Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Fringe 2010 - Entry Deadline Passes

Oh I know Blogs are supposed to be independent, free-spirited and stuff. But when I saw the official Press Release for this year's Fringe I thought, "What more can I say?" Lest I am accused of brown-nosing or somesuch I promise to get something original here in a matter of days. With all these exciting new acts to report on there will much to tell. (Oh, underwater pic courtesy of Phil and shows elements of Buxton Film at 16 metres in the Red Sea).

2009 was a record year for the Buxton Festival Fringe – so much so that many thought it couldn’t be beaten – but 2010 is the biggest Fringe yet, with 151 events confirmed by the closing date of April 24.

"We expected a lot of entries for our 30th anniversary last year but we’re amazed to see an even greater number for 2010. What is really exciting me however is the number of firsts for the Fringe. We’ve never had a Military Tattoo before and nor have we had a full-size train carriage of curiosities at the Pavilion Gardens!”, says Fringe chair Stephanie Billen.
“While we are delighted to see the return of many of our talented performers from the last few years, It is so rewarding to see new people coming forward to take part in the Fringe. The Visual Arts category really blossomed in 2009 and we are delighted to see that there is to be a Buxton Art Trail this year for the first time".

The biggest increase in numbers has been felt in the Theatre category with 28 per cent more entries than last year. Productions come from regular Fringe visitors, Three’s Company, Black Box Theatre, Bath University Student Theatre, the Off-Off-Off Broadway Company and George Telfer, as well as Buxton’s home-grown talent such as Buxton Drama League (with the winner of their first play-writing competition), Moving Talent, The REC Theatre Company and Imagine Theatre. Amongst the plays on offer are a new musical based on the events of the plague village of Eyam, Green Eggs & Hamlet (a ‘mash-up’ of Shakespeare and Doctor Seuss!) and, all the way from Rome, The Juggler’s Tale, incorporating juggling and drama.

Comedy is very strong, particularly at Underground Venues, and is represented by stand-ups including Roland Gent, Andrew O’Neill, Crozzy, Gary Delaney, Henry Paker, James Sherwood, Phil Buckley, Mark Allen, Max & Ivan, Elis James, Gerry Howell, Kent Valentine and TeakShow plus Fringe favourites Helen Keen (soon to have her own Radio 4 series) and Dr Johnny Fa├žade. There is sketch comedy from The Bright & Shiny Radio Show, Kooky Babooshka, Chaos Control and The So Be It Union; comedy drama with Joe Orton’s Erpingham Camp and comedy and magic from last year’s Fringe award-winner Piff-tacular.

There's a broad spectrum of top quality music on offer, including regular Fringe performers Accordes, the Manchester Recorder Orchestra, the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, High Peak Orchestra, Partita, Tideswell Male Voice Choir and the return of acclaimed African soprano Margaret Ferguson. Amongst many other highlights are a concert version of Carmen by City of Manchester Opera, a concert of mediaeval music underground in Poole's Cavern, and the return of 2008’s award-winner, Katus, plus a tribute to Jake Thackeray.

Dance this year covers a wide range of physical expression, from the Chapel en le Frith Morris Men, to contemporary dance from Spiltmilk Dance and solo dance from Daniel Sommerville.

Film continues to grow, with the second Buxton Film Weekend, and a showing of Jean de Florette in Whaley Bridge.

There are more events in the For Families section this year, including theatre for children such as The Clock Master and Ook! And the Terrible Thing That Happened, the ever-popular REC Drama School with The Rainbow Under The Sea, and last year’s Fringe-award-winners in this category, Little Pixie Productions with Turned Out Nice Again. There’s also creative workshops, magic and juggling, as well as a family-friendly exhibition on Romans in the Peak District at Buxton Museum. “We have created a new smiley face, family-friendly symbol in the programme to help parents identify other potentially suitable shows”, adds Stephanie.

On the streets of Buxton meanwhile, the ever-popular Shakespeare Jukebox is back to entertain the crowds on the Opera House forecourt, and this year there’s also open-air music theatre in the Pavilion Gardens.

Spoken word events cover the full spectrum from the performance poetry of Mark Gwynne-Jones and the Psychicbread to eccentric storytelling from Hendrick’s Horseless Carriage of Curiosities in the Pavilion Gardens, and poetry from Word Wizards, Tongue in Chic, Simon Unwin. There is even an Unclothed Poet (our senstive and blushing blogsite won't allow some words - even synonoyms for 'unclothed'!) at Underground Venues!

There is a wealth of art exhibitions to choose from ranging from larger shows such as the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery's annual Derbyshire Open, the Great Dome Art Fair, and the Burbage Art Group’s annual exhibition, to events held in individual shops and houses all over town, as part of the brand new Buxton Art Trail.

And for those who like their Fringe events defying categorisation, there are guided walks around Buxton (some serious, one decidedly tongue-in-cheek!), and a pioneering military tattoo in the Dome. For a taster of many of the events at this year's Fringe, why not come along to Fringe Sunday, in the Pavilion Gardens on July 11 from 2pm to 4.30pm, this year with new Kids’ Tent?

This year's Buxton Festival Fringe runs from Wednesday 7 to Sunday July 25 and details of all events are available online now at, where you can also find out how to become a Fringe Friend receiving a free programme, invitations to special events and 10 per cent discount on tickets. The full brochure of events will be widely distributed from early June. The Fringe can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and at the Buxton Advertiser’s blog, accessible from the Fringe website (you're here/there alreadyobviously).

The Fringe is hugely grateful to its many supporters including its main sponsor The University of Derby Buxton as well as The Osborne Group, High Peak Borough Council and The Old Hall Hotel.

by Keith Savage - Published 01/05/2010

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