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Buxton Festival Fringe


4th – 22nd July 2018

Now over for 2018. Details for 2019 coming soon. Our 2018 coverage is below.

Buxton has a big Fringe this year, loaded with theatre, comedy, a lot of terrific music, spoken word and an impressive amount of local and youth arts making.

We are always happy to recommend shows we’ve seen elsewhere and work we value.We’ll be updating this page as soon as the Buxton Fringe porgramme is live.


Essential  Links

Visit the main Buxton Festival Fringe web site.

Browse the programme

Join them on Facebook.

Follow them on Twitter.

Guest Blog: Nigel Osner shares his Unexpected Hazards at Buxton Fringe

Key venues:

Visit the Underground Venues web site

Visit the Green Man Gallery web site

Visit the Buxton Opera House web site (Also bookings for the United Reform Church and other venues – see the Buxton Fringe web site)

Visit the Rotuna Theatre web site 

Visit the Scrivener’s Bookshop web site

Our Recommended Shows at Buxton Fringe 2018

The FringeReview TOP TEN

1- JANET – Helenandjohn 

credit: Helen Ainsworth
Featuring object manipulation, mask and puppetry, this newly-devised show – mixing kitchen table drama with B-movie horror – follows the life of Janet, from conception to tragic-comic end. Janet is portrayed by 1.5 kg of uncooked bread dough. From the makers of Prague International Puppet Festival’s Most Original Production; ‘Sublimely well performed.’ FringeReview.co.uk (New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 5 Jul 8:45pm to 9:30pm, 6 Jul 2:45pm to 3:30pm, 8 Jul 5:45pm to 6:30pm £8 (Conc £7)
 Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available.


2- THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER – Grist to the Mill Productions Ltd 

Award-winning actor Ross Ericson returns with The Unknown Soldier. In tribute to the end of the Centenary, a story of comradeship, betrayal and promises both broken and kept following the carnage of the First World War. ‘Unmissable and thought-provoking.’ ***** Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
Rotunda – Pavilion Gardens (33k) Google Map 8 Jul 5pm to 6pm, 15 Jul 7:30pm to 8:30pm £12 (Child and Conc £9), Adult themes, some swearing
 Bookings via rotundatheatre.com or 07487 228993



The Twonkeyverse Players | Twonkey's Night Train To Liechtenstein
Travel to the belly button of Europe to unlock a safety deposit box. Why is Mr Trombone so sad? What’s it like to work as a gigolo? ‘A crazy, wonderful performer.’ **** Kate Copstick, Scotsman. ‘Mind bending fables.’ **** The Times. ‘The plan is written on a teapot.’ **** Broadway Baby (New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 13 Jul 7pm to 7:50pm, 14 Jul 10pm to 10:50pm £7 (Conc £6)
 Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available.


4- JUST LIKE A WOMAN – Breathe Out Theatre 

Breathe Out Theatre | Just Like A Woman
Liz, Tig and Ellie have worked in the factory for a long time. Assembling stuff. Checking stuff. Rejecting stuff. But they can never remember what the stuff actually is… until today. Surreal comedy from the writer of Dark Satanic, winner of Best Drama at Manchester Fringe Festival 2017.(New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 9 Jul 4pm to 4:55pm, 10, 11 & 13 Jul 1pm to 1:55pm, 16 Jul 4pm to 4:55pm £8 (Conc £7)
Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available.



credit: Joseph Till
Disgraced actor Garry Starr is determined to defy his critics by performing every single genre of theatre in under 60 minutes, thus saving the performing arts from their inevitable, impending extinction. Winner, Adelaide Fringe Emerging Artist Weekly Award and NZ Fringe ‘Tour Ready’ Award 2018. ***** GLAM Adelaide
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 10 Jul 6pm to 6:50pm, 11 Jul 4:15pm to 5:05pm £8 (Conc £7)
Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available.



