Other Events Reviews


Three's Company as Nigel, Archie, and Ronny (Image by Brother Brother)

A podcast? That's a new one for the Fringe. Technology, eh? It's a long way from clay pigeon shooting at the first ever Fringe.*

The boys are a Buxton institution and it was a friendly audience in the Paupers Pit tonight for the fourth in their series of Adventure Time podcasts featuring hapless private detectives Archie, Ronnie and Nigel. This time Three's Company were actually recording a podcast, not just doing a show about recording a podcast. Honest. A wary audience needed some convincing that it would be safe in the front row "I just don't trust you anymore" said one.

There was a relaxed introduction to the recording as they bantered with the audience while they set up the equipment and mopped up a puddle - they claimed they'd knocked over some water but maybe someone was just nervous.

Each episode spoofs a different genre, this time was the turn of Film Noir, as they set off in pursuit of the evil Smoker, who had previously slipped through their fingers. It was classic Three's Company fare, never missing an opportunity for a pun or word play. There were some wildly convoluted mixed metaphors, fun with clichés, and great jokes

The format of the podcast worked well for them, the ability to stop and re-record, to corpse and for it not to matter, to laugh and joke with the audience suits their slightly chaotic style. With some help from a couple of smooth faced gentlemen**, they covered many characters with a great variety of voices. The whole process of the recording was fascinating, even as stickler technician Percy demanded retakes at the end, the audience paid rapt attention.

Almost all there were familiar with Three's Company's work, and perhaps that worked to their benefit. But conversely I think it's a pretty good introduction to their oeuvre. It may not be new, and perhaps some long for a big new production from them, but this is something they are very good at and it works well. They are building a series of podcasts well worth listening to, and better than most of the stuff in the Radio 4 6:30pm comedy slot at the minute!

Steve Walker

*I'm pretty sure someone told me this once, but I may have made it up.

** See their all-female Romeo and Juliet at the Fringe

AN EVENING OF CLOSE UP MAGIC - High Peak Magicians Society

High Peak Magic Society

The High Peak Magicians Society's evening of close up magic is an established annual event looked forward to by many people. It a very entertaining evening at which family groups, couples and other small parties have a liberating and enjoyable evening.

There is no need for ice breakers, from the off, having a magician at your table, challenging your sense of reality quickly breaks down barriers.

We were all sat at eight round tables where eight magicians in turn took their place and, up close, made playing cards vanish and re-appear; rope is looped, cut into pieces and rejoined again, within inches of you.

I found the most important quality required of a magician, during three hours of amazing tricks, was the comedy and banter that joined with the magic to fill your boots with glee.

My particular favourite was Bernie, on loan from the Midlands, who was both a brilliant comedian and exceptional magician. I also liked Neil Ford with his elastic bands; spoilt a little by one smart alec (I suppose every table had to have one) who revealed the secret of the climbing ring.

The three hours was broken with a show from John Gill who vanished (liquidated) a young girl from the audience. The finale made it complete. A show by High Peak Magician and UK champion, Chris Stevenson who entertained not just with magic but with humour which was pitched at just the right level for our audience (apart from the chap who seemed to have lost his £10 note in a trick).

A great night out. Thoroughly Entertaining.

Martin Wood


BMT 2011 Photo

Wow!!! I started to make notes about the colours, sound and movement of the bands and abandoned that idea half way through the first half having run out of superlatives! I know they rehearse, but as a dancer I was especially fascinated by the intricate patterns weaved by each of the players in each of the band. As someone who could barely manage a triangle I was mesmerised. Not only were they playing instruments, reading music, marching in time but they moved around the arena effortlessly. Stunning is the best way to describe the event.

With the voice of Colonel Alasdair Hutton OBE TD guiding us through the proceedings we were treated to various marching bands, the sublime voices of the Rolls Royce Male and female voice choirs, the immaculate timing and discipline of the City of Derby Squadron RAF Air Cadets rifle Drill Display team and the wall of sound that is the 2517 (Buxton) Squadron RAF Air Cadets Corps of Drums.

The organisation, sound and crew all helped to make the event go without a hitch. I have always been intrigued as to how the Dome's unique architecture and acoustics would effect the sound, fabulous. With the added advantage of being able to hear individual instruments as they passed the requisite part of the floor.

