Medieval murder-mystery musical at Buxton Fringe

Published: 7 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Set in the aftermath of the Black Death: The Crooked Spire

A medieval story of murder, deception and love set in Chesterfield in the aftermath of a global pandemic is to be told at Buxton Fringe.

The Crooked Spire will be a developmental reading of a musical in the making. It is set during the building in 1360 of St Mary’s church spire only a few years after the Black Death ravaged the country.

John Carpenter helps to build the spire. He finds a friend in a young boy, Walter and falls head over heels for Katherine. But death and intrigue strike the construction site and John is suspected of murder. He is faced with a life-and-death struggle to clear his name and bring the guilty to justice.

Members of Ashgate Heritage Arts have been collaborating from a distance to write the script, songs and music. Chris Nickson’s novel has been adapted for the stage by Mary Hennessy. Music and lyrics are by Martin Coslett and Peter Gray.

The Crooked Spire will be presented online as part of Buxton Fringe on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 July at 7PM. Ashgate Heritage Arts will host a question-and-answer session at 8PM on the Saturday to discuss their experience of working collaboratively during lockdown. A cast of professional actors and singers have been filmed for the production.