Monday, 30 April 2012

All Roads Lead to Buxton

Rosie Wilby in I Am Nesia
It would be wrong to compare Buxton and Piccadilly Circus. For a start the Turner Memorial and Eros represent quite different things. However, the old adage "If a man stands in Buxton long enough the whole world will pass him by" may yet apply to to the aforesaid corner of London. (Though, on reflection PC is not a corner - more a sort of circle. Let that pass, or we'll never get to the point).

Our team of roving correspondents bring us news of performers at the year's Fringe. Let's start with Rosie Wilby - since we have her face staring at us. Rosie will be performing in Buxton from 18-21 July in the Barrel Room at the Old Hall Hotel (having been in Brighton and before going to Edinburgh). She is just back from gigging in Sydney. Rosie tells us that "The gig I headlined was a sellout women's comedy night called Girl Corrupted at the 200 capacity Supper Club in the heart of Sydney." Having conquered Sydney it is only natural that Rosie should want to tackle the hardened Buxton audiences.

London based comedian and former finalist at Funny Women and Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year, Rosie makes her debut at Buxton Fringe this July and is bringing two shows.

I Am Nesia is a spoof investigation into the human memory fitting in Greek mythology, games and beginner’s neuroscience, which she took to Edinburgh Fringe in 2008. Meanwhile, The Science Of Sex is a brand new show which is booked in for an Edinburgh run in August 2009. In it, Rosie ponders the science behind attraction, sexual chemistry and sexual identity, helped along by her spoof experiments and handmade props.
For more on Rosie try; or

George Telfer is an enduring favourite of the Fringe. I know people that come all the way from Hazel Grove every year to see him - and that is a beast of a journey down the A6. George is at the Pauper's Pit from 19-22 July this year - he is bringing back his Sir John Gielgud one-man show, A Knight in the Theatre. You can get a preview of this (and catch-up on past Telfer successes, Richard Burton and Prince Philip) - just search for "George Telfer". Three very different characters but George reckons that all are larger than life and give him something to get his teeth into. While you are there you might take a look at a trailer for a film George has been working on in York - search for "Innocent Crimes" which is a Carpathian Films production. We'll work on getting a Buxton screening when the film is finished later this year.

Finally, for now, our friends from City of Manchester Opera "have just performed two sellout performances of an opera triple bill, Cavalleria Rusticana (fully staged opera sung in Italian with English sur titles) and two staged extracts from Mozart's Cosi and Figaro. These were performed at the RNCM in early April. Now COMO are really looking forward to bringing La Traviata to Buxton (sung in Italian but again with English sur titles) on the 11th July at St John's Church."

by Keith Savage - Published 16/04/2009

Trulli, maddli, deepli

The Blogs were away for a few days and here is your postcard - some ruined trulli house from the limestone country of Puglia in southern Italy. We were there at the time of the tragic earthquake - though were unaware of events until we saw the newspaper on the following day. We stayed in the town of Alberobello - a UNESCO listed place full of trulli most of which are happily restored. On Good Friday the whole town assembled in one of the piazza for a theatrical representation of The Passion - which used half a dozen stages as well as incorporating a procession, lead by Jesus carrying his cross, up the hill to the Church. The performance was proceeded by a period of silence for the earthquake victims and their families. Our Italian is very limited but the whole event was a good, but tragic, example of how theatre, music and the arts can bring people from different backgrounds together. (We are also well aware that the opposite can be true - but this wasn't the case in Italy).

We were there for a bit of warm-weather walking and were very well rewarded on that score. This provides me with an adequate link to news of what you have come here for - Buxton Fringe 2009. We now have over 100 entries and still 10 days to go before we close. One of the early entries was for a weekend of film (17-19 July) in the University of Derby Dome. One of the documentary films to be shown is also about warm-weather walking - though rather more arduous and extreme than Puglia. In 1958 there was a trekking expedition to the Himalayas - nothing so very extraordinary about that. What was a little more extraordinary was the fact that amongst the party were three women - one a Buxton resident, Eve Sims - and that some of the trek was filmed. Even more exciting is the survival of that film which has been edited and turned into a documentary with the addition of some interviews with the trekkers. Martin Salter has produced a fascinating film and you can get a preview of it using the link below.