The colours, the sound, the choreography all came together to provide a wonderful program of entertainment. No wonder it always sells out!! My personal favourite was the stirring finale with all bands and choirs joining together to perform the stirring Hector the Hero featuring Musn Katie Walters - superb!

Thank you to all concerned.

Linda McAlinden

FLOWER FESTIVAL - St Peter's Church

To celebrate the Queen's 60-year reign, the parish of St. Peters have turned their church into a flower festival depicting eight events, from the death of King George VI to the Golden Jubilee and the Olympic Games plus some additional fitting arrangements.

The festival begins today (19th July) and continues for another 4 days to Monday 23rd.

There are 11 distinct arrangements in all, arranged as a walk through the church, beginning in the entrance porch where on either side there are rows of flowers of different heights, the tall stemmed flowers craning over the tops of the others, representing the crowds on either side of The Mall during the numerous processions during her reign.

Then, moving down the main aisle of the church looking on the left, you will find; the laying in state of King George (with archive newspapers from the time), followed by the coronation with a crown brimming with red roses, encircled with a band of white gypsophila; the Silver Jubilee (1977); the Fire at Windsor Castle and Ascent of Everest.

At the top of the altar stands two sprays of the Royal Stuart Tartan and to its right a collage of the Union Jack meticulously constructed from tissue and polystyrene by the children of Fairfield Endowed Junior School.

Now back down the aisle there are further events; the Prince of Wales Investiture, the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and closing with 2012 Olympic Games.

All the arrangements are accessible, the selection of variety and colours most appropriate and some quite inventive and clever arrangements. In particular, I enjoyed the representation of the Fire at Windsor Castle with the yellows, oranges and reds rising from the windows and turrets of the castle including the fine clouds of black smoke. I also liked the Ascent of Everest arrangement complete with rope, pick and crampons. The final display, the Olympic depiction with the three winning medals and the five coloured rings each accompanied by a bouquet of matching colour, was particularly pleasing.

A well arranged floral exhibition built with care, interest and a credit to the organisers.

There is a printed programme which includes more detailed descriptions of each arrangement and a small café area where you can get some tea and cake before venturing back out into the world.


Martin Wood


Come visit Betty, our Macmillan Cancer Information Bus

My father died of bowel cancer. One of my best student friends died following testicular cancer. On the other hand plenty of friends and family members have been successfully treated for cancer and continue to lead busy, energetic lives. Over the last 30 years or so our attitude towards cancer - generally speaking now a more positive, optimistic attitude - has been changed in no small part thanks to the work of charities like Macmillan Cancer Support.

Cancers are complex of course and I'm not going to pretend to know very much. We know that lifestyle must be important in terms of the chances of developing particular cancers. (The fact that some cancers are confined to quite specific populations for example tells us that). So we know that we can reduce our personal risk by exercising, by choosing our food carefully, by drinking in moderation, by practicing safe sex.

We know, though, that a very significant minority (around 30%) of us will develop a cancer at some stage. Understandably this is worrying. So how do we check for cancer - what signs or symptoms should we be aware of?

It might not be us that is ill - it might be a parent, a sister, a son or daughter - what do we do about that? How do we cope? How do we help them?

Many people have survived cancer. Many more people will survive. That isn't the end of the story though. Daily anxieties about returning cancer - or feelings of guilt about not feeling happier about survival - affect people.

These sorts of questions, and many others, are asked every day of Macmillan staff.

The Macmillan bus is in Spring Gardens for two days during the Fringe. It's bright green so you can't miss it. It is staffed by a lovely bunch of people who will make you welcome and who will answer any questions you might have. There is space on the bus for private interviews if that is more appropriate.

So if you want to talk to someone or ask something do step into the bus. If it information to take away with you that you want there are dozens of leaflets covering many aspects of living with and dealing with cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support, as a charity, relies entirely on donations. The charity prefers that - that way it is not beholden to anyone and it can apply pressure when and how it sees fit.

If you can't get to the bus but want to know more or want to make a donation go to the following website:

www.macmillan.org.uk or phone 0808 808 00 00

Keith Savage