Ruth E Cockburn | Love Letters From Blackpool
Buxton favourite Ruth Cockburn returns with a story of love in a famous seaside town – mixing storytelling, music and real-life interviews. Commissioned by Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, this play has encouraged people across the country to fall back in love with Blackpool, warts and all. Nominated Best Comedy, Manchester Fringe. (New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 6 Jul 4pm to 5pm, 16 Jul 8:30pm to 9:30pm, 20 Jul 4pm to 5pm £8 (Conc £7)
Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available. 


7- THE KAGOOLS: KULA – The Kagools 

The Kagools: Kula
Buxton Comedy Show Award-winning physical comedy duo returns with a non-verbal, multimedia tour-de-force. Effortlessly stepping between the two worlds of stage and screen, this pair of silent and strange but friendly characters takes the audience on delightfully ridiculous adventures. ‘Beautifully executed. Perfect viewing for all ages and nationalities.’ Chortle (New Writing)
Underground at the Arts Centre Studio (74a) Google Map 13 Jul 10:15pm to 11:05pm, 14 Jul 9pm to 9:50pm, 15 Jul 10:15pm to 11:05pm £8 (Child £6, Conc £7) 


8- THE O.S. MAP FAN CLUB – Helen Wood 

Join Ordnance Survey enthusiast, Helen Wood, for a fascinating, laughter-filled, virtual ramble and celebrate the simple beauty of the much-loved, fold-out, paper map. Edinburgh Fringe sell-out 2017. **** ‘Warm and engaging … fun and touching.’ West End Wilma. ‘Joyful, friendly show steeped in Great British Bake Off values.’ Three Weeks (New Writing)
Rotunda – Pavilion Gardens (33k) Google Map 6-9 Jul 6:30pm to 7:30pm £10 (Child and Conc £9)
Bookings via rotundatheatre.com or 07487 228993


9- CLAIRE FORD: UNBOXED – Claire Ford 

Claire Ford: Unboxed
Feel like you’re stuck outside the box? Then how do you think inside it? Comedy with real heart. Through storytelling, clowning and double-walled chipboard, Unboxed promises more ‘brilliant, unique and boundary-bending comedy’ (TalkFringe) from a ‘masterful physical theatre performer.’ Broadway Baby. One half of Buxton Fringe Award-winners The Kagools.
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 12 Jul 5:30pm to 6:25pm, 14 Jul 1pm to 1:55pm £7 (Conc £6)
Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available.


10- THE WAR ON TERRY by Hugh Dichmont – Influencing Machine 

credit: www.faceiro.co.uk
Today is Terry’s birthday. At 27, he is now older than his older brother, who killed himself three years before. What’s more, he may have just murdered 300 ladybirds. Developed in support of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) from a multi-award-nominated young playwright. (New Writing)
Underground at The Old Clubhouse (21) Google Map 15 Jul 2:30pm to 3:25pm, 16 Jul 1pm to 1:55pm, 17 Jul 2:30pm to 3:25pm £8 (Conc £7)
Bookings via underthefringe.com Info: 0208 144 0070. Further concessions available. 


I want to see… at Buxton Fringe

An Evening with Miss Wong Image

Our intuitive show-finding tool.

I want to see…

… a powerful, thought-provoking and moving drama trilogy. Then see Crossing The Line Trilogy

… some biographical theatre. Then see An Evening with Miss Wong

… a show of spooky mindreading and Victorian Spirit Theatre. Then see Phantasmagorical

… some highly reviewed comedy. Then see Nathan & Ida’s Hot Dog Stand

… a play about Eglantyne Jebb, the visionary, courageous, passionate, human rights pioneer and founder of Save the Children. Then see Eglantyne

We’ll be adding more recommendations in the run up to the Fringe.

Link Collage

A new way to explore Buxton Fringe – our essential links to navigate the Fringe… Simply click on an image to reveal details of a recommended show. Follow your artistic instincts…

 OS Map FanClub Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children



We’ll be adding more recommendations in the run up to, and during the Fringe.

