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Fringe benefits for established companies at Buxton

Published: 25 May 2019

Theatre will be well represented at the 2019 Buxton Fringe, with a number of established companies having already signed up for the festival.

Hint of Lime Productions are behind four plays at Rotunda in the Pavilion Gardens. Alison Skilbeck will perform The Power Behind the Crone (21 July), aiming to refute the claim that there are no good parts in Shakespeare for older women.

Skilbeck also tells the linked tales of four women in the comedy-drama Are There More of You? (20 July) which charts each wildly different character’s search for love and happiness.

In A Substitute For Life (21 July), Francis Kenworthy uses books to hide from reality, to forget the brutalities of his Victorian upbringing, until a family accident forces him to face real life.

The friendship between World War I poet and composer Ivor Gurney and musician and pioneer of women music critics Marion Scott is celebrated in Author, Composer, Soldier-of-a-Sort (5 until 7 July).

Tayo Aluko and Friends return with their two popular plays, Call Mr Robeson (11 and 18 July), a “rollercoaster” journey through African-American actor-singer Paul Robeson’s remarkable life, and Just An Ordinary Lawyer (12 and 19 July) which tells of Britain’s first black judge, a fine singer and keen cricket fan musing on black liberation struggles.

Another company out in force is Grist to the Mill which will stage a one-man adaptation of Moby Dick to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of novelist Herman Melville. It will be performed by Ross Ericson (20 and 21 July).

Ericson is the writer and performer of Gratiano, a sequel to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice which explores the politics of prejudice in Mussolini's Italy and the present day (14 and 17 July).

Mulan (21 July) is a look at the story behind a woman warrior who fought as a man in the great armies of China.

In the Arts Centre Studio, Sudden Impulse Theatre Company stages Keith Waterhouse’s Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (15, 17, 18 and 20 July) while Hambleton Productions will present a tribute to a comic genius in Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show Underground at the Old Clubhouse (10, 11, 21, 22 and 24 July).

At the Green Man Gallery, Debbie Cannon who received the Fringe Female Actor Award in 2018 returns with Green Knight, the story of the challenge to Gawain, Arthur’s finest knight, retold by the woman at its heart (7 until 12 July).

The Fringe runs from 3 until 24 July. The full programme is available at the Buxton Fringe web site.

Steve Orme