Arts Derbyshire


Lives at a crossroads: drama at Buxton Fringe

Lives at a crossroads: drama at Buxton Fringe

Relationships and real life are at the heart of much drama, and Constellations, one of the most acclaimed two handers of recent years and winner of the Evening Standard Best Play award can be seen in the intimate setting of Underground’s converted shopping unit at this year’s Fringe. Harlequin Theatre presents Nick Payne’s play exploring how the smallest changes in our lives can dramatically alter their course.

Every relationship reaches a crossroads some time. In Middle, a touching and funny drama by David Eldridge, dawn breaks and it’s time for an honest conversation – but how much honesty can this marriage take? In Gumdrop Theatre Company’s The Mancunian Prophet, Manchester’s own seer, Gwen can see how it will all end, and won’t let Freya leave the house to go to a party that she will never return from.

Being young can be hard. For anyone who has been through secondary school and has the scars to prove it, The Wasp is a heart-wrenching, dark thriller with local actors Kitty Randle and Fiona Paul, which twists and turns until its breathless conclusion. Another struggling youngster is portrayed in Sessions, a new play from Working Progress Collective which champions stories about under-represented communities. Having narrowly avoided prison for a violent offence, the boy is placed with an unconventional youth officer, allowing him the space and freedom to grow and heal.

Friendship and the importance of telling one’s story is at the heart of Dear Eliza which centres on a friendship strained by mental illness, the fear of being a burden, and the power in saying out loud what you’d rather keep inside your head. Meanwhile BruniSwann, an emerging international theatre company, tells four women’s unconventional love stories in One Minute of Noise. The play decants their rage with their stories ending up in church but for their funeral, not their wedding.

Two more international groups can be seen at the Fringe, On the Spot from Chicago are in Buxton and New Mills with A Mid-Course Correction. A young mother goes astray. Or does she? Let AI decide or decide yourself as you time-travel into a Kate Chopin story. Coming online from Canada is Rethinking Good Intentions, a compelling story from Nancy Edwards about bridging cultural divides. Be transported to rural Sierra Leone, meet village chiefs and traditional midwives, and encounter cultural clashes and their resolution, as community health nursing work rattles Nancy’s preconceptions, and deepens her global connections.

Returning on the 40th anniversary of the miners’ strike is one of the most successful plays seen at the Fringe. First a miner, then a copper, now he’s neither; in Ray Castleton’s Without Malice or Ill Will a man faces his past.

The full theatre line-up of 40 events can be discovered on and on the free to download Buxton Fringe App.

The Fringe wishes to thank High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.

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