Party to celebrate biggest ever Buxton Fringe programme!

Buxton Fringe’s massive 68-page printed programme featuring close on 220 separate events and over 760 individual performances will be celebrated at an open-to-all Fringe40 Programme Party at Buxton's The Green Man Gallery on Saturday June 8th from 7-9.30pm.

The event will feature light refreshments and show extracts from Fringe performers including Egriega, Johnny Dysfunctional, Sam Slide, Genevieve Carver, Adrian Lord, Paul Cromford, Hattie Hatstar and League of Ladies.The evening will offer the chance to pick up a Fringe programme hot off the press, sign up as a Fringe Friend and see the brand new Fringe40 archive exhibition upstairs at the gallery. Special guest Barbara Langham, an early Fringe chair, will be there to open the exhibition.

Fringe40, marking 40 years of Buxton Festival Fringe, runs longer than ever (July 3-24) and is the biggest it has ever been. The traditionally large categories of Theatre and Comedy are as massive as ever with 58 and 44 events respectively, but the big explosion has been in Music (53 events up from 35 in 2018) and Spoken Word (24 up from 9 in 2018).

Traditionally a platform for the stars of tomorrow, Fringe40 is also providing a welcoming space for the celebrities of today including comedian/actor Rob Rouse (BBC Two’s Upstart Crow) and Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan.

The biggest UK Fringe between Edinburgh and Brighton runs parallel with the Buxton International Festival, which celebrates its own 40th anniversary. Dance, Film, For Families, Spoken Word, Street Theatre, Film, Visual Arts and more are featured alongside the major categories with unusual venues ranging from a train to an ancient cavern!

Among many Comedy treats are a brand new show from Rob Rouse (also performing with his award-winning actor wife Helen Rutter in Theatre), Radio 4’s cop turned comic, Alfie Moore, award-winning sketch troupe The Dead Secrets, Russian stand up Oleg Denisov from Moscow and a Laurel and Hardy Cabaret from popular Lucky Dog Theatre.

Theatre sees new shows from acclaimed theatre outfits Sudden Impulse and Fishhouse Theatre, two productions featuring the multi-award-winning actor and singer Tayo Aluko, an interactive First World War drama called Letters of War, top class youth theatre from REC and Shadow Syndicate and the return of hit performers from 2018 such as James Napier with Old Bones and Debbie Cannon with Green Knight.

A vast and diverse Music section includes a jazzy love story from award-winner Egriega, High Baroque virtuosity from Mr Simpson’s Little Consort, music on the move from the Blues Train, City of Manchester Opera, epically ambitious guitarist Chris Woods, acclaimed pianists Jonathan Ellis and Eden Walker and local fun from High Peak Swing Band, High Peak Orchestra, Buxton Studio Choir, Kaleidoscope Choir and many more.

An excitingly big Spoken Word section includes Ian McMillan, PsychicBread and returning award-winning performers Genevieve Carver and Paul Webster. Poetry, guided walks, comedy, storytelling, one-man shows and even photography all stretch the boundaries of this rewarding category.

Visual Arts is dominated by the return of the Buxton Art Trail (with a record-breaking 80 entries) but there is also the prestigious Buxton Spa Prize (coming into the Fringe for the first time), the Great Dome Art Fair, a fascinating performance installation based on sleep and many other artistic must-sees.

There are three managed 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 outlying venues from Eyam to Chelmorton.

For up-to-the-minute details of all the events on offer see or the brand new Buxton Fringe App, the Android version of which is available in the Google Play Store. The printed programme (printed on 100% recycled FSC paper) will be widely distributed from the beginning of June.

Arts for all

Buxton Fringe's philosophy is that art is for all and Fringe organisers spread the word by entering a float in the Buxton Carnival - this year in combination with the Buxton International Festival and with a Carnival of the Animals theme. The Fringe also promotes a free open-air showcase called Fringe Sunday (this year July 7). Fringe @ 5, a busking opportunity for performers, meanwhile takes place at the Bandstand in Buxton's Pavilion Gardens at 5pm from July 8. 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 this year including the organisation of a Dementia Friends training session. It provides work experience for local students and encourages entrants to perform in schools, care homes and youth organisations.

A BAFA member, the Fringe has given talks at BAFA Roadshows and belongs to the Derbyshire festivals organisation, Festivity.

Fringe chair Keith Savage adds: “This July Buxton will be busier than ever with music, theatre, comedy and the full range of visual arts on offer from morning through to late in the evening. The Fringe programme is 20% bigger than last year and we are unashamedly excited about looking forward to celebrating our 40th Festival.”

The Fringe is grateful to its long-term sponsor the University of Derby, and to the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council for financial and practical support.


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