Friday 30 June 2023

Painting the station orange!


Rail and Fringe fans, Helen, Catherine, Pam and Ian, at Manchester Piccadilly

“I knew there was an Edinburgh Fringe - I didn’t know there was a Buxton one…” It was so great to tell people about Buxton Fringe at Manchester Piccadilly Station on Wednesday June 28th. We had all sorts of people coming up to find out more about our fantastic open-access festival which runs alongside the Buxton International Festival every July. 

Working alongside High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership, we were also letting people know how easy it is to get to Buxton via the regular train service - check National Rail Journey Planner for details. It is a very scenic run and thanks to the Friends of Buxton Station group, the decorated station offers a very attractive first impression of the town.

Our colleagues at the Community Rail Partnership were only too happy to get into the Fringe spirit - a few of our orange paper flowers were quickly scooped up and used as hair decorations because who doesn’t like to dress up and there is something about the Fringe that makes everyone want to be a performer! Our bright orange stand was very appealing, though we say so ourselves. Among those who came over to see us was an interested Burger King staff member and a railway employee who had been nominated by his cyclist colleagues to ask if they could have a couple of our orange balloons! A delighted small child took another balloon to play with around the station!  

Having been a bit chained to the computer of late, it was great to be out and about with fellow Fringe enthusiasts and to remind myself of all the fun coming our way from next week onwards. As one passenger said to us waving his Fringe programme: “Walking in the Peak District and the Fringe in Buxton - that’s my holiday sorted!”

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Tuesday 27 June 2023

Enjoy the Ride!

Whenever I get the bus it reminds me of Friday trips to the shops with my Mum.  There would always be someone to chat to at the bus stop, the excitement of seeing the bus in the distance, the slight worry that the driver might not see us and so it might not stop for us, then the thrill of sitting at the front and ringing the bell! 

Now I might have outgrown most of these, but its still nice to get on the bus and sit and relax while the lovely Peak District scenery rolls by.   

This year our friends over at High Peak Buses are promoting our lovely Enjoy the Ride! posters, on buses and at bus stations, and this year they have a number of different tickets available including a new 3-day ticket which would be ideal for visitors.  

The guys at HP Buses told me: "It’s much less fuss to travel by bus into the High Peak area of Derbyshire – we have regular bus services linking Buxton with Ashbourne, Bakewell, Belper, Derby, Glossop, Leek, Macclesfield, Manchester Airport, Marple, Matlock, New Mills and Stockport.  High Peak buses have a great range of Day, Weekly, 4-Weekly tickets along with our NEW 3-day tickets which are ideal for those visitors staying in the High Peak area making bus travel a viable alternative to using the car – helping free up our grid-locked roads and helping to reduce emissions!" Click here to find out more:

What's more this year for the first time we are really excited to also be working with High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership to encourage people to come to Buxton for the Fringe via rail. 

On Wednesday 28th June we will be sharing a stall with High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership to promote using the train to travel to Fringe events, so look out for us at Manchester Piccadilly and please come and say hello.

Everyone knows about the benefits of using public transport; there's no hassle parking and it's good for the environment plus this year you can enjoy a pint of limited edition Fringe Beer and not worry about being safe to drive home!

So come on, support the environment, let the bus (or train) take the strain and let's make this another environmentally friendly Fringe!

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

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Thursday 22 June 2023

Hold the front page 3… Anything could happen at Buxton Fringe!

Award-winning comedy improvisers CSzUK

Welcome to three more intriguing extracts from the press releases of our Fringe entrants, this time comedy improvisers CSzUK, Buxton Drama League and Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists, all intent on delivering some surprises. For full details of their shows see our listings on If you are a Fringe performer who would like to be featured in our blog, please send your press release to

CSzUK: The Totally Improvised Musical

An award-winning improv comedy group are bringing their latest show, The Totally Improvised Musical, to the Buxton Festival Fringe this July. The group won Best Alternative Act at the North-West Comedy Awards in 2022 and have been delighting sell-out audiences with this new musical show. Each show is the opening and closing performance of a brand-new comedy musical and everything is inspired by a title suggested by the audience.

