Wednesday 5 July 2023

Hold the front page 5… A journey onto the wild side at Buxton Fringe

The Wagon of Wonder: Babbling Vagabonds

Welcome to this bumper round up featuring extracts from the press releases of our Fringe entrants, this time Babbling Vagabonds, Chapel Arts Creative Writing Group, Bavarian comic Marc Adams, French artist Yvette Ribot-Smith and the glorious Buxton Community Choir - events that show an international flavour and a taste for adventure and fun at Buxton Fringe.

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


Babbling Vagabonds: Wagon of Wonder - wild and wacky family adventure 

Families can embark on an exciting outdoor theatrical adventure with award-winning, Buxton based Babbling Vagabonds Storytelling Theatre. They will unveil their latest theatre show at Gadley Woods on July 22-23 at 2pm and 7pm.

Their new production, Wagon Of Wonder, (WOW for short!) is rolling into town and promises to be a wacky ride full of surprising stories, cheeky performers, colourful puppets, and a catchy song, mixed together with their unique brand of theatrical magic.

It tells the story of Prentice and Dogsbury, two assistants to the marvellous Madam Moo Moo. She is the purveyor of the peculiar and seller of the strange and proprietor of theWagon of Wonder. It is from this colourful cart that the two hapless sales assistants try to sell items and curios to aid adventurers of all ages. Wrapped up in each of the unusual objects on sale are stories and anecdotes to raise the hairs on your neck, and send shivers down your spine.

“We have created a gem of a show which explores how we can manage our angry feelings and how to tackle decision making.” said Joint Artistic Director, Tara Hornsey-Saunders, “The feedback from our audiences has been so positive, it’s just great to know that what we have created shares a moment of magic for families, and creates wonderful lasting memories for everyone” 

The production is suitable for all the family, (4yrs and upwards.)  Please note that this adventurous production is set in a woodland and there are no toilet facilities nearby. Please dress for the weather and wear suitable footwear as paths are uneven..

Chapel Arts Creative Writing Group: Journeys

Whether it is the path least taken or the path back to the carpark, Chapel Arts Creative Writing Group from Chapel-en-le-Frith in the High Peak will be considering journeys big or small for its spoken word performance at this year’s Buxton Festival Fringe (July 5th to 23rd).

The thriving group of writers, some of whom are award-winning published authors, will be sharing a wide variety of stories, poetry, mini-plays and more at two special events, one on July 17th at 7.30pm to 9pm and the other a matinee on July 22nd at 2pm to 3.30pm.  Different material is likely to feature at each. 

The show, entitled Journeys, looks set to avoid cliche with many different interpretations of the theme. Subject matter includes two epic journeys to Durham Cathedral, centuries apart; the story of a garden’s gradual deconstruction by professional landscapers; the journey through life; virtual reality travels; a sci-fi adventure and a comic poem exploring one alpha male’s inability to take in road directions. 

Led by author Mark Henderson, the group is open to all but includes professional writers among its ranks. This year the group has already published a booklet of short stories, Someone Here Will Commit a Murder, and created a play set in a GP’s waiting room featuring monologues from the entire group. 


Says Mark:  “As always, it’s proving a pleasure and a privilege to work with these creative writers. The quality of their work is matched by their enthusiasm and infectious enjoyment, as this year’s Journeys performances will show. I’m looking forward to July 17th and 22nd.” 

A registered charity, Chapel Arts was formed to encourage the development of a broad range of arts in the Chapel-en-le-Frith area. Details of events, including regular spoken word performances, are available on The site also includes the Writing Group’s filmed and recorded readings created for the Fringe in 2021 and 2020 and will be updated with transcripts from this year’s live performances.

Marc Adams: BMW Bavarian’s Most Wanted

“Hello! My name is Marc Adams from Germany / Bavaria and my show is called BMW Bavarian´s most wanted. This is my first solo show in English and it´s my first time at Buxton Fringe. It took me 15 years to get to my first solo show. In my life I am an actor, clown, improviser, dancer and singer. I put everything in this unique show. It's a variety comedy show with music, singing, magic, acting, unique props and Krautwork.”

Here's the blurb:

Multi-talented Marc Adams is a stand-up guy. He also acts, sings, dances, and does magic with cards and salamis. The Berlin comedy club veteran has packed his English premiere with off-beat humour, visual gags, music, props, and Krautwork. See for yourself why he is Bavaria's most wanted. 

