laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998 - was born in the Calder Valley village of Mytholmroyd and the moorland landscapes where he was born are often associated with his writing. Hughes moved to live in the South Yorkshire industrial town of Mexborough between the ages of 8 and 21.
Steve Ely published a study of this period of Hughes’ life and the place where he wrote his first poems. Steve argues that it was Mexborough that formed Hughes as a poet. It was the place where he encountered the influences that shaped him as a poet, leaving a lasting impression on his personality, sensibility and practice. For the Buxton Festival Steve will reveal this still too little-known story.
These two Buxton Festival Fringe events are sponsored by Milners Law, who have offices in Leeds, Harrogate and Pontefract.
Notes for editors
The Buxton Festival Fringe was established in 1980 and takes place every July. This year’s Festival runs from 7-25 July when hundreds of events embrace the visual and performing arts.
Steve Ely will be at the United Reformed Church on Tuesday 13 July. His Eel and the Willow Tit is from 3-4pm and Made in Mexborough: Ted Hughes’ South Yorkshire from 5-6pm.