[If the reference to Ovaltine puzzles you - well the company sponsored the trek and provided the cine camera].

On the subject of film - the Fringe 30 St George's Day (April 23!) celebration is selling well. The film I've Loved You So Long is on the programme. For more details - and the chance to reserve a seat - go to

by Keith Savage - Published 15/04/2009

Oral History

Expatrio - see above - played at the Fringe last year. They were very good - so good in fact that they're coming back to Buxton this year to play in the Festival proper! They're at the Buxton Museum & Art Gallery on 23 July at 5.30. We're very pleased for them of course and whilst we can't promise this fast track to success for all Fringe entrants it only goes to show. (Show what? - ed.) See the Festival website for details of the full programme and bookings which open on April 3rd:

There has been a brief flurry of Fringe entries this week - we're now up to 85 and will probably reach 100 by the end of the month. Do keep an eye on the website for all entries as they come in.

On the website  you can hear some sound files provided for us by our friends at High Peak Radio (106.4 and 103.3 FM) who have been interviewing Fringe luminaries. Bits of the interviews went out on the radio but the whole thing can be heard only on our site. So far two distinguished former chairs of the Buxton Festival Fringe have been interviewed - Alan Bailey and Peter Low. More is in the pipeline.

On the subject of history - the Fringe website has a Discussion section where, amongst other things, you are invited to record and share your memories of the Fringe. One thing I'll never forget was the promenade version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from about 15 years back. It finished with horses (not real - but seemed so) galloping around Solomon's Temple to a backdrop of thunderous, steel-grey clouds. 

by Keith Savage - Published 30/03/2009

St George's Day & The Fringe

Thanks to Jess Savage and Buxton Film for this image of the Dome, University of Derby, Buxton.

The next deadline for entries looms. If you plan to enter Buxton's Fringe 2009 then it will cost you £65 - if you get your entry in by March 31. If you enter in April - and we close for entries on April 25 - then the cost is £80. Some people ask what this fee is for exactly - since the Fringe is organised by volunteers who draw no salary? All of the money entrants pay us goes directly on publicising the Fringe so as to get the biggest audiences we can for the 400+ events that are on between July 8-26. We produce 20,000 full-colour programmes. The programme will be launched at the beginning of June - it's always a slightly frantic time, getting all the programmes out to libraries, cafes, hotels, tourist information offices, pubs, museums, churches and Fringe venues within a radius of about 25 miles of Buxton. If you have any time to help us with that task then do let us know.

The March 31 deadline means that a rush of entries can be anticipated over the next week or so. At the moment things are calm - and this gives us the chance to let you have the full details of the next event to mark the fact that this year's Fringe is the 30th Buxton Festival Fringe.

On Thursday, April 23 we have an evening of film, visual art and music at the University of Derby's Buxton campus - the Dome, formerly the Devonshire Hospital. The University is also the principal sponsor of the Fringe. We are using one of the lecture theatres and turning it into a cinema/bar for the evening. We're beginning the night by showing a 15 minute extract from a documentary film made by Kevin Allsop. Kevin was the DJ for the Devonshire hospital's own radio station. He broadcast every week. Happily for us Kevin is also an amateur film maker and he made a 30 minute documentary of his work on the radio station just before the hospital closed. For anyone with an interest in, or memories of, the hospital Kevin's film is bound to be nostalgic.

A separate project that connects with Fringe 30 is the community multi media visual arts Vers@Tile project. By now 15 workshops lead by local artists have been completed and hundreds of children and adults have produced small pieces of art. The results of this will be launched to the public in early June - but on April 23 we'll get a preview of what to expect. Ingrid Karlsson-Kemp will be showing some of the work and reporting on Vers@Tile - which was supported financially by the Lottery, the Bingham Trust, the Satterthwaite Trust and Derbyshire County Council.

