Thursday, 10 May 2012

Brian, Helen and Ed

Graham Chapman - in The Life of Brian
Amongst the very many pleasures of the Buxton Festival Fringe is the sense of anticipation created as the programme unfolds and new shows are announced. As the March 31st deadline arrived two shows in particular took the eye of some of us.

Three's Company and George Telfer are working together on a new play written by Tom Crawshaw. Not the Messiah tells something of the life of Graham Chapman - whose early death accounts in part for the fact that his contribution to the Monty Python legend is often so overlooked. Anyway the combination of some of Buxton's favourite young sons (3s C) plus the much loved and equally talented George Telfer and the life of the enigmatic Chapman make this a mouth-watering prospect.

Radio 4 fans - and we suspect that there are at least several among you - have two special treats. Helen Keen - fresh from her It Is Rocket Science! triumph - brings (Robot) Woman of the Future to Buxton. The ever-complaining Ed Reardon (brought to perfect life by Christopher Douglas) is also in Buxton this summer. Chapman, Keen and Reardon will all be on at Underground Venues - actually three separate venues. Full details of these - and all UV events - will be confirmed after Easter. So keep an eye on the website.

Finally, for now, spare a thought for the cast of Butterfly's Macbeth. Apart from all the superstition attached to the Scottish play the actors risk frozen digits. They are putting on three shows a night in Poole's Cavern (temperature 8 degrees celsius). They have put together a brisk 60 minute version which shows some consideration for the audience but more than three hours in the caves, for 5 nights (11-15 July), will be an endurance test.

There are now 109 separate events entered for Fringe 2011 - more than ever before at this date. We're on course for around 170 shows all told. There are many, many delights and curiosities to be explored. Start looking before the diversion of Easter egg hunting arrives.

by Keith Savage - Published 04/04/2011

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