Keyword Chaos

Another way to find a show at Buxton Fringe. We’ve trawled the programme and our own knowledge base and selected the most intriguing phrases in programme line up. So, choose the phrase that draws you in, click on the link and get booking. Use your intuition…

A boy is found dead in an olive grove. As the villagers gossip about how he came to be there, and what might really have killed him, a shepherd reveals his own suspicions.

Jack stayed on when the guns fell silent, to search the battlefields for the boys that could not go home – for the dead and the missing, for both enemy and friend.  And amongst the rusty wire and unexploded bombs Jack is looking for something – looking for someone. He has a promise to keep and debt to repay, and now there is this strange request from the generals.

Ridiculous characters will help you come together as an audience and discover your inner ninja. War, mountaineering, expressive dance and tantric air kissing. It’s all in there. It’s light entertainment gestalt therapy. Not a brain wash but a light rinse. Not to be missed.

the students have been left alone resulting in a space that becomes a melting pot for explosive opinions and actions

a beautiful portrayal of “La Divina”: from her rejection as a child by her parents to becoming the Prima Donna of La Scala and changing to face of opera, to make it “A body, lusty experience.

England, 1953. An American parapsychologist attends a seance in England’s most haunted building. As a raging storm closes in, he discovers what is waiting there is not nearly as horrific as what has entered with him…

We’ll be adding more recommendations in the run up to, and during the Fringe.


Dark Comedy. Andy Moseley,  Writer at NoLogoProductions, talks about A Beginner’s Guide to Populism

What’s the theme of your show?

The play is a dark comedy about the rise of populism and what it can lead to if it’s allowed to go unchecked.

It’s set in the fictional village of Little Middleton. Villagers are opposed to plans to make the village part of a garden city. A would be MP takes on their cause, not because she supports it herself but because her party is trying to reconnect with local voters and this is the way to do it.

They use the modern day weapons of fear and panic to get the public on their side, but then find out what can happen if people actually believe them.

What’s new or unique about the show?:

t’s a political comedy but people of all political persuasions seem to believe it’s about ‘the other side’. I think that’s fairly unique but also something we’re proud of, as the play is an a satire of populism, whether it’s right wing or left wing politicians that are using it.

How did the show come into being?

I was looking for a way to take a fresh slant on populism, Brexit, Trump et al, when I read an article about Government plans to create new garden cities. There was a quote from someone who said it would destroy their village. The reasons they gave seemed to be a mix of one part truth and nine parts scare mongering. Straight away I knew that this had to be the setting for the show as we could play out international politics at the local level.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

David Wood is the director of the play. He lets me into rehearsals, but I try not to go too often!

The rehearsals are great fun, a lot of experimenting and pushing the characters and situations as far as they can go so that you get to what’s really at the heart of it and the actors know so much about the characters and what’s driving them.

How is the show developing?

We first performed the show at the end of 2017 at the Voila! Europe Festival at The Cockpit. It went incredibly well, so we’re keeping it largely as it was.

Biggest change is that one of our original actors is now based in America, so we’ve got a new actor in that role which always brings something new to a show.

How have you experimented?

I’ve left it to the director and the actors to experiment (and for me, that’s experimenting!)

Where do your ideas come from?

Probably easy to guess where the ideas for this one came from, but generally ideas tend to come from anywhere, small snatches of conversation, newspaper articles, or just hours staring at a laptop thinking I need to start writing something.

How do your challenge yourselves?

As a writer I challenge myself by trying to really vary what I write and not to settle for a particular genre or format.

As a company the challenge is always looking at how you can improve things, do things differently and really affect an audience with a show.

What are your future plans for the show ?

After Buxton we’re taking the show to Edinburgh for two weeks, then who knows? We’d like to take it further. The dangers of populism is a hot topic the world over at the moment, so I’m sure there’s a few other countries where the play would go down well, and a few others where we might get arrested if we tried to put it on!

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Too many to put into one list, but favourites from last years fringe were;
The Man on The Moor – brilliant one man show based around the story of the man found on Saddleworth Moor in 2015;
The Giant Killers – True story of Darwen Football Club and their 1878-1879 FA Cup run; and
The Revlon Girl – Set eight months after the Aberfan mining disaster in 1966 when a Revlon representative was invited to the weekly meeting of bereaved mothers.

