What the Fringe means to me

Helen Keen, Comedian

"I'll always be incredibly grateful for my time in Buxton last year... When I arrived at Buxton train station I was absolutely terrified. It was my first show, and because it was a peculiar mixture of science, comedy, silliness and shadow puppets, I hadn't exactly been able to test out material for it at many regular comedy clubs. I'd gone into a lot of debt to fund the show and was worried it might be a huge, overly ambitious mistake. But from the moment I arrived in Buxton everyone I met was amazingly helpful and supportive, and for the first time in months I was able to relax about it all. On the big night, the audience was so warm and appreciative that the show suddenly came together and, thankfully, I went away feeling that it could become something really special. It was a 'break through' time for me."

Rachel Slaney, Burbage Art Group

"The Fringe offers Burbage Art Group members a valuable opportunity to show their work to the public and talk about it too. Last year we had a new member who had never shown his paintings to anyone outside the home before so it was a real thrill to see them getting so much attention at the show."

Pauline Townsend, High Peak Artists' & Craft Workers' Association

"We love the Fringe because it allows us to innovate and do something different. This year we're putting on a special exhibition in the Art Cafe at the Pavilion Gardens, inspired by Buxton's entry into Entente Florale. All 36 artists & craftspeople are producing an item with a horticultural theme, in their own medium... It's a real challenge for many of the members and should produce a stunning exhibition."

Katie Green, choreographer for Lost and Found

"For me the Buxton Fringe is an excellent opportunity to show my live dance work to a new audience. Lost and Found is very physical, and a real emotional rollercoaster for the central character. So it's also great for the performers to have an opportunity to perform in the Drama Studio at Buxton Community School, a very intimate space. The Fringe is also providing us with an opportunity to work with young dancers in the area."

Poet F. Philip Holland

"'Fringe' means meeting new friends and seeing old,
a chance to practice, show off and be bold.
A time to strut your stuff and make a name,
support the rest and hopefully... find fame!"

Louise Glasscoe, High Peak Writers

"Through our play The Last Laugh, The Buxton Fringe offers us an opportunity to shine a questioning light on the media's notion of mental illness. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life. Fact, not fiction. This can happen to anyone, even a successful comic."

Matt 'Lab Monkey' Pritchard aka Johnny Facade

"Buxton Fringe is one of the highlights of my year. It is a welcoming and supportive festival without the trappings of commercialism. It is a place where creativity is encouraged and new talent fostered. There is a real sense of community between performers, audience and the fringe committee."

Antigua Joe, artist/poet/storyteller

"My return to the Festival [Fringe] is like the return of the Prodigal Son after 11 years in the wilderness, Antigua Joe is coming home."

Liz Markham, High Peak Orchestra

"The award-winning High Peak Orchestra revels in the exciting festival atmosphere in Buxton, and the opportunity to play for a large appreciative audience in the beautiful church of St John the Baptist. The warm balmy summer evenings are also a joy: when they happen!"

David Schofield, pianist

"I am pleased to be making my debut with the Buxton Festival Fringe in a recital of piano music entitled Music for a Summer Evening at Buxton Methodist Church. This gives me the opportunity to meet a new audience in a beautiful setting in the centre of this historical town as part of this wonderful festival."

Claire Butler, Planet Rabbit Productions Ltd

"We're so excited to be part of the Fringe - bringing 3 shows on this, our first, visit.

We're having a ball with; trains, anoraks, unruly children, a desperate teacher, a highly strung celebrity & a frustrated stage manager...we can't wait to start!"

KEMS Macclesfield Orchestra

KEMS Macclesfield Orchestra feel privileged to participate for the 5th year in the Buxton Festival Fringe. As our concert is being held,in Trinity Church,on July 14th, Bastille Day, we have chosen music with a French flavour by Haydn, Mozart,Saint Saens and Debussy. We do enjoy the ambience of Buxton - come and join us."

Jacqueline Cuthbert, Manchester Chamber Choir

"Manchester Chamber Choir is delighted to return to the Buxton Festival under the baton of Martin Bussey. Mendelssohn & Bach - A Summer's Celebration will be a fitting tribute to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn, in good company, with good friends."

Jaacq Hugo, The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company

"The Buxton Fringe Festival paves the way from pipe dreams to professional practice. As a couple of misfits with dreams of film grain, performance and dead grandmothers in our heads, let's face it: we needed all the help we could get."

Kate Glenn, Distraction Theatre Company

"Since our first performance in Buxton in 2006 at the Fringe we have received an overwhelming amount of support and response for each show from audiences in Buxton, So we are delighted to be returning this summer our new writing and family comedy The Merry Wives of Henry 8th' at Poole's cavern grounds. We hope to entertain and thrill with the show to thank the people of Buxton for their continuing support."

Rebecca Little, Little Pixie Productions

"The chance for our new company to premiere our two shows, What Became of the Red Shoes? & Operatastic! The Accessