Underground reveals programme for Buxton Fringe

Steve Orme

Fringe venue Underground has announced the line-up for its 2017 programme at the Buxton Fringe, with 68 shows and events playing in its two theatre spaces.

The theatre programme has a diverse range of international and political voices. Highlights include 2016’s Scotsman Fringe First-winning Labels by Worklight Theatre which looks at multiculturalism, immigration and the global refugee crisis (11, 13 and 16 July); stuck by Hoax which explores climate change (12 until 14 July); and from Philadelphia, Static Assembly brings Edison, a “bold and ambitious” new play about Nikola Tesla by American writer Joshua Logan Walker (18 and 20 July).

A seam of historical, real-life and verbatim theatre also runs through the theatre programme. Bethnal Green from Lucky Dog Theatre Productions brings to life the death of 173 civilians in an air raid shelter in World War II, an event which was covered up by the government at the time. Lucky Dog’s 2016 sell-out show Hats Off to Laurel and Hardy also returns (16 July).

Writer and performer Caroline Burns Cooke, who debuted And The Rope Still Tugging Her Feet at the Brighton Festival in 2016, takes the show to Buxton from 17 until 19 July.

From the Isle Of White, Beerey is a new verbatim play by Lois Tempel which tells the controversial tale of a fisherman and father, imprisoned for 24 years for a high-profile drugs crime he insists he never committed (18, 20 and 21 July).

The majority of shows are hosted at Underground’s new space The Clubhouse. After the loss of its main base due to the development of a hotel, Underground has built a theatre upstairs in a pub opposite Buxton’s Opera House. Larger-scale work is found just over the road in its second space, the Arts Centre Studio.

Underground is also welcoming the smallest works this year in a new, experimental art project The Buxton Festival Fridge. A disused industrial fridge at The Clubhouse will be converted into one of the world’s smallest theatres, staging micro-plays of three minutes, performed to three people, for £3, every day.

The full programme is available at the Underground web site.