Press release for immediate release July 26th 2021
Buxton Festival Fringe held its eagerly-awaited Awards Ceremony at The Serpentine Community Garden on Sunday July 25.
The event represented the first public gathering for the Fringe for 18 months or more and celebrated a remarkable festival in which performers and venues came together to put on shows as safely as possible in accordance with ever-changing Covid regulations.
There were over 100 events, most of which were live, though there were also some online shows that will continue after the Fringe. Chair of the Fringe, Stephen Walker, said: “I’m really happy that we’ve been able to go ahead and I would like to thank all the performers and artists that have made this an excellent Fringe.” He added: “The last 18 months have been particularly difficult for the arts and we are so grateful for your resilience and perseverance in bringing your work to Buxton….We consider ourselves very lucky to be among the first to enjoy a festival of arts this summer”.
He went on to thank committee members, venues, Fringe Desk staff, Fringe Friends and financial backer High Peak Borough Council, amongst others. Former Fringe chair, councillor Keith Savage later stood up to express the council’s appreciation of the Fringe, saying that the live and visual arts bring people together, as audiences and performers, by sharing stories: “At a time when many are feeling isolated, events like the Buxton Festival Fringe have untold benefits."
As the awards got under way, Theatre saw the Production Award going to Belfast company Spanner in the Works with their all-female three-hander, Buttercup. Acting awards went to Lexi Wolfe for After Shakespeare and Shaun Hennessy in the thriller For I Have Sinned from Manchester’s Queerdog Theatre. The New Writing award was picked up by Buxton Fringe regular Polis Loizou for The Off-Off-Off Broadway Company’s Mr Fox.
The John Beecher Memorial Award for original, challenging work with high production values went to the joyful and acrobatic cabaret theatre Her Ps and Qs from Tell Tale Tits.
Winner of the Spoken Word category was Rose Condo, a Canadian currently based in Salford, for The Geography of Me.
Young drama talent was also recognised with Buxton’s Rec Youth Theatre winning Youth Production for How to Think the Unthinkable. The company also won the Spirit of the Fringe award for ensuring that the show went on despite a series of adversities. The Youth Actor Award was won by Elyse Marling for REC Youth Theatre Company's Senior Company’s How To Think The Unthinkable.
In the Comedy section, hilarious Hope Valley star Rob Rouse (familiar from TV’s Upstart Crow) won the Individual Award whilst Impromptu Shakespeare picked up the Comedy Event Award.
Music awards were split into Small Group/Ensemble (Mr Simpson’s Little Consort), Large Ensemble (High Peak Orchestra), Solo Instrumental (Harp-Guitar player Jon Pickard) and Vocal Performance (jazz singer Annette Gregory).
The Visual Arts Event prize went to the Welsh hat installation Keep it Under Your Hat by Mary Gwen and the Artist prize was given to Buxton’s Lindsey Piper for her Dryad sculpture.
Children’s Events went to Buxton’s Stone and Water for Tiny! Meanwhile BrotherBrother & Three’s Company’s An Admin Worker at the End of the World (And other Films) won Film. Buxton Drama League's The Shakespeare Jukebox, boasting a new Pavilion Gardens location, won Street Theatre.
Finally the quirky Buxton Letterbox Trail won an award in the miscellaneous And More... category.
See https://buxtonfringe.org.uk/awards2021.html for the full list of awards and nominations. Film footage of the ceremony can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTsKUMaxUW8
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