Show dates, times and booking info

The Arts Centre Studio, Underground Venues Buxton, 10,11,18 and 20 July (9.00pm except 10 July 9.45pm) Book at http://2018.underthefringe.com/shows/populism

Company web site: https://www.nologoproductions.com/


Paul Vickers, Mr.Twonkey, talks about Twonkey’s Night Train to Liechtenstein

What’s the theme of your show?

A tale of Inherited Wealth and Murder

When I was a young boy I sent a letter to Prince Charles asking if could take it upon him to visit smaller countries like San Marino, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. I felt it was important not to neglect them due to size. I have family in Liechtenstein they would love to meet the future kings. I got a letter back from the prince saying he had just been on a skiing holiday in Liechtenstein with the boys. In fact they pinned the letter on the notice board at school. I was bullied to tears. People reacted by trying to kill me. Pretty soon the letter was vandalized and destroyed by thugs. I feel its time for me to go to Liechtenstein. I need to pick up the money left for me by my auntie in her will, what could go wrong? Let me tell you about my late rich eccentric Auntie.

“It’s a hard world for little things”
(Lillian Gish in Night of the Hunter.)

This year Mr.Twonkey is going to make you cry in his first ever four-handkerchief show. Join him in his new fancy adventure featuring a tiny Al Capone, a mysterious package and a sexual dance that leads us off a cliff. We travel to the belly button of Europe to unlock a safety deposit box. Why is Mr. Trombone so sad and what’s it like to work as a gigolo?

How did the show come into being?

A dashing Yorkshire man (I.E Me) returned home from a holiday in Chicago and out of one the books on his shelf they rolled a Tiny Al Capone.

“They couldn’t kill me; I’ve been hiding there all along Tiny Al Capone, Tiny Al Capone”.

Until one day he slipped into a Babyfoot Table and was kicked into a light fitting and fried Tiny Al Capone,Tiny Al Capone.

That was the first seed of an idea.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

I sit with my puppets and sing to them.
Sometimes people come look at me and cheer me along.
Sometimes I drink tea and look out the window and think.
Sometimes I sit in the dark and cry.

How is the show developing?

It’s my best show …Please come! send Philip Hutchinson (he’s Wonderful).
Lynn Ruth Miller never comes….she’s all hot air but I still love her….but she is a tease.

How has the writer been involved?

I am the writer.

How have you experimented?

Bloody hell…..Yes I have…..always…ALWAYS.

Where do your ideas come from?


How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

It’s challenging writing a new show every year but I love it…..and i’m getting good at it now.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Maid Of Cabbage was great last year.

Lucy Pearman mixed Catherine Cookson with Father Ted with ease.

Show dates, times and booking info:

Brighton Fringe 2018 The Caroline of Brunswick 2018:
11th and 12th of May 19:30 hours.
Prague Fringe at the Museum of Alchemists 2018:
25th,26th and 27th of May 19:45 hours.
London The Bill Murray Comedy Club 2018:
14th of June 18:45 hours.
Buxton Fringe at The Old Clubhouse 2018:
13th July, 19:00 hours and 14th July, 22:00 hours.
Edinburgh Fringe 2018 Heroes at Dragonfly:
3rd to the 26th of August (apart from the 8th and the 22nd) 18:00 hours.

Company web site: http://twonkey.blogspot.co.uk

News Wire

All the headlines from Buxton Fringe…


9 June: Bumper comedy and theatre shows for Buxton Festival Fringe (Buxton Advertiser)

6 June: Party celebrates launch of Buxton Fringe programme (Buxton Advertiser)


29 June: Buxton’s historic Pump Room to host World Fringe Day celebrations
(Buxton Advertiser)

24 June: Supergroup to air Celtic gypsy music at Buxton Fringe (Buxton Advertiser)

15 June: New pop-up theatre for Buxton Festival Fringe (Buxton Advertiser)

Check back for updates