“Suggestions are always weird and wonderful, making every show totally unique,” says performer Brainne Edge. “We’ve done musicals about a prison break where no one wanted to escape, a love triangle between competing sandwich makers or hobbits taking on greedy land developers!”

Once the group have a title from the audience, they create the musical on the fly with live music that is also made up on the spot. The group have no idea what will happen before the show but promise there will be plenty of laughter music and possibly even some dancing. “Though we all have terrible knees,” adds Brainne.

The Totally Improvised gang are bringing their musical mayhem to Buxton before heading to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. “We love bringing shows to Buxton,” adds performer Sean Mason. “We can’t wait to see what suggestions we get from one of the best Fringe audiences in the country. The show really can’t start without you!”

Buxton Drama League: Two

Buxton Drama League, Buxton’s leading amateur theatre company, are serving up a cocktail of heartbreak and humour for this year’s Fringe with a production of award-winning dramatist Jim Cartwright’s classic play Two.

Set in a northern pub in the 80s, the drama presents a slice of life that’s funny, warm, poignant and shocking. The play’s action unfolds over one night in the busy boozer and builds to a powerful showdown. All 14 characters are played by two actors, Corinne Coward and Andrew Freeman. Corinne says: “It’s an absolute gift of a play for an actor, you get to immerse yourself in so many different people’s stories.” Andrew agrees: “I found the idea daunting at first but was quickly won over by the script which is so rich and well-written – it’s no surprise it’s been called an ode to actors and it’s wonderfully entertaining for the audience as well.”

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists: Whose Round Is It Anyway?

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists’ are delighted to be bringing their new show ‘Whose Round Is It Anyway?’ to Underground at the Clubhouse as part of Buxton Fringe. This show won an award for Best Spoken Word Show at Morecambe Fringe in the summer of 2022, the very first time it was performed.

The premise of the show is simple: three poets meet up in a pub. It’s been two long years since they last met. There’s been a pandemic. How have they fared? Can they remember how to behave in company? And is this a work event or a party?

Into this framework, the pandemonialists pour a rich mix of banter, social comment, humour, and their own highly-crafted, accessible poetry.

“This show was a real treat. On the surface, three friends having their first post-pandemic pint down the pub to share their lock-down experiences. In reality, a sequence of very polished individual performances by three accomplished spoken word artists, artfully blended within a setting of pub chat and banter. The poetry was exceptional, the whole idea was ingenious, and the audience were captivated.” Lancaster Guardian review of Morecambe Fringe performance

Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists are a poetry collective from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

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Wednesday 14 June 2023

Hold the front page 2… Musical voyages at Buxton Fringe

Lili la Scala 

Below follows extracts from the press releases of three more of our amazing Fringe entrants, cabaret star Lili la Scala, storytelling theatre duo David Head and Matt Glover, and genre-defying Jewish entertainer, Naomi Paul.  For full details of their shows see our listings on If you are a Fringe performer who would like to be featured in our blog, please send your press release to

Lili la Scala: Siren

A journey, a ship, the shifting of time and sands. Found songs, like melodic flotsam, from the poetry of Masefield to the music of Tom Waits and Fauré. Haunting and mesmeric songs intertwining effortlessly with bewitching stories. Stories about journeys, songs about the sea and salt-sprayed music all combined to create a Siren’s songs. 

‘Siren’ blends Lili’s classical roots with dark eclectic songs and life stories in a fragile and theatrical musical voyage.

Having achieved international success, many five star reviews and award 

nominations with her previous shows, ‘War Notes’ and ‘Songs to Make You Smile’ (Best Vocal, Buxton Fringe 2012), Lili la Scala returns with her new solo show, ‘Siren’. Her most ambitious show yet, Lili has gathered some of the most haunting music from both the classical and cabaret worlds, as well as new music by Michael Roulston to create this mysterious, enigmatic musical experience.

Lili has been a stalwart of the cabaret scene for over a decade, having spent a few years taking things slowly as her family expanded, she now finds the time and the inspiration to return to taking her various shows around the country. Siren is her favourite show to date and sharing these beautiful songs with people is such a joy.

