Five early Buxton Fringe theatre picks

Buxton Festival Fringe - European Festivals Association

Buxton Fringe could rightly lay claim to being the Uk’s third largest fringe festival. Or indeed, festival fringe. Yes, Buxton Festival Fringe is the fringe festival for Buxton International Festival but, like Brighton and Edinburgh has grown to a scale where it is really the senior partner.

What we at FringeReview rather like about the fringe is that it features theatre, something not listed as a genre in the International Festival listings. Buxton Festival Fringe is really now a fringe-in-itself, not really sitting on the fringe of anything, though still very much laying righftul claim to hosting and being a platform for plenty of “fringe” theatre, comedy and many other genres.

For theatregoers, here are our five early choices for a Fringe that runs from 5th-23rd July 2023.

First up is award-winning Spanner In The Works Theatre Company with What if. Set in Belfast in 1993, the play that tells “the story of one mother’s loss amid the Shankill Road bombing”. For strong writing, book your tickets soon.

Brighton Fringe regulars, Sweet Productions and award-winning solo performer Heather-Rose Andrews comes to Buxton’s Underground Venues with The Final Girl, “Do you like scary movies? Join award-winning Heather-Rose Andrews as she explores horror films, the women who endure them, and why we are compelled to watch – no matter how gory it gets. A lifetime love of horror and darkly comic tour of genre and feminism.”

Out third choice is really a triple bill (on different days) from Grist to the Mill Productions. FringeReview rated World War One solo theatre masterclass The Unknown Soldier as outstanding at the Edinburgh Fringe a few years back. You can also catch their more recent, highly acclaimed Moby Dick. “Relive Herman Melville’s classical tale of the hunt for the great white with Ross Ericson in a sensational solo performance.” Also at the Fringe at the unique Rotunda Theatre is Gratiano, “Ross Ericson’s hit Edinburgh show provides a sequel to Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant Of Venice’ to explore the rise of fascism through the eyes of an ordinary man.  It is set in Venice after World War 2, where we find Bassanio has been murdered and Gratiano is suspect, and it is his questioning that makes him reflect on his fascist past, and by telling us the true story behind Shakespeare’s tale we ask; is he a man out for revenge, a penitent sinner, or just an old man full of regret?”

Murmuration from Steve Vertigo looks intriguing. “In a confused and data-drenched world, a man finds escape in the beauty of nature. However, it’s not long before this escape is threatened by the very thing he thought was his friend. A joyful, surreal, comedy tale of avian adventure, AI and 38,000 starling”

One fifth choice in the run up to Buxton Fringe comes from Devils and Dust and is a previous hit. Get booking for Revenant. “Carter has found the perfect island location for his zombie movie, but only three days to shoot it, and no lead actor… until the mysterious Vardell arrives. Visceral, blackly comic and genuinely scary. Starring Patrick O’Donnell (nominated Best Actor Manchester Fringe, 2021”.

There are, of course, many other theatre shows on offer, as well as other genres. These are our five early choices to get theatre on your radar if you are heading to Buxton in July. We’ll be turning our attention to those other categories soon so look out for more choices on FringeReview, the good fringe guide.