Buxton Fringe “vindicated” by late rush of entries

Published: 21 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Heavy toll” of coronavirus: Buxton Fringe chair Stephen Walker

The decision to go ahead with the 2020 Buxton Fringe was “more than vindicated by the rush of entries that came in” in June, according to new chair Stephen Walker.

He said coronavirus had taken a “heavy toll” on the Fringe but “we couldn’t believe we hit 100 entries just before we opened”. The final tally, made up mostly of online events, was 101.

Walker added, “creative people don’t stop creating just because of a lockdown. Having an outlet for their work and something to work towards was important.”

He confirmed that the Fringe would not be making awards in the usual way although there was one exception: the John Beecher Memorial Award for original, challenging work with high production values which has a cash prize was awarded to The Affinity Initiative from But Why? Theatre. It is headed by former Buxton Community School student Ivan Orson-Kelly and the production featured immersive one-to-one performance and real-time interaction.

Walker said the following shows, listed in no particular order, were cited as picks of the 2020 Fringe: Debbie Cannon’s Three Voices, Nathan Cassidy’s Roses from Joe, Ray Castleton’s An Ordinary Woman, Bloom’s The Landscape Jukebox, Orange and Pip Theatre’s Through the Screen, A Song a Day by Ian Bowns with Carol Bowns and Sarah Owens, Adrian Lord’s Journey to Sky Blue, Buxton Drama League’s The Shakespeare Jukebox, Three’s Company’s Adventure Department, Egriega’s Xuxu’s Revolt, Two Left Hands’ Alternative Well Dressing, Gordon MacLellan’s children’s events and Buxton Fringe of 1’s The Fringe of the Fringe.