Fifty Shades of Orange – Thriving Theatre At Buxton Fringe

Press Release 12 June 2012

Theatre has always been the backbone of the Fringe and this year there are an incredible fifty plays on offer.

This is a Fringe so the classic theatre often comes with a twist. Fresh from last year's sell-out Macbeth, Butterfly bring A Midsummer Night's Dream to Poole's Cavern, and for more Shakespeare from a different angle, Three's Company & Smooth Faced Gentlemen present an all-female Romeo & Juliet. In Korpse Kustard's Earnest, 92-year-old Gwendolen considers The Importance of Being Earnest from her point of view, and Le Mot Juste celebrate the dark comedy of Gogol in The Overcoat. Classic British writing can be found in Alan Bennett's Bed Among the Lentils, Carol Ann Duffy's cabaret take on Grimm Tales, and David Hare's most successful and controversial play The Secret Rapture. In The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll, Uproot Theatre Company present a new one-man play based on RL Stevenson's classic novel.

There some big successes are returning; you'll find a new and improved version of Fiona Paul's sell-out Excuse Me, I'm Trying to Please You; Stuart D Lee's 2011 New Writing Award winner Dev's Army, and appropriately for jubilee year, George Telfer returning with Do You Still Throw Spears at Each Other? about the Duke of Edinburgh.

The most vibrant theatre at the Fringe is often found among the youth companies. Multi-award winning Shadow Syndicate bring two plays: Mugged analyses the devastating impact of a violent theft, and in Nine, words could be the balance between life and death. Regular Fringers, REC Theatre take on the Oscar Wilde classic verse play Salome, and Kaleidoscope Fringe Company present Punk Rock by Simon Stephens. Starstruck is a double bill investigating celebrity from BCS Young People's Theatre featuring Mark Ravenhill's Totally Over You and sixth former Lilly Posnett's the Last Night of Olivia Delaware. There is absurd comedy from AQ Youth Theatre in The Bald Prima Donna.

Modern technology is examined as companies explore the power of the internet. The sinister side is investigated in Saving Grace as her friends turn to technology to track her down, Facing Tides Theatre are Off Her Facebook! whereas in Kafka in the Sink, the world is awash with instant information, but Eddie can't even afford to look. On the lighter side, Fragile Force looks at modern life in Status Update, and WWWDot is a physical comedy combining surrealism with farce.

Back in time to the 1890s, Peak Stage and Film use live music and projected images to create Belle Époque Paris and French Colonial Algeria in The Moth, while Fol Espoir have Winston on the Run, the rollicking tale of Churchill lost in Africa. In 1933 the Nazis forced Paul Renner, creator of Futura font, into internal exile - find out more in Script in Hand. Turning to the history of science, Einstein's Daughter by Rob Johnston was winner of the prestigious King's Cross Award for New Writing, and after June 5th 2012 saw the last transit of Venus for over a century, Cul-de-sac's play The Transit of Venus is about scientific and religious conflict in 1639. SOOP find plenty of laughs in Scallywags, the story of how Britain faced invasion in WWII, and popular Fringe company, Planet Rabbit return with another delightful-sounding show, I Want to Hold Your Hand, telling of two teenage girls in love with the Beatles.

There is lots of humour to be found. In 15 Minute Theatre, Storybag cover Casablanca, Brief Encounter and a silent movie version of The Archers at breakneck speed. Function Factory Theatre have a smart, sassy and scouse Alice on the wrong side of the looking glass. Edinburgh sell-out Ginny Davis in Something Fishy should have nailed parenting by now but is never closer than a step behind. Casagua promise to tell us How to Relax in Andalucia, and Yvonne Lake is Undateable - discover the results of her six month experiment with fake profiles on dating websites.

The perennial themes of love and death inspire many plays. In Bottled Wasps, a nostalgic return to where love first sparked may re-kindle the flames, but are they desire or just the work of an arsonist? MADS return with Contractions, when Emma declares an office romance to her boss a Kafkaesque nightmare begins. Square Peg Theatre combine mime and physical theatre in Forwards And Backwards, a bittersweet story about the slow decay of love and ambition. For Resonating Theatre Works with Young Hearts, their play about Alzheimer's, there are only two certainties: you grow young and you die, while Incontinence Theatre's Violet's Silent Scream finds a woman in a coma and her dad determined to find out the truth about what happened to her.

Alternatively there are future worlds, surreal worlds and the imagination to explore. Bobby charts the highs and lows of one boy's life in a Lewis Carroll-esque surreal world. The afterlife is the subject of two productions: in Afterwords, whose will be heaven, whose will be hell and who decides? Whereas in This Was Your Life it's the live studio audience of a reality TV show that decides the contestants heavenly fate! MY Theatre's Prophet is a musical piece exploring the pagan beliefs of light from darkness and new beginnings; and a new solo work by Stephen Wymark, Words from the Void, is about childhood, and the threads of a real and imagined past life.

Journeys and transitions of one kind or another are always good material. End to End tells the story of three women's daring adventure through Great Britain, Imperfect Cadence sees a retiring headteacher's farewell sabotaged by an embittered former student, Future Delivery examines the dilemmas that ultrasound and blood tests can cause during pregnancy, while in Shadow on the Wall, Mike awakes confused and guilty - can he move on and find some salvation? Finally, a question for men: are you a bloke? A guy? A boy? What Man Dare sees an all-male cast challenge what it means to be a man in the 21st century.

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, The Old Hall Hotel and 2011 The Cavendish Shopping Arcade.

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