Buxton Community Choir: Walking on Sunshine 

Everyone will be walking on sunshine listening to the glorious sound of Buxton Community Choir performing in Buxton Festival Fringe this summer!

With over sixty members, Buxton Community Choir has gone from strength to strength since their first rehearsal in autumn 2021.  As an inclusive choir, they perform for local charity organisations and care homes as well as staging their main concerts for Buxton Fringe and at Christmas.  

Presenting a varied repertoire of pop, musical theatre, opera and more, this year’s concert ‘Walking on Sunshine’ will showcase the amazing sound of the full choir singing in four part harmony as well as songs performed as solos and small group ensembles formed from the membership, all directed by the talented Chris Blackshaw.

Don’t miss ‘Walking on Sunshine’ at Buxton Methodist Church, a show that promises to be an upbeat evening of musical entertainment and is sure to be a sell out event!  

Yvette Ribot-Smith: Art for Change

‘Art for Change’ is a performance with a difference. It has  been devised specially for ‘The Fringe’ by French artist, Yvette  Ribot-Smith and integrates her love of painting, drama and  local talent with concerns about some of the more thought- provoking social themes of today. Half of the proceeds of this  production will go to Amnesty International.  

This unique blend of art forms contributes to the stimulating  entertainment value of Yvette’s performance with her team.  The audience is led through a series of scenarios inspired by  the presentation of sixteen of Yvette’s oil paintings. The  significance of the paintings is brought to life through her love of dance and drama, supported by narration, keyboard,  song, and poetry integrated with dialogue. Art for Change takes place on two nights at The Green Man Gallery and the 16 paintings will be exhibited upstairs at the gallery throughout the festival.

Buxton Fringe

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Tuesday 4 July 2023

Support the Fringe - Drink Beer! *

A Pint of  Buxton Brewery's Fringe 

We were really delighted when our friends at Buxton Brewery agreed to produce a special limited edition beer in support of the Fringe. We were even more excited when it went on sale at the end of May.

The 'ale and arty' beer comes in a very fetching orange can or on tap. The Fringe Session Pale Ale is 4% and is made from Harlequin hops and is delightfully refreshing.

Chair Stephen Walker was the first to try it (natch), closely followed by Rob Harrison, who first had the idea of approaching Buxton Brewery. 

Unsurprisingly, they both pronounced it delicious and easy drinking. 

After a hot afternoon helping residents at Haddon Hall care home plant orange flowers, I and fellow fringer Linda Rolland felt we deserved a cold drink. So we high-tailed it down to Pavilion Gardens to try the Fringe pale. And I have to say it really hits the spot!

Served chilled its the perfect summer drink to enjoy before, after or even during one of our 190 or so Fringe events. Its available from lots of outlets across town, see the list below for full details.  

And what's best is the wonderful people at Buxton Brewery are giving the Fringe 20p on every pint sold. 

So support the Fringe drink* Fringe Session Pale - Cheers 🍻

Available from: Buxton Brewery Tap House and Cellar Bar, Buxton Brewery Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Brewery Garden Tap, Beer District, The Vault, Bar Brasserie, Old Hall Hotel, The Crescent, The Pump Room and The Royal Oak Hurdlow.

* over 18's only please.

Monday 3 July 2023

Hold the front page 4… Darkness and light at Buxton Fringe

Patrick O'Donnell from Revenant

Welcome to our latest round up featuring extracts from the press releases of our Fringe entrants, this time Demon & Dust with Revenant by Stewart Roche, Buxton Fringe Theatre Production Award winners, Spanner in the Works, and Burbage Band - three events that show the Fringe in all its different moods. Don’t miss out as some of these performances are from the very start of the Fringe! The first two are at Underground with Burbage Band at the Methodist Church. 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



Demons & Dust are delighted to present  Revenant by Stewart Roche at Buxton Fringe 2023 starring Patrick O’Donnell (Best Actor nomination, Manchester Fringe 2021). 

Carter has found the perfect location to shoot his zombie movie set during the Irish famine - a country house on an island off the coast of Mayo. The only catch is he has it for just 3 days. So when his lead actor drops out the day before shooting starts, Carter is faced with a difficult decision- pull on the plug on his dream project or cast the mysterious Vardell, an actor of incendiary talent but someone with a dark past that he knows precious little about. As events unfold on set, Carter soon suspects that he may have made a grave mistake... 

