New lease of life for established Buxton Fringe venue

Steve Orme

Buxton Fringe’s longest-running venue has received a fresh lease of life in the form of a new base above The Clubhouse pub in the centre of the Derbyshire town.

After ten years and 1,500 performances under the historic Old Hall Hotel, Underground Venues was forced to move to make way for the multi-million pound Crescent Spa redevelopment project. But it has secured a new home just across the road.

Artistic directors Yaz Al-Shaater and Tom Crawshaw have developed Underground at the Clubhouse, a 60-seat performance space which will house 60 artists, theatre companies and comedians over three weeks in July.

Underground will also be returning to the Pavilion Arts Centre to house a further 43 larger-scale Fringe performances.

Yaz Al-Shaater said, “we’re really pleased to have found a place packed with potential to continue what we started more than a decade ago. We pretty much grew up on the Buxton Fringe so it's an honour to return each year and give something back by bringing together artists from all over the world and introducing them to the Fringe and to Buxton.”

Tom Crawshaw added, “we were sad to see the Pauper’s Pit close but can’t wait to open our new space at The Clubhouse. We both have many fond memories of performing at The Clubhouse when it was run by Martin Beard as Venue 21, and we’re very excited that we’re able to put The Clubhouse right back at the centre of the Fringe where it belongs.”

Buxton Festival Fringe will run from 5 until 23 July, with a launch party at Underground’s new space on Tuesday 4 July.