Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Old Friends

From Bergman's Summer With Monika (1953) -
A quick review of the current state of play for Fringe 2011 makes encouraging reading. At the end of February we had over 70 separate entries (with 200 performances and events scheduled over 19 days). This is a new record for that date - surpassing the 62 entries received by that date last year. On this basis we might reasonably expect 160 different shows when we reach the closing date on April 24th (Easter Sunday).

It is always pleasing to see Fringe stalwarts returning - Buxton in July wouldn't be the same withouit the likes of Jennie Ainsworth, the Young REC, the High Peak Orchestra and Partita to name just a few.

Jennie Ainsworth leads a gentle stroll around the northern slopes of the town retracing some of the landmarks associated with Vera Brittain who lived here with her family. Jennie always successfully evokes something of what it was to be in Edwardian Buxton.

The High Peak Orchestra - under the expert guidance of Andrew Hodkinson - always present a big, big programme. This year they offer three pieces - Borodin's Polotsvian Dances, Walton's Viola Concerto and Sibelius' 1st Symphony. St John's will be packed for that.

On a smaller scale Manchester-based Partita bring three separate programmes of Baroque and Renaissance song and music - two lunchtime recitals and an evening concert. Roger Child and his friends have been delighting Buxton audiences for 10 years or more and have justifiably built a loyal audience for their warm and expert singing and playing.

Martin Beard has been at the heart of much that is good about the Fringe in Buxton for 15 years or so. Writer, actor, producer, director, entrepreneur (well 4 out of 5 is pretty good) Martin brings energy, enthusiasm and a striving for excellence every year. For the third year he is working out of a marquee in the grounds of Poole's Cavern and two shows will be presented. Martin and the Young REC Theatre Company open with a comedy by a promising playwright - the play is A Midsummer Night's Dream. Later in the Fringe there will be the premiere of a new piece by Martin. Lunar Tics concludes a trilogy about a Scottish clan, extra terrestrials and sundry nonsense. You know it will be fun for all the family.

For full details of all these events go the Programme pages on the website:

While you are there take a bit of time to check out some of those others returning to the Fringe - the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, the Manchester Recorder Orchestra, City of Manchester Opera, Margaret Ferguson and Jonathan Ellis are all returning with music and song. We'll be previewing their shows in the next few weeks.

by Keith Savage - 10/03/2011

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