“Impeccable, Mesmerising, Perfect *****” Metro (UK)

David Head & Matt Glover: Unwanted Objects 

Old teddy bears, abandoned chess sets and ships-in-bottles... Every item in this mysterious and magical secondhand shop has its own history to share and tale to tell. Unwanted Objects is a new story and song show from acclaimed duo David Head and Matt Glover. 

Combining bittersweet short stories with folk-inspired musical melancholia, it is storytelling theatre full of wit, whimsy and warmth. Unwanted Objects is an exploration of sentimentality, our possessions and the meaning we attach to them. 

Following a successful debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022, Unwanted Objects went through a period of development with director Laura Killeen (Godot is a Woman, The Pleasance).  The developed version debuted at the Brighton Fringe to great audiences and stellar reviews. David and Matt are excited to be reuniting with Rotunda Theatre and their beautiful and intimate venues for the Buxton Fringe. 

Unwanted Objects is David and Matt’s second collaboration following A Good Service on All Other Lines, which they debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018. Their intertwining tales of lovers, losers and locomotives was adapted into a five episode story and song podcast, released throughout March 2020. 

***** “Beautifully human and emotional… poetic and impactful” – Lost in Theatreland (Brighton)

Naomi Paul: They May Have Even Eaten Ham! 

Naomi’s new (mostly) Jewish show! What’s not to like? 

Naomi Paul returns to Buxton Festival Fringe with her new solo show They May Even Eaten Ham! The show travels from the Baltic to Birmingham, from shamash to shellfish, from Hendon and beyond. Naomi brings another funny and thought-provoking performance, combining original songs with her unique style and material. Through personal stories past and present, she explores the things that unite us and the things that divide. How we fit in and how we strike out! Crossing genre borders of theatre, cabaret and comedy, the show is written and performed by Naomi Paul and directed by Alison Belbin. 

Naomi premiered her first solo show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, and has since become a successful writer of comedy, theatre, cabaret and spoken word. performing her own work to enthusiastic audiences throughout the UK. She has been touring her current show Despite Everything, Price Still Includes Biscuits (previously performed at Buxton) to very appreciative audiences in rural venues with Live & Local. She is taking this new show to Edinburgh in August. 

Live & Local also commissioned her to deliver community arts projects in Meon Vale, Warwickshire (2020) and New Mills, Derbyshire (2023).The film from the first project, Snapshot Stories, was shown in Buxton in 2021. The second project, Stories of Home, culminated on May 1st in a script-in-hand performance with local residents in Rock Mill Centre, the smallest theatre in New Mills!

**** ‘Outstanding’ 

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Wednesday 7 June 2023

Hold the front page… Life lessons at Buxton Fringe

Tina Sederholm (credit: Neil Spokes)

Every day we are learning more about our exciting Fringe performers. Below follows extracts from their press releases giving a flavour of what’s in store from Spoken Word artist Tina Sederholm, Scouse comedian Henry Churniavsky and comic storyteller Mike Venables.  For full details of their shows' times, venues etc see our listings on our website.

If you are a Fringe performer who would like to be featured in our blog, please send your press release to Thanks to all those who have already done so - watch this space!

Tina Sederholm: This is Not Therapy

What do you mean, you’re fifty-five and still don’t know the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything? 

Oxfordshire performance poet and theatre-maker Tina Sederholm makes her debut at Buxton Fringe with her fifth solo show, This Is Not Therapy.

In her twenties, when Tina wasn’t old, she became an International Event Rider. In her thirties, and still not old, she swapped one dodgy career, horses, for another, performance poet.  But as she hits her fifties, she’s perturbed to still be asking, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ 

Here Tina explores her favourite stories, and is horrified to discover that the heroes do not always end up with the prize. But if life is not about succeeding, then what is it for? Join her as she interrogates Indiana Jones, Douglas Adams and a Famous Poet to uncover the answer to life, the universe and basically everything in under 55 minutes.