At 8pm we'll be showing the film I've Loved You So Long(cert 12). The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas (who delivers a spellbinding performance) and tells of how two sisters rebuild their lives together after an enforced separation of 15 years.I've Loved You So Long was written and directed by the French novelist Philippe Claudel and won a recent BAFTA (for best film in a foreign language).

There will be free wine and soft drinks and musical entertainment by talented guitarist Dave Evans. Dave plays in a range of styles but can be relied on to produce some exciting and moving flamenco. The evening costs just £5. If you are a Friend of the Fringe - entry is FREE. You can always join our Friends scheme on the night (£10) to obtain free entry. Tickets are limited and you can book places in advance at

by Keith Savage - Published 22/03/2009

Plagues and Caves

Rose Cottage, Eyam. Thanks to and Doctor Pete for photo.

We now have 77 entries for Fringe 2009 (July 8-July 26) - clearly a record number so it looks very much as though the 30th Fringe will be the biggest yet. If you are at all worried that size in any way compromises quality then some of the latest entries and new venues should ease those fears. 

Martin Beard is very excited to report his new venue for 2009: "We've finally done it! After years of saving and trying to get a marquee at the right price, I'm going to collect it on Monday 9th (March)! This means that the open air productions that were so frequently affected by Buxton's somewhat unpredictable climate can once again go ahead in what is effectively a brand new venue specially for the 30th anniversary. There will be a 4 m by 8 m stage and raked seating for 84 people making it one of the biggest venues on the Fringe. To start the new venue there will shows from Fringe regulars Distraction Theatre Company; the young REC Theatre Company and Drama School will be putting on 15 performances of completely new shows." (Buxton Fringe website Discussion Board -

The Marquee will be erected in the grounds of Poole's Cavern. I reckon watching that will be a show in itself. Surprised Martin has missed that opportunity to raise a few quid!.
In Poole's Cavern this year will be the early music vocal ensemble Bright Cecilia. Performances in the caves always score highly for atmosphere and this is one event to put in your Fringe diary for sure.

The village of Eyam (invariably called "the plague village") will be hosting an exciitng bit of street theatre. A few years back a splendid production of a play about the plague was presented on the steps of Eyam Hall - this year we are being treated to a promenade performance. Oh, you lucky people!

by Keith Savage - Published 13/03/2009

Glass Half Full - and a joker in the pack

Not exactly a caption competition - but no doubt something will occur to you!

Those of you keeping an eye on the Fringe website this week will have noticed frenzied activity - as predicted here. Robert Peston was too busy bothering with the FTSE and Sir Fred's pension to observe the real action. The simple truth is that Fringe 2009 is breaking all records - we have 75 entries now (a 23% increase on the same time last year). This doesn't guarantee - of course that the thing will be 23% bigger come July and bigger isn't necessarily better, but...

I'm not going to try and review all the new shows right now - I'm still a bit overwhelmed from processing all the entries and there is the prospect of lasagne (vegetarian), a decent French red and Larkrise to Candleford to look forward to.

However, some of you will want to pencil in High Peak MP Tom Levitt's shows. [Go to the website and find them for yourself]. I promised myself to avoid all jokes about politicians, comedians and preparing for redundancy. This Blog isn't politically neutral; I'd rather see Tom at Westminster than at the Pauper's Pit. This could well be the bravest thing Tom has ever done; maybe he'll find the courage to be a bit more outspoken in the House of Commons too.

Last week we appealed for some new venues for the Fringe - and blow me we've got at least 5 new places to see artworks. Beltane (on Hall Bank, Buxton) and Apertures Picture Framing (on Market Street, Buxton) will be exhibiting the work of local artists this year. Thanks to them and good luck with the shows. An open air show takes place on the Broad walk railings too.

Two private homes will also be hosting exhibitions. Kathy Macmillan's work can be een at 5 St Ann's Close, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Adrienne & Langley Brown will be filling up 18 White Knowle Road, Buxton with a multi-media exhibition. Marvellous.

by Keith Savage - Published 01/03/2009

Monday the 13th and Tattoo for 2010

Photo of band of Royal Marines from - with thanks.

