Famous faces, upstarts and more - Underground Venues theatre at Buxton Fringe!

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release May 29th 2018

In a Fringe dotted with famous faces, one of the best looking is appearing at Underground Venues in the Arts Centre Studio. X-Factor star Seann Miley Moore stars in brand new gay romcom Guy, an uplifting new musical from the creators of the multi-award-winning The Marriage of Kim K. Also familiar from TV, Rob Rouse, Bottom in the BBC’s Shakespeare sitcom Upstart Crow, is at the Fringe with his wife Helen Rutter in a new version of The Ladder, a big hit last year in its one-woman show form.

Underground are running a great programme over at the Studio. Another Shakespearean figure rolls up to regale us with his true story in An Audience With Sir John Falstaff. The fat knight tells all about his relationship with the bard in a show from inamoment, who also have Cordelia/Fool at the Old Clubhouse, which examines King Lear through the eyes of two of the play's most compelling characters.

There are two stories from Ireland, ground-breaking young Irish theatre collective, The Corps Ensemble are on a wild and savage journey down the streets and back alleys of modern Dublin in The Fetch Wilson, while a Buxton Fringe award-winning company, Aulos Productuions, give us a new take on the classic myth in Antigone na h’Eireann.

Returning to the Fringe are two successful Youth Theatre companies: Buxton’s own REC offers a challenge to keep upright in the face of the tests and trials of life in Kilter, and regular visitor, Shadow Syndicate, presents a highly-charged political play for an increasingly polarised society. Another political show, A Beginner’s Guide to Populism, is a dark comedy about the dangers of when the public actually believe your promises.

There is an uncanny flavour to The Haunting of Blaine Manor, in which an American parapsychologist attends a seance in England's most haunted building, and discovers that what is waiting there is not nearly as horrific as what has entered with him. The greatest detective of them all is meanwhile making an appearance in the Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - expect hilarity, satire and plot twists galore.

Quality is guaranteed from multi-award-winning Fringe favourites Sudden Impulse, who return with two shows. They round out the programme at the Studio with Neil Labute’s The Shape of Things, a thrilling tale of love, art and stoicism. Their second show is over at the Old Clubhouse. Sea Wall by Simon Stephens is a devastating short play about a man who loses everything.

Old Clubhouse

It is Underground’s second year upstairs at the Old Clubhouse, and some old Fringe favourites have made the move with them. The ever popular Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company bring A Curse Of Saints by Polis Loizou, superstition, faith and a fear of the Other combine in a chilling one-man ghost story set in late 19th century Cyprus. More usually found in the Comedy category, Ruth E Cockburn’s Love Letters from Blackpool, was commissioned by Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre, and has encouraged people across the country to fall back in love with the seaside town.

Funny women abound at home and abroad. Strife in a Northern Town is a fast-paced tale of sex, death and corruption... of friendship, family and Latvian cigarettes. Jonathan Ross called it ‘a festival highlight’. From the pen of Rob Johnson, writer of last year’s Dark Satanic, winner of best drama at the Greater Manchester Fringe, comes surreal comedy Just Like a Woman, about three factory workers who can never remember what they actually produce. Further afield, Vicki and Pat in Fuerteventura are two lasses with two sun loungers, and a whole lot of history.

There is more humour as Alex Keen & Rachel E Thorn improvise the inside story of a relationship from audience suggestions in Between Us, while in Garry Starr Performs Everything, a disgraced actor is determined to defy his critics by performing every single genre of theatre in under 60 minutes. Nature Knows Best, directed by the National Theatre's Jacquie Crago, takes a humorous look at life, love and man's effect on the natural world, through the stories of three animal couplings.

Horror fans will feel with Gated Community; prepare to be buzzed in and shown around eight twisted cautionary tales in this Homes Under the Hammer-Horror. Meanwhile, merrily macabre Sylvia Sceptre presents Phantasmagorical, about the eerie world of the Victorian séance. It is as close as one can get to witnessing the uncanny thrills of the Golden Age of Spiritualism. And somewhat surreally, Helenandjohn’s Janet featuring mask and puppetry mixes kitchen table drama with B-movie horror, following the life of Janet from conception to tragic-comic end - Janet is portrayed by 1.5 kg of uncooked bread dough!

Eglantyne is the inspiring story of a human rights pioneer Eglantyne Jebb, the visionary Edwardian founder of Save the Children, whom we follow from Bloomsbury parties to Balkan refugee camps. Diary of an Expat features a more modern migrant, Celia, who arrives in London in search of adventures, but finds herself amidst the chaos and navigating the ever-present threat of Brexit as the European dream slowly drifts away.

Two plays investigate ways of living in unpromising circumstances. In Dreamscape, based on the beautiful, perplexing real-life story of Greg Felton, a man is locked deep inside his own brain in an induced coma, trying to get home in his new version of reality, and in The War on Terry, it is Terry's birthday. At 27 he is now older than his older brother who killed himself three years before, and what's more, he may have just murdered 300 ladybirds.

For UV bookings see underthefringe.com

See all Buxton Fringe’s theatre listings at buxtonfringe.org.uk.

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