Directed by Savage Heart’s Rachel Mae Brady, This is Not Therapy combines memoir, comedy and poetry in an intimate, funny and tender story of traversing your mid-life. Tina says,’When I entered my fifties, I experienced a sea-change in my attitude to career, work and purpose. I had a strong sense that I might be missing the point of it all. So I decided to stop and take stock, in an effort to live the last third of my life better than the first two-thirds.’

Tina Sederholm is the veteran of seven Edinburgh Fringes. She is host of a podcast also called This Is Not Therapy, which features stories that find the marvellous in the mundane.

Stunning… reduced myself and other audience members to the  sensitive and teary-eyed children we’re all hiding inside.’ ***** Three Weeks

Henry Churniavsky: Laughs for Life

Jewish/Scouse stand-up comedian Henry Churniavsky has two shows at the Fringe. Both shows are to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health Charities. He came up with the idea after his best friend’s son attempted suicide, and never recovered. He is now an Ambassador for The Mental Health Charity Jami UK and he also supports YoungMinds Mental Health Charity.

Henry’s first show: Henry Churniavsky is a Jewish Grandfather - Show Him Some Jew Respect,  is an afternoon solo show of his best Jewish humour. 2023 has seen this Scouse Jewish comedian go from a Jewrotic (Jewish and Neurotic) father to a Grandfather! Surely bringing a baby into the world has not changed that much?

In his second show, Laugh For Life Comedy: Compilation show for Mental Health: A team of award-winning comedians will be aiming to raise funds and awareness for the mental health charities.

Henry has nine years of Comedy Stand-up experience performing all over the UK, performing also in America and Amsterdam.

An enjoyable, quick-witted hour of stand-up comedy…Henry is a gold standard entertainer, the comedy is of a consistently high standard…’’ Edinburgh Fringe Review (2022)

Mike Venables: I Call the Shots

When Archie McKenzie, murderous Glasgow gangster of the fifties and sixties, is pursued by enemies, he flees his native Scotland and settles in the peaceful Peak District, thinking he is leaving his life of violence behind him.

He is. But years later it comes back to haunt his son. A tale of farce-like chaos ensues as the hapless chap, Richard, gets into heaps of serious scrapes to avoid a fearful fate. The story is told at a fast and furious pace by writer/actor Mike Venables.

Mike tells a story so vividly and with such comic flair, that time flies. He uses brilliant acting ability and comic timing to create a complex web of interactive drama. Despite all the fun, banter and laughter, there is a good thought provoking story at the heart of this one man show, featuring corruption, scandal and murder most Foul.

“Mike is a comedy genius, the story runs at break neck pace,” Euan Rose, Bromsgrove Standard.


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Monday 5 June 2023

Fringe 23 Under Starter's Orders

From l-r, pianist and singer John McGrother, Sarah Gordon from Silver Pine’s Laudable Pus, I Call the Shots comic storyteller Mike Venables and Corinne Coward from Buxton Drama League’s production of Two.

Saturday was the Epsom Derby, but more importantly it was the Buxton Festival Fringe Programme Party.

Which means just one thing, we are in the home straight to this year's Fringe! In just 4 (yes 4) short weeks the curtain will lift on what promises to be a bumper year.

We were delighted at the huge crowd who turned out to celebrate with us and grab their copy of the programme still warm from the press. In fact so many of you joined us that we had to do not one but two emergency wine/beer runs to the shops!

Our performers who gave us sneak previews of their acts were brilliant if a bit gory in places! In fact chair Stephen Walker looked a bit worried as he arrived just in time to witness the live amputation on stage using just a bread knife and rusty garden saw!  

Feedback on the night revealed that this year's programme cover from High Peak Photography Club's Caroline Claye is a smash hit. But it's what's inside that makes it extra special - some 190 entries across 10 genres.

So if you missed out on Saturday's event, be sure to hunt down a copy of the programme from numerous locations across Buxton or download our app here:

After the party our exhausted but happy Marketing Officer Steph Billen said: "It was a brilliant turn out and all our acts were fab. As always we are grateful to everyone who supports us and to the Green Man Gallery for hosting us." 

Buxton Fringe

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