30th Anniversary of Buxton Festival Fringe 2009 attracts record number of entries

Press Release: 27 April 2009

2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the Buxton Festival Fringe, and with it a record number of shows and events entering this year's Festival. All the categories represented in the Fringe have been covered this year, with a heartening increase in areas such as Dance and Street Theatre which, in the past, have not been so well represented.

"We are delighted to have a 30th anniversary programme that is not only vast but full of diversity with every single category represented. The challenge now is to make sure that these top quality performers and events are rewarded with the full audiences they deserve", says Fringe chair Stephanie Billen.

Comedy is represented by Welsh double-act Al & Ned, two shows from spoof neuroscientist Rosie Wilby, impro from Sheffield group The Shrimps, a trip around the world with Phil Buckley, more sleight of hand and pseudo-science from Buxton favourite Lab Monkey Productions, stream of consciousness rants from Tam Hinton, the return of last year's Fringe Award winner Helen Keen and even local MP Tom Levitt!

Dance this year covers a wide range of physical expression, from the Chapel en le Frith Morris Men, to contemporary dance from award-winning choreographer Katie Green, al fresco improvisation in The Meeting, last year's winners, Spiltmilk Dance and contemporary and street dance from Buxton Community School.

For the first time this year, the Fringe will incorporate the Buxton Film Weekend including five feature films to suit a range of tastes, local documentaries and an amateur short film competition, 'Open Shorts'.

As always, events for families feature strongly, with many events listed in other categories suitable for all ages. Amongst those specifically aimed at families however, Buxton's Young REC Theatre Company presents two new pieces in Nice Venues' first ever marquee at Poole's Cavern - The Darkest Angel and Ye Gods! There's also the children's drama What Became of the Red Shoes and a new adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. The ever popular Fringe Readings are also set to feature a special Fringe30 afternoon for children.

There's a broad spectrum of music on offer, including regular Fringe performers Accordes, the Manchester Recorder Orchestra, the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, High Peak Orchestra, Partita and the Tideswell Male Voice Choir. Performers from around the world include African soprano Margaret Ferguson. Amongst many other highlights are a concert version of La Traviata by City of Manchester Opera, a musical tribute to the Brontes and a concert of mediaeval music underground in Poole's Cavern.

The Fringe also continues to spread itself beyond the confines of Buxton itself. St James the Less in New Mills plays host to award-winning ensemble Celloscope and music for oboe and guitar from Marios Argiros and Dimitris Dekavallas; whilst in the plague village of Eyam, there will be a promenade production of the powerful historical drama The Roses of Eyam.

On the streets of Buxton meanwhile, the ever-popular Shakespeare Jukebox returns after a year's absence to entertain the crowds on the Opera House forecourt.

Spoken word events cover the full spectrum from the performance poetry of Mark Gwynne-Jones and the Psychicbread, to multi-Fringe Award winner Monkeypoet, to the autobiographic monologue of Charles Christian to the more gentle poetic stylings of F Philip Holland.

Theatre once again features strongly, with productions from regular Fringe visitors, GlovesOff Productions, Black Box Theatre, Fragile Theatre, Bath University Student Theatre, Distraction Theatre Company, Cotton Grass Theatre and George Telfer. Amongst many other dramatic pieces on offer is 9:47am, a new work based around the events of 9/11, the return of double-Fringe Award winning Freerange Theatre with psychological drama The Cutting, three plays from Planet Rabbit Productions, Clothes To Fall Apart In, a multi-media work from The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company and a production of Philip Ridley's Brokenville from the award-winning Imagine Theatre Company.

There are more art exhibitions than ever ranging from larger exhibits such as the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery's annual Derbyshire Open and the Great Dome Art Fair, to events held in the artists' houses, such as Kathy McMillan's landscapes, Suzanne Pearson's pieces inspired by her travels, From Curbar to Cuba and Adrienne & Langley Brown's multi-media Planet Domestos ... And Beyond. There's work from pupils of Buxton Infant School, work inspired by Buxton's entry into Entente Florale and Art on the Railings, a public art project on the Pavilion Gardens railings, as well as an extended exhibition from the Burbage Art Group. There will also be a chance to see the results of the Fringe30 community art project, Vers@Tile, a spectacular mosaic triptych displayed the Buxton Museum.

And for those who like their Fringe events defying categorisation, there are guided walks around Buxton, a book launch, magic and escapology and even a jumble sale and traditional fair - all part of the diversity of events that make the Buxton Festival Fringe the success it is. 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 12 July from 2pm to 4.30pm?

This year's Buxton Festival Fringe runs from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 26 July and details of all events are available online now at http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk, 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 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.


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