Entries for the Buxton Festival Fringe have closed and no fewer than 170 acts have signed up for this year. The Fringe, which runs from July 3-21, is one of Britain’s biggest and holds a key position between the Brighton Fringe in May and the massive Edinburgh Fringe in August.
With its friendly reputation Buxton is an attractive destination for performers from near and far, and this year even more artists are appearing from far flung parts. In Laughrica, African comedian Daliso Chapondo claims that ‘Westerners are insane but to be perfectly honest Africans are even crazier’, Africa Entsha from Soweto bring inspirational harmonies and fabulous and dance in Golden Voices of the Township, and a there is a return of regular visitor, soprano Margaret Ferguson, Africa’s Lady of Song.
The Fringe welcomes two performers from Brazil; pianist Emma Souza Lima offers a rare opportunity to hear both traditional European classical composers and modern music from Brazil, while Palabras Latinas story-teller Anamaria Lines and Midlands/Mexican troubadour Mike Payton promise a mesmerising blend of story, music and dance in Souvenirs. Sparkling French company La Petite Famille explore love and friendship in the musical Tomorrow’s Dawn, and there is also a Touch of the Dutch – singer-songwriters Elrieke and Poldy come from Holland.
But the Fringe is also a great platform for local performers and this year Harpur Hill School join the Fringe for the first time with an evening of fun-filled family entertainment by the students and staff in Lionel Bart’s musical extravaganza, Oliver. The school’s choir and brass and are also appearing alongside Tideswell Male Voice Choir at St John’s Church. The REC Youth Theatre Company have two plays, Red Red Shoes and Pan-O-Rama, a Peter Pan/Harry Potter/Lord Of The Flies mash-up comedy for all the family by local playwright Tom Crawshaw, and Kaleidoscope Fringe Company face a 2038 Problem. In Music, Buxton trio Nine Feet North will be playing Crosby, Stills and Nash’s seminal first album in full, and more local bands such as Fuzzy Felt World and Arkham Travers will be appearing at the Fringe.
Across the board there is a mix of established favourites and exciting newcomers to the Fringe. The Fringe sees another great Comedy cohort, many of them bound for Edinburgh; double Fringe award winners Max and Ivan return, as does another one of last year’s winners, Helen Arney, in two shows, Voice of an Angle and Domestic Science with Rob Wells. New to the Fringe is Boris Nicoli: KGB Mind-Reader – since the Cold War ended, the last vestige of the KGB Psychic Counter-intelligence unit has had to go into the entertainment business. A welcome local newcomer is the Litton Poetry Festival featuring performers including poet and comedian John Hegley.
As ever, Theatre and Music form the backbone of the programme. 2012 award winners Smooth Faced Gentlemen present an all-female Titus Andronicus, quite a contrast to their hugely successful Romeo and Juliet. Butterfly bring Hamlet to Poole’s Cavern which is sure to be a big draw, and Little Red Hen Theatre Co promise An Evening with Charlotte Bronte. In another great year for Music, there is American bluegrass music from Aprille and the Shower, traditional fiddle and flute by Kerry Hunter and Sam Partridge, and music on the roof of the Pump Room, relax on the Slopes and enjoy! There is also classic music from High Peak Orchestra, Partita and the Cantibus Choral Ensemble.
In Visual Arts, Buxton Art Trail are taking over Pavilion Gardens for Art in the Park and on the Railings, The Great Dome Art Fair takes place in the home of Fringe sponsor, The University of Derby Buxton, and there are solo shows from Suzanne Pearson and Louise Jannetta plus a trio of exhibitions in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery – not to mention stone & water’s prehistoric landscapes rendered in crochet and felt!
And if that isn’t enough, there’s the Buxton Military Tattoo, Buxton Film’s short film competition Open Shorts, and tours around the town on the ‘Wonder of the Peak’, Buxton’s ‘Victorian’ tram.
“We are delighted with the variety of events on offer” said Fringe Chair, Stephanie Billen. “It’s wonderful to see the mix of local, national and international acts at Buxton Festival Fringe. You will be able to see a taster of what’s on offer at Fringe Sunday in the Pavilion Gardens on the afternoon of July 7. Fringe Sunday is just one of many free events that we have listed separately on the website this year.”
The printed programme will distributed from the beginning of June and officially launched at the Green Man Gallery from 8-10pm on Friday June 7th (all welcome), but until then the 2013 line-up is on the website at http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk/descriptions2013.html. The Fringe can also be found on Facebook, Twitter (@BuxtonFringe) and at the blog, accessible from the Fringe website.
For further information or interviews about the Fringe contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 07974 385767.