Buxton Fringe

With everything that’s going on in Manchester at the moment it’s easy to forget that an hour away by train is the Buxton Fringe. Running since 1980, and focused on the town centre, this has more the feel of a proper Fringe; many artists use it as a preview before setting off for Edinburgh.

For me, living in Manchester, it’s a relief to see vibrant green:

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At 5 pm every day, at the Bandstand in Pavilion Gardens, there’s a free showcase of a few of the performances that are taking place:

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The Fringe itself is centred around ‘Underground Venues’, which has a very intimate feel:

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I saw three shows:

Ash Girl by Timberlake Wertenbaker. A modern take on Cinderella where she has to fight the monsters in her heart and mind, this wonderful text was well presented by the REC Youth Theatre Company. Good staging and some excellent performances from the young cast.

Lightspeed by Clem Haran/Organised Chaos. I’ve reviewed this before. Stage presentation is innovative and the two actors are talented, with much better interaction between them than last time. But there’s only so far you can go with a script that relies on emotional arguments without subtext.

War of the Worlds, by Uproot Theatre Company. This is a one-man vision of the HG Wells classic. Engaging storytelling of one man’s quest for survival and love in the face of the Martian invasion. Perhaps too sparse, with scope to use sound and light better.  Overall an excellent performance, well worth seeing.

The late train to Manchester is just before 11pm, so no need to cut the evening short. A lovely day out!

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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