Fringe 2009 is filling up nicely and we have events on every day except for Monday, July 13th. I can't imagine that there are strange, irrational superstitions at work here. Anyway, there is a clear gap in the market and any entrant would have the whole audience at her disposal! This information is all part of the friendly, Fringe service - free and gratis.

Something of a scoop - and I find this impossible to comprehend - but in Fringe 2010 there is going to be a military tattoo in the Dome. Now I've only seen the Edinburgh version on telly but it seemed to include galloping horses, pyramids of motor cyclists, cannons being taken apart and reassembled at breakneck speeds and all sorts. I assume we won't have all of that - which would be a shame in some ways but you have to be realistic. Even at this early stage we can safely bet that the Buxton Tattoo will draw the biggest Fringe crowd in 2010.

This is the last week of budget-priced entries for 2009 so we can anticipate a rush, the website will be updated to show entries as they arrive - next week we'll try and give you a feel for what's in store between July 8-26th.

Before we take your leave for this week can we send out a plea to any local businesses? Already dozens of premises provide spaces for performances and exhibitions during the Fringe - we and the artists and performers are very grateful for the support and cooperation so many hotels, pubs, cafes, restaurants, schools, churches, galleries and private houses. However that doesn't mean that we couldn't use more spaces. Only this week a local artist was telling me how tricky it was proving to be to find space for a smallish exhibition. From the business point of view it looks like a fairly safe proposition. You can make a modest charge for the use of the space, the event gets free advertising for you (on the Fringe website, in the 20,000 printed programmes and in the Buxton Advertiser Festival supplement) and it brings potential customers to your premises. So, if you'd like to be part of the biggest arts Festival in England this July let us know and we can talk!

by Keith Savage - Published 22/02/2009

Friday 13th and St George's Day

Thanks to Helen White for this photo of Solomon's Temple in the February snow

I'd just about finished this Blog entry, saved it so as to check some facts (I know you doubt that we take our editorial responsibilities that seriously) and then found the draft was lost somewhere. I'd got through most of the day without blaming Friday 13th for anything but what choice have I now?

Anyway the Fringe has grown by 30% since last week. If that carries on until April 25th (when we close for entries) we'll have 200 shows. The printed programme will have 60 pages and Stoon wil be attending 7 shows a day. I don't know why I'm even making these projections - it won't happen. If I understood how spreadbetting worked we could have a friendly, just-for-fun book on how many shows we'll end up with. But I don't, so we won't.

St George's Day - put your hand on your English heart how many of you know when it is? Chances are you have a better idea of when it's St Patrick's Day. To save you the time we'll tell you that it is on April 23rd - a Thursday this year. Put the date in your diary. Of course it's in your diary already, but what I mean is that we a have a Fringe 30 Event planned for St George's night - and you won't want to miss it.

I can't pretend that this is all down to patriotism - more a matter of logistics I think. We wanted to hold the event in The Dome Lecture Theatre and it was a matter of when the venue was available. The programme is not quite complete but we expect to have a short, local documentray film; a full-length feature film; an update with photos of the Vers@Tileproject and some live music. Oh, and there will wine and soft drinks. We'll be starting at 7.00pm and finishing at 10.00pm. The event will be free to Friends of the Fringe - so there's a good reason to join our Friends. £10 a year to show your support for your favourite local arts festival. If you're not a Friend it will still be a steal at £5.

In the 30% bigger Fringe we have some intriguing new shows. Some more outdoor theatre adjacent to Poole's Cavern - including the true story of the outlaw Poole after whom the caves are named. There is also a show about theMerry Wives of Henry VIII. This claims some comedic touches - some, not necessarily feminists, might dispute this; but perhaps we know what is meant. Some friends are also coming back - the Manchester Recorder Orchestra (epic is the only word that fits really) and the Great Dome Art Fair.

Buxton Festival Fringe is sponsored by the University of Derby and so we are especially happy to see Fringe 30 and Fringe events held in that splendid setting.

by Keith Savage - Published 13/09/2009

Calling all Pirates!

