Wednesday, 16 June 2021

📣 Shout out for Buskers!

The inimitable Sam Slide (pic credit Ian J Parkes)

Forget Euro 2020 the real countdown to this summer's highlight has just started! Its under four weeks till the Buxton Fringe Festival kicks off.

This year there are a few changes; the Fringe desk is on the move and Fringe@5 has had a make over -  its become Fringe 10 to 5!

This means we will be hosting a busking spot on the promenade in Pavilion Gardens between  (yes you guessed it) 10 to 5. 

At last I have the chance to showcase my talents! My Mum once told me I sing like a frog but who listens to their Mum? 

But what should I do? I'd dance but I have two left feet, timing is not my strong point so telling gags is out, I know music!,  but to be honest I'm tone deaf so playing or singing are also out (maybe Mum had a point after all). 

OK time for a rethink. 

Calling all our performers and local artists, musicians and buskers, we really really need you.

Come and sign up for a slot at the Fringe Information Desk, now in the Pavilion Gardens conservatory just before the restaurant, between 7th and 25th July. Feel free to bring your hat for donations but please leave the heavy duty amplifiers at home.

You'll be helping us celebrate as well as saving local people and visitors from a fate worse than death, yes unfortunately that's me I mean!

Carole Garner

Buxton Fringe

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Monday, 7 June 2021


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 ( , £10 standard, £8 commission, as part of the 2021 Buxton Fringe Festival. For more details visit, or head to @haywiretheatre on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Buxton Fringe

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Friday, 28 May 2021

Him Indoors - an absurd Comedy Horror...

Absurd comedy-horror from the mind of comedian Sonja Doubleday

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

Find Sonja Doubleday on Twitter and Instagram at @cheekykita1 

Buxton Fringe

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Sunday, 23 May 2021

Q. What's Orange and Green and uses the Bus?

A. Buxton Fringe!

Yes, this year's traditional orange Fringe is going green in a big way!

I don't know about you but I love getting the bus - someone else does the driving, no need to fill up with petrol and best of all no need to worry about parking, and with the beautiful views on routes around Buxton I can sit back and enjoy the ride.

So imagine how excited I was to learn that the Fringe has teamed up with D&G and High Peak buses to promote travelling to the Fringe on public transport. Our lovely Fringe posters are going to be on display on 150 local buses and in bus stations at Derby, Hanley and Macclesfield.  

Keep your eyes peeled for the posters and if you spot one please post a pic and tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (@BuxtonFringe) using the hashtag #FringeOnTheBus.

What's more we've signed up to the Plastic Free Pledge to help our friends at Transition Buxton reduce single-use plastic.  

And what perfect timing as our Fringe information desk is on the move - all of which has given Gaye, our lovely desk manager, the chance to have a sort out and reduce our single-use plastic.  

I predict it's going to be reusable cups and recycled bunting all the way!

We can't wait to see our live performers and welcome live audiences back so do pop in to say "Hi". 

But before you leave home, help us and the environment by remembering:

Bus pass/fare - Check! 
Reusable cup - Check!
Fringe app on phone - Check!

Let's make this the biggest Green Orange Fringe yet!

If you want to know more about our environmental policy go to

Carole Garner

Buxton Fringe

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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Painting the Town Orange

Buxton's floral displays might have more than a hint of Fringe orange this year
(credit: Stephanie Billen)

Yes you read that right; I know it's more traditional to paint a town red but this is Buxton and we like to do things a bit differently here! 

I think everyone would agree that we can all do with a bit of cheering up this year and the Fringe has come up with a simple and fun way to do this - by encouraging shops, businesses, care homes, public spaces and residents to create “Orange Hot Spots” across the town throughout July.

The Fringe has joined forces with a number of local groups to organise displays of orange flowers, orange bunting, flower pot people with orange hair, orange-bottomed Bilberry bumble bees or even just orange Fringe posters. The Bilberry bee is a very special bee. It lives high on the moors surrounding Buxton and it helps to pollinate lots of plants but sadly it is in danger of extinction. So let’s give it a helping hand by planting lots of orange flowers to give it a feed and keep it going. You can also support the Buxton Garden Trail (24-25 July) at the same time by purchasing marigold and fuschia plants from them - contact

Everyone can get involved including the kids. Good and easy orange flowers to grow include Nasturtiums, Marigolds and Calendula but there are lots of others. And what’s more, by planting flowers, even one or two on a small windowsill, we can help encourage butterflies, insects and especially bumble bees. 

Don’t have green fingers or any outside spaces?  Create your own display for your window with tissue paper, coloured pens and paints or Fringe posters, or have a go at drawing the Bilberry bee with its distinctive orange bottom! Contact if you would like further information on making or displaying the bee!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your paintbrush or gardening gloves, get creative, have some fun and let's turn Buxton Orange!

Carole Garner

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Zi-Zi Taah Taah Taah - Who’s making a noise at this year’s Buxton Fringe?

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.

Carol Garner

Press Release: 

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.

Monday, 15 February 2021

Even the wrong shoes won't spoil my fun!

Does anyone else miss being jammed in a hot, dark, smoke-filled room, warm drink in hand waiting for the next act to start?

Most people in these Covid days shudder in horror at the idea of sharing indoor space with a group of strangers, and you can understand why.

But I have to admit I miss the days of being in a live audience, the excitement of waiting to see and hear a new show. Will the gags be good, will the band hit the right notes? How will the audience react - will they heckle or get behind the performer?  I even miss the discomfort of standing still for ages in the wrong shoes.

I know there isn't real smoke anymore.  But the idea of heading to a club, cafe, bar or theatre to see 'live' entertainment always makes me feel that I'm off to somewhere sophisticated and slightly edgy. Like the old days of black and white films; say Rick's bar in Casablanca or a jazz club in Harlem.

So I was really pleased to hear that a large number of Fringe venues in Buxton have announced their support for this year’s festival. Old favourites such as the Green Man Gallery,  Underground and the Rotunda are all wanting to be involved and a host of new cafes, church halls and sports facilities have also registered.

Of course there will be lots of safeguards in place. Fringe performers are working on contingency plans - marquees and tents are being mooted (a good idea for any British summer!) as well as online or mixed activities.

As entries start to arrive there are whispers of large open air venues also being interested which all adds to my excitement.

I only have one concern, where did I put my favourite heels?

Carole Garner

Buxton Fringe

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