This year’s bumper Buxton Fringe looks set to be more fun than ever with an extra-packed comedy section plus plenty of family-friendly entertainment including brand new free event, Fringe at Five, in the Pavilion Gardens.
Entries for the Fringe closed on April 20 and over 150 acts have signed up for this year, representing nearly 600 individual performances across more than 30 venues. The Fringe, which runs from July 9-27 and is sponsored by the University of Derby, is one of Britain’s biggest and holds a key position between the Brighton Fringe in May and the Edinburgh Fringe in August.
A particularly large comedy section, with many comics performing at Underground Venues and bound for Edinburgh, features highlights including Terry Christian (Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats) with his Naked Confessions of a Recovering Catholic, Morgan Berry (aka Joe Rowntree from Dave’s One Night Stand), ‘Invisible Woman’ Maxine Jones (Radio 4), Alfie Moore (also Radio 4), ‘sweary Joyce Grenfell’ Claire Cogan, Fringe favourites Three’s Company with two family-friendly comedies, and John Cooper, a cult hit a few years ago as Danny Pensive.
Fun for families includes five-times Fringe Award-winning poet Mark Gwynne Jones, Theo the Mouse, from Sooty writer Wink Taylor, and one of several entries from Buxton Festival, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from Box Tale Soup.
With massive Music and Theatre categories too, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. “We are delighted with the variety of events on offer” says Fringe Chair, Keith Savage. “It’s also great to see artists and performers returning year after year – a sign that they enjoy Buxton and that they have built a loyal following. It is exciting to welcome new and young performers who see Buxton as a good place to present their work – often for the first time. 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 13. We have a new venture – Fringe at Five – also based in the Gardens. From 14-26 July, every afternoon from 5pm, for about half-an-hour, performers will be entertaining.”
Full details of all the events on offer can be found on www.buxtonfringe.org.uk. Among the diverse music treats are Fringe favourites, Partita with Renaissance and Baroque music, Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, Aprille and the Shower with American Bluegrass, Tideswell Male Voice Choir, City of Manchester Opera, Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz, Sovereign Saxophone Octet and all the way from South Africa, a cappella group Simply Soweto Encha, a hit last year on the Pump Room Roof!
Theatre is also very strong with the return of acclaimed groups such as Butterfly with Dracula’s Women Underground, enticingly performed in Poole’s Cavern, and Freerange Theatre, this year reprising Spoonface Steinberg as well as bringing a new show, Phillipa & Will Are Now in a Relationship. The Fringe has always provided a platform for younger performers with examples including After Alice by student company Orange and Pip Theatre, plus a schools’ version of Les Miserables, As You Like It from JM Youth Productions, Asylum from Dilate Theatre and Blue Remembered Hills from REC Youth Theatre. For those pining for the G&S festival, there is also a youthful production of Trial by Jury from Buxton regulars, the experienced PB Theatricals. As ever, Fringe performers show great resourcefulness with a two-person version of The Railway Children from Crowd of Two and a two-man Coriolanus from Uproot Theatre Co.
The fun continues throughout the Fringe programme with flamenco dancing, an Open Shorts film competition, story-telling walks through Grinlow Woods, a life-drawing workshop involving burlesque dancers, witty Mark Twain from US Fringe Award-winners Bern and Betsy Budd and even an all-day Panto Workshop from Buxton Drama League. There is also a rich Visual Arts component with big shows such as The Great Dome Art Fair and the Derbyshire Open contrasting with more intimate exhibitions such as Paula Hobdey’s Acrylic Paintings in her home.
The printed programme will distributed from the beginning of June and officially launched at the Green Man Gallery from 7pm on Friday June 6th (all welcome), but until then the 2014 line-up is on the Fringe website. The Fringe can also be found via Facebook, Twitter (@BuxtonFringe) and at the blog, accessible from the Fringe website.
Running alongside the Fringe is the acclaimed Buxton Festival, a celebration of opera, music and literature from the 11th to the 27th July. For more details visit http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk.
NOTE TO PRESS
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