One of the exciting things about the Fringe is that you never know quite what is going to turn up. We're up to 13 entries for this year (July 8-26) so far - which is a healthy enough number. That will probably triple over the next couple of weeks as entrants take advantage of cut-price entry to the Fringe. (£45 in February, £65 in March and £80 in April - until we close for entries on April 25th). Anyway I was saying "exciting" and then found myself talking about money and bargains - how could that happen?

Well at least two exciting new things this week. I'm too old and vocally-disadvantaged actively to enjoy the Gilbert & Sullivan that begins in the Fringe and then goes beyond it - so my promotion of it is born out of disinterest. (I choose the latter noun deliberately; I am sufficiently grumpy an old man to be irritated by the use of 'uninterested' when clearly I am not).

Will I ever get to the exciting bits? - all these distractions about money and language. So all you 8-18 year olds - a sizeable part of this Blog's readership - get yourself into the auditions for The Pirates of Penzance. (For 18-30s [!] you could be doing The Mikado). For more details see the Fringe website or go to:

The other new entry that caught my eye is Antigua Joe - who looks like he could cause a bit of excitement. If I can, I'll find out more about him and let you know.

There are several other new entries that we haven't featured yet - including some new dance to be performed at the Community School. When I have more news and information it will be passed on.

by Keith Savage - Published 05/02/2009

Razorlight and Morris On!

Picture courtesy of English Folk Dance and Song Society

Queues at the Opera House box office this morning! News of sorts. Anyway Razorlight had sold out by 1030 - which will leave my daughter a tad disappointed and I'll need to come up with something else for her birthday present. She treks all over - Manchester, Sheffield, Derby - for gigs but when something happens in your own town... Buxton tickets for Buxton people! No, I don't think so - it's a slippery slope. However, should you find yourself with two spare tickets - please let me know.

Back to things Fringey. I'm very pleased to see that the Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris Dancers have entered this year. The day of dance  - July 18th - is free, it happens all over the town and it will be the only Fringe event that many people will see. I, for one, am not in the least bit sniffy when it comes to Morris dancing - you won't catch me making mock. I know that it is hard work and takes up a lot time in terms of practice and performance. We'll try to carry some specific news of the programme a bit nearer the time, but in recent years there have been dance teams from the North West, the Midlands and as far south as Kent bringing different styles of Morris.

I am indebted to Steve Roud's excellent book The English Year (Penguin, 2006) for most of the following information on the history of Morris dancing. There are several references to morris in Shakespeare but it seems to go back at least a century before with the earliest references being found in 1448.

The spelling of the word 'morris' varies but Roud concludes that "The etymological evidence seems to point quite conclusively to a connection with 'Moorish', but this only gets us part of the way." There is no clear evidence to show that the dance originated from North Africa or Spain, for example, or that it was thought to resemble Moorish dance in any way. What is clear is that Morris dancing is associated with Whitsun and in some way is a celebration of the arrival of summer. Roud provides a long quotation from Philip Stubbes, a Puritan reformer, who writing as long ago as 1583 shows that Morris dancing may have changed little in appearance and was regarded with some suspicion even then!

"Then every one of these his men, he investeth with his liveries of green, yellow or some other light wanton colour. And as though that were not gaudy enough, I should say, they bedeck themselves with scarfs, ribbons and laces, hanged all over with gold rings, precious stones, and other jewels; this done they tie about either leg twenty or forty bells, with rich handkerchiefs in their hands.... Then march this heathen company towards the church and churchyard, their pipers piping, their drummers thundering, their stumps dancing, their bells jingling, their handkerchiefs fluttering about their heads like mad men.."

On a quite separate note I see that today (January 30th) marks the 360th anniversary of the execution of King Charles I. An event marked with great solemnity by the Society of King Charles the Martyr. My editor advises that I should avoid further comment.

by Keith Savage - Published 30/01/2009

Bill & Ted's Excellent Blog

I was quite happy fiddling around with this blog malarkey - certain that I was writing for my own amusement. Now I'm told that this an "excellent blog" (Fringe website) and all of a sudden the pressure in on to deliver quality - or your money back! I could try and divert your attention by reminding you how excellent the Fringe website is and maybe you'll go scurrying off there. But, just as last week we had a bit of a scoop and an exclusive on the Buxton Film project (superbly reported this week in the Advertiser and the Buxton Times) well this week we might be first to tell you a bit aboutVers@tile!

