PRESS RELEASE For immediate release - May 2018
Buxton Festival Fringe (July 4-22) is preparing for another bumper event with 181 entrants and its biggest ever Comedy section. The Theatre category, with 56 shows, has also never been bigger. Traditionally a platform for the stars of tomorrow, the Fringe is also providing a welcoming space for the celebrities of today with this year’s event including appearances from actor Rula Lenska, Australian singer Seann Miley Moore (X Factor) and comedian/actor Rob Rouse (BBC Two’s Upstart Crow).
Now in its 39th year, the long-established Buxton Festival Fringe has gained a reputation as one of Britain's friendliest festivals in a beautiful town that was cited in The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live Guide in 2018 and is also home to the prestigious Buxton International Festival featuring opera, music and books.
The Fringe is a great success story having grown over the years. Data from last year’s Fringe demonstrated that it contributed well over £300,000 pounds to the local economy with ticket sales rising by 36%.
Buxton is a Spa, Festival and University town, surrounded by the hills of the Peak District in the heart of England. Buxton Fringe (one of the largest Fringes in the UK) takes place between Wednesday July 4 and Sunday July 22 with an exciting programme comprising substantial Theatre, Comedy and Music sections as well as Dance, Film, For Families, Spoken Word, Street Theatre, Film, Visual Arts and more.
Entrants come from all over the UK and beyond. Comedy and Theatre have seen the biggest increase in numbers this year with performers seeing it as part of the Brighton-Buxton-Edinburgh circuit. Look out for Australian stand up Adam Vincent, award-winning spinster agony aunt Ms Samantha Mann, The Big Fat Running Show, punster Darren Walsh, Hancock impressionist James Hurn, Covent Garden’s Mike Raffone, award-winning physical comedians The Kagools, Nathan and Ida from The Dead Secrets, Fringe favourite Nathan Cassidy, Owen Roberts of The Beasts, award-winning Harriet Braine, Upstart Crow’s Rob Rouse and many more rib-ticklers.
Theatre treats include new writing from award-winning James Beagon in Antigone Na H’Eireann; X Factor’s Seann Miley Moore in Guy, a musical from the award-winning Marriage of Kim K team; mask and puppet theatre from Helenandjohn; Rob Rouse and Helen Rutter in The Ladder; Ruth E Cockburn’s Love Letters from Blackpool; Rula Lenska talking about her mother’s escape from Nazi-occupied Poland; two plays from award-winning Sudden Impulse; comic monologues from Radio 4 writer Kate Perry, and Trapped - physical theatre inspired by the trapped Chilean miners and performed in Poole’s Cavern with moments of complete darkness!
Music remains a major category with diverse attractions including jazz singer Annette Gregory, early music specialists Partita, acclaimed pianist Eden Walker, character musician Egriega, City of Manchester Opera, Mr Simpson’s Little Consort, French countertenor Adrien Mastrosimone and, in association with Buxton Festival, Vision, a candlelit show of medieval music starring Blake 7’s actor Jan Chappell as Hildegard of Bingen.
In smaller categories, the true variety of the Fringe becomes clear with everything from grumpy old man spoken word from The Glummer Twins; circus and street performance via Fit Up’s Fringe on the Market; Autopoiesis: an extraordinary art installation in the basement of a bungalow; big exhibitions like the Derbyshire Open and the Great Dome Art Fair; an invitation to be entertained inside the historic Pump Room on Friday 13th, and some “disgusting” children’s songs” courtesy of Radio 4 performer Jay Foreman.
There are three managed venues this year - Underground Venues, The Rotunda and The Green Man Gallery - plus a great many events taking place around the town, in Poole’s Cavern and in the Pavilion Gardens as well as in more outlying venues and occasionally in villages outside Buxton.
Events are fully listed on the Fringe website http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk The free printed programme, redesigned last year and now tweaked to offer even clearer ticketing advice, will be widely distributed from the beginning of June. The Fringe can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and via its Blog, accessible from the Fringe website.
Buxton Fringe's philosophy is that art is for all and Fringe organisers spread the word by entering a float in the Buxton Carnival and promoting a free open-air showcase of Fringe events called Fringe Sunday (this year July 8). Fringe at Five, a busking opportunity for performers; takes place at the Bandstand in Buxton's Pavilion Gardens at 5pm from July 9-21. Many other events are free, including the award-winning Buxton Pride Picnic and most of the Visual Arts section. All free shows are additionally listed on the website’s Fringe for Free page.
The Fringe also conducts community initiatives such as providing work experience for local students and encouraging entrants to perform in schools, care homes and youth organisations. This year it will have a paid intern for the first time and has offered support to lesser-used venues in the town including the library and Buxton Working Men’s Club.
A BAFA member, the Fringe has given talks at BAFA Roadshows and belongs to the Derbyshire festivals organisation, Festivity.
With a great reputation for both friendliness and professionalism, the Fringe also organises reviews for its shows and the sought-after Fringe Awards.
Fringe chair Keith Savage adds: “I saw my first Fringe event in 1990 but 28 years on the excitement of going through the programme picking out shows to go and see is as real as ever. For 2018 there are opportunities to see new faces to Buxton, catch up with those missed on previous visits as well as the pleasure of welcoming back friends from past festivals.
We are grateful for the continuing sponsorship of the University of Derby, and would like to thank the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council for financial and practical support. Their confidence in us means a great deal.”
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