Visceral, blackly comic and genuinely scary.

'****...a compelling and entertaining hour of superb storytelling…deliciously dark…O’Donnell’s delivery is magnificent.’ STARBURST Magazine

'Roche’s script is a spikenard of playful savagery....a comically fruitful idea combining gothic horror gore with a satire on movie-making and acting.’ The Irish Independent 

Stewart Roche is an award-winning writer from Dublin. In 2022 he was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to write “Shard”, which will be broadcast on July 10th. His film “Where Still Waters Lie” won Best Foreign Short at the Monsterflix Awards, Best Drama at the Indie for you Festival and Best Horror at the Five Continents Film Festival, Tokyo Short Film Festival and the U-Horror film awards. It has also been nominated for best short at several other film festivals. His play “Revenant” was nominated for the Stewart Parker Award (Best debut play in Ireland). 

As an actor Patrick O Donnell has won numerous awards, most notably at the Dublin International Film Festival with the Irish Film Critics award for Best Actor for his performance in “The Fading Light.” He also won Best International Actor for his performance in “Tin Can Man” at the Sydney Underground Film Festival. He was nominated for Best Actor at the Manchester Fringe Festival in 2021 for “Revenant”. 

What if

Buxton Fringe Theatre Production Award-winners 2021-2022 return to Underground with the story of one mother's loss amid the Shankill Road bombing, Belfast 1993. Written and directed by Patricia Downey, this is the latest play from the multi-award-winning company. 

”A searing exposition of pain and grief a combination of wonderful writing and insightful acting” Belfast Telegraph

“Another hard-hitting masterpiece from Spanner in The Works Theatre Company and magnificently performed by Colette Hart and Neil Heaney, who brought you on a rollercoaster of grief that many experienced during the tragic troubles of Northern Ireland. No matter what your background or history is surrounding you, as a parent of a child, you will honestly feel every tiny drop of heartache, loss and sorrow as the events of this play unfold.” Audience feedback

Burbage Band

There’s nothing better than the sound of a quality brass band other than fabulous songsters as well as a brass band.

In the “Night of Glorious Melodies” concert by Burbage Band (Buxton) at the Buxton Festival Fringe on the 15th July you can hear it all.  The band will be featuring music from Stage and Screen and will be joined by professional soprano Katie Allan and West End Star Ashley Stillburn. The Band guarantees it will be an evening to remember. Book early!  

Buxton Fringe

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Saturday 1 July 2023

Flying the Flags for the Fringe

Linda Rolland Fringe Community Links Officer (2nd left) flies our Banner

 Linda Rolland (2nd left) Fringe Community Links Officer with our banner and bunting

It's not long now till Buxton Carnival on 8th July and the Fringe will be entering a float with our friends at BIF - as usual thanks to Lomas who are providing our float. This year's theme is "Flying the Flags" and what amazing flags we have!  As always, a group of Fringe volunteers (at least the ones who are good at crafts, so not me!) have been making flags, flowers and all types of orange decorations. 

In addition we will have a very special banner.  Back in January High Peak Community Arts approached the Fringe as well as  a number of local community groups. They had received some funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and were planning an arts project involving local people and artists making silk banners and flags.  Naturally we were really excited about this and Linda, our Community Links Officer gratefully accepted their offer.

High Peak Community Arts and  Buxton Project eARTh worked with Sheffield artist Sara Blackburn to design the banners for a range of local groups.  Then local residents at both Buxton and New Mills centres started work on creating the banners, flags, bunting and hanging decorations.

The project was a huge success and we were blown away by our beautiful banner, bunting and decorations - they are almost too lovely to use! 

Linda said "The quality of work and the designs are just stunning". She added "we are so grateful to High Peak Community Arts for this wonderful gift, to artist Sara Blackburn and to all the people who worked so hard on making our banners and bunting.  We would also like to thank Alison Bowry and HPCA for inviting the Fringe to be a recipient."  

So look out for our float on the 8th July and our banner which will have pride of place before moving to the Fringe desk in Pavilion Gardens.

Buxton Fringe

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Twitter: @buxtonfringe
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