As you should be aware by now Fringe 2009 is the 30th Fringe and we're trying to make a bit of a splash - the first splash being the launch party in November. Well coming to a school, Children's Centre or other venue near you in the next 3 months is Vers@tile! This is a multi-media arts project and is the wonderful idea of two local artists - Ingrid Karlsson-Kemp and Caroline Chouler-Tissier. They will be organising 15 workshops in the coming weeks which will produce (amongst other things) 150 small tiles which will be mounted on a three panels (a triptych may be the proper word). This piece will be first displayed in the Buxton Museum - probably in May - and will be a key exhibit during the Fringe.

The Vers@tile! triptych will find a suitable permanent home later in the year.
The project is being generously sponsored by Lottery funds, the Bingham Trust, the Satterthwaite bequest and Derbyshire County councillors.
Do look out for further details of this project and try to find ways of taking part if at all possible.

(I can't remember where Bill & Ted came into this: but this I do know, tomorrow [Sunday, 25th January] this blog will be celebrating the 250th birthday of Robert Burns. The haggis will be meat-free so some might question the authnticity. Even less authentic will be the Scottish accents. An enigma, this Burns fellow. I doubt that I would have liked him much but trust he would not be offended if friends gather in his memory to share some whisky and verse).

by Keith Savage - Published 24/01/2009 

Plans for 2009

A long while ago we told you all to go to our party at the Opera House. 200 or you made a good decision and turned-up. It will be like those "Did you see the Beatles at the Pavilion Gardens?" stories in years to come. Several thousand people will claim to have been there.Fortunately Fringe 2009 hasn't happened yet and so several thousand of us will get there - but be patient.

Anyway the 30th Festival Fringe runs from 8-26 July 2009 and it's starting to fill-up nicely. Saturday July 18th is looking busy already. Go to the website to see the entries so

Some of the big-selling favourites from past years are coming back - the High Peak Orchestra, Tideswell Male Voice Choir and James Rippingale.

On the drama front we have the Library Theatre doing a John Godber play and the Young REC are putting on two new pieces - outdoors, by Poole's Cavern. We'll bring more details about these entries in the coming weeks.

The other entry for 2009 is a new one and we're pleased to see it. Buxton Film are putting on a weekend of film (well they probably wouldn't be doing ironing). They promise a mixture. Jess Savage told us:

"The weekend will have three elements. We'll be showing five full-length features. We'll be programming recent releases - but those that may not have got the audiences they deserved. We're inviting people to nominate and vote for films on our website -

"The second element will be documentaries made by local and regional film-makers. We've had some discussions already and are confident that we'll have some exciting things to show.

"Then we have a film competition, Open Shorts. Any amateur film-maker can enter; the film should be no more than 20 minutes long. Entrants can get details on the website.

"The film weekend runs from 17-19 July and all films are being shown in the theatre in the Dome, University of Derby, Buxton. We're hoping to build on the Fringe event and have regular programmes throughout the year using the same mixture of features, documentaries and shorts."

by Keith Savage - Published 19/01/2009

Q & A - The Great Dome Art Fair

One of the last shows of this year's Fringe is also one the biggest and most ambitious. It is likley to draw big crowds too (especially since it's Free). Peak District Products (PDP) is mounting a show of original art, craftwork and locally produced food by 50 professionals from the area. There is also the draw that it takes place in The Dome (the old Devonshire Hospital) which is now the University of Derby. The show is on the 26-27 July from 10.00am-4.30pm. Obviously neither The Dome nor PDP could answer these questions. Ingrid Karlsson-Kemp - a member of PDP and who has some work in the Derbyshire Open 2008 exhibition in the Museum - kindly answered our questions for this, the last, Q & A for 2008.

