Buxton Fringe’s Comedy section has really taken off with some 50 diverse shows, many of which will make audiences think as well as laugh.
Aidan Goatley’s Edinburgh Fringe classic, 10 Films With My Dad, comes to Buxton in an updated version exploring how fathers and sons communicate. Jewish/Scouse comedian Henry Churniavsky ponders his transition from Jewrotic (Jewish and neurotic) father to grandfather in Henry is a Jewish Grandfather, Show Him Jew Respect. Jody Kamali: Things We Do For Love considers the absurdities of love and parenting as well as the complexities of Kamali’s Bristolian/Iranian dual heritage. NHS doctor and Radio 4 performer Matt Hutchinson is the son of Jamaican and English parents and broadens the discussion to ask who is welcome in the UK? Big Radio 4 stars and former Fringe Award Winners, Max & Ivan, make their eagerly awaited return with a show about fatherhood and friendship while in I Call the Shots from Mike Venables, a Glasgow gangster’s violent lifestyle comes back to haunt his son years later causing veritable mayhem. Venables tells this and other stories at break-neck speed in a lively show.
Multi- award winning Fringe regular Nathan Cassidy is appealing to our limited attention spans with two brand new shows, one of which you may not remember much about; it’s called Amnesia. The other, Fifty, is a show for the Instagram generation – expect 50 bits of a minute each with “absolutely no connection or depth”. Offering further fresh approaches to comedy is Jake Baker whose Alone Together show brings wit, whimsy and wisdom or John Tothill exploring the theme of pleasure in The Last Living Libertine, a show brimming with exaggeration, emancipation and dense theoretical speculation.
Life can be exhausting. As heard on BBC Sounds, Phil Green’s Four Weddings and a Breakdown delves into the reasons behind his breakdown a decade ago whilst asking “Is a midlife crisis even a crisis?” John Meagher’s punchline-packed show, Calm, deals with his unexpected stress-related heart attack. Award-winner Barry Ferns brings In the Room, an hour of comedy about being with people – in life and in a room.
Sasha Ellen’s When Life Gives you Ellens Make Ellenade finds the stand up asking the big questions from “Can you find love in the modern world” to “How do Dick and Dom get away with it?” Rosalie Minnitt channels Bridgerton and Jane Austen-on-Adderall for Clementine her tale about sickly sisters seeking love some time “in the past”. With a great title, Love Desires Strawberries, Ishi Khan offers tales of growing up in an Indian family in the UK. Stay to the end for a very interesting use of a home-made prop. Meanwhile Funny Women Awards finalist Kirsty Mann offers a true story of subterfuge in her keenly anticipated show, Skeletons.
There is an element of self-discovery in Hayley’s Comic as fresh from supporting Sarah Millican, John Bishop and Jason Manford, the award-winning comedian Hayley Ellis heads to Buxton to see whether the thoughts in her head are funny when said out loud. A compere at Manchester’s Frog and Bucket comedy club, she has some great audience interaction and a friendly style.
When I’m 64 is Jesters Dublin’s anecdote-packed semi-autobiographical show about making it to this esteemed age. Also bringing a more mature perspective is I’ll Have What She’s Having Productions with Ar Tha Sittin’ Comfortably? Offering gentle satire with northern grit, they have quite a following in Buxton already.
Variety D & Mark Nicholas Split the Bill from Ingenious Fools offers an insight into being neurodiverse in 2023. Juliette Burton’s No Brainer, also from Ingenious Fools, finds the comedian considering how her brain was “broken” and how much she has learned in attempting to fix it. In You Don’t Have to be Mad to Work Here, NHS psychiatrist Benji Waterstones is offering to share the secret to happiness among other fly-on-the-padded-wall insights. All too much? David McIver’s much-praised Small Boy Trapped in a Wellness Retreat suggests we gently rest our attention on his “joke-oriented relaxation experience”.
There is plenty more comedy on offer at Buxton Fringe. Just pick up a programme, see www.buxtonfringe.org.uk or download the free 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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