You haven’t played Buxton before why have you decided to come for 2008?
We think Buxton is a buzzing place in the summer and the festival season

Amongst Buxton’s famous sons and (adopted daughter) are Tim Brooke-Taylor, Dave Lee Travis and Vera Brittain. How do you feel about following in the footsteps of such giants?
We have some classy artists and makers in our midst and feel confident about filling those footprints with due respect!

What reaction do you expect from your audiences?
We expect delight and enjoyment and excitement.

5 pieces of fruit and veg a day – what do you choose to eat?
I love vegetables but make an effort with fruit!

Do you have any superstitions or routines that you follow before starting a performance?
For a Preview I like to wear favourite outfit and favourite brooch…

Buxton Mineral Water – how do you drink it?
With pleasure chilled as it is

Are there any other performers/artists that you especially admire? If so, who and why?
Hanna Ryggen, Norwegian textile artist, worked large in narrative
without fear or worries about reactions (see her work on Nazi oppression at the time of occupation of Norway)
Nicola Hicks, British Sculptor, creates powerful emotional pieces like a herd of cows, which could only be finished in situ in the gallery (i.e. don’t be limited…)
Robert Rauschenberg, American artist, between painter and sculptor with his combines, paved the way for Pop art, Happenings, performance art and installations.

What question would you have liked to answer here?
Where do you find peace to work?

What is your answer?
Earl Sterndale where I have lived for five years now (this gave me an excuse to mention this lovely village)

by Keith Savage - Published 22/07/2008

Q & A - Expatrio

We've already carried a short interview with Expatrio in advance of their concert at St John's Church on 24 July (8.00-9.30pm). Expatrio are a chamber music trio playing modernsih music which will be fun and good to watch as well as hear. They're ambitious, but they know what they want to do and, more importantly, are capable of doing it. There will be no point reading the 5 star review and wishing you had been there - so be there! Pianist Fiona Corston - she's on the left in the picture accompanying the interview - answers our usual set of questions with some patience.

You haven’t played Buxton before why have you decided to come for 2008?
I have only recently moved to England and, having performed in similar festivals across Australia, appreciate the open-minded attitudes that Fringe organisers and audiences tend to have, especially towards new performers and contemporary classical music.

Amongst Buxton’s famous sons and (adopted daughter) are Tim Brooke-Taylor, Dave Lee Travis and Vera Brittain. How do you feel about following in the footsteps of such giants?
Honoured, obviously, but comparing one’s own achievements to those of others isn’t always helpful. It’s what you do that counts. 

What reaction do you expect from your audiences?
It could range from polite applause to wild screams of delight. I would encourage the latter.

5 pieces of fruit and veg a day – what do you choose to eat?
Being vegan, I eat 5 pieces per day and then some! Eggplants and capsicums (that’s aubergines and peppers to you non-antipodeans) are two favourites.

Do you have any superstitions or routines that you follow before starting a performance?
No, I don’t believe in them, apart from the usual relaxation/creative visualisation techniques. I’d like to think that I have the skills and experience necessary to deal with any performance situation.

Buxton Mineral Water – how do you drink it?
By the bottleful.

Are there any other performers/artists that you especially admire? If so, who and why?
I admire any performer who demonstrates flair and conviction. Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters has a formidable stage presence.

What question would you have liked to answer here?
Why should I bother coming to see expatrio? Surely you’re just a bunch of stiffs playing Mozart?

What is your answer?
No way: classical music has never rocked so hard!

by Keith Savage - Published 22/07/2008

Q & A - One Big Blow

One Big Blow is an important play for a number of reasons. It was originally produced by 7:84 - one the leading political theatre companies in Britain. It is also important as a record of events that shaped modern British life. None of this would matter if it wasn't such a good show. Performed by RLT - who were among the stars of Fringe Sunday - One Big Blowis one of the best bits of theatre on view at this Fringe. Final performances 24-26 July, 7.30-9.35pm at the Swimming Pool Activity Room. This is a rare opportunity to see this vital play about miners and brass bands - don't miss it!

You haven’t played Buxton before why have you decided to come for 2008?
Our production of One Big Blow had already played in several venues and was always very well received, prompting requests to return, so Buxton Fringe, which is local to us, seemed an obvious choice before taking it to London.
Amongst Buxton’s famous sons and (adopted daughter) are Tim Brooke-Taylor, Dave Lee Travis and Vera Brittain. How do you feel about following in the footsteps of such giants?
How would they feel about following in ours?

What reaction do you expect from your audiences?
That they will want to come back again.
5 pieces of fruit and veg a day – what do you choose to eat?
When the pressure is on to get the show on you need to keep your cholesterol level up, so hitting the fast food emporia is often the order of the day.

Do you have any superstitions or routines that you follow before starting a performance?
Trying to be there on time.

Buxton Mineral Water – how do you drink it?
I don’t.

Are there any other performers/artists that you especially admire? If so, who and why?
Anyone who stands up against the cult of celebrity (such as Kevin Spacey) because casting for some high profile shows defies belief other than the fact management is cashing in on someone’s “celeb status” and talent doesn’t come into it.

What question would you have liked to answer here?
Is One Big Blow any good?

What is your answer?
Brilliant! Don’t miss it.

by Keith Savage - Published 22/07/2008

Q & A - Alison Goldie

It rather looks as though Alison Goldie could break a few hearts while she's in Buxton with her new play Lady in Bed(Pauper's Pit - 23-26 July). We don't have a parental advisory sticker on this Blog - but there is no evidence that any parents read it anyway. However the Blog censors take objection to Alison's description of her play as a "one woman exotic odyssey" - except that the word she uses isn't exotic. The modern world. Either way if that doesn't sell a few tickets then I don't know what will.

You haven’t played Buxton before why have you decided to come for 2008?
Because I have a new one-woman show, Lady In Bed, to promote. I am really proud of the show and want as many people to see it as possible. My premiere (at The Pulse Festival in Ipswich) was only a month ago, and I wanted to get a little run of the show as soon as possible after that. Buxton Fringe gives me that opportunity.

Amongst Buxton’s famous sons and (adopted daughter) are Tim Brooke-Taylor, Dave Lee Travis and Vera Brittain. How do you feel about following in the footsteps of such giants?
I am delighted to be following Vera, a stout (not literally), stoical lady who might have been interested in a woman like me following in her feisty footsteps and making the most of my freedoms in the modern age. On the other hand, she might have thought me dreadfully common and unladylike, not to mention a brazen hussy. Who’s to tell?

What reaction do you expect from your audiences?
From the 3 performances I’ve done so far, I expect audiences to find the show funny, moving and fascinating. I expect the piece to trigger memories of their own love-lives and help them to revisit these with a new perspective. I’ve had a great response so far and I’m up for hearing as much feedback as possible from Buxton audiences. I like to know what’s working for them…Mainly, I’d like to receive spontaneous gifts of flowers and chocolates and proposals of marriage from millionaires.

5 pieces of fruit and veg a day – what do you choose to eat?
Avocadoes, pulped, sliced, whipped, halved and grated.

Do you have any superstitions or routines that you follow before starting a performance?
I do a bit of yoga, drink a pint of water, and say affirming things like ‘I can do it’, ‘Go girl’ and ‘I walk on water’ until I am strong enough to get onstage and the Power of Theatre* takes over.
* patented by ancient shaman in Bolivian rainforests 

Buxton Mineral Water – how do you drink it?

Are there any other performers/artists that you especially admire? If so, who and why?
Alexi Sayle is the only performer who has made me literally fall off my chair laughing.
I also love Bill Hicks, Rose English, Jonathan Kay, Josephine Baker, Dame Edna, Improbable Theatre Co, Hoi Polloi, Robert Wilson, Spalding Gray, Woody Allen and Ken Campbell. 

What question would you have liked to answer here?
To what address shall we send the complimentary Vivien Westwood collection? 

What is your answer?
You think I’m giving any old person my address?

by Keith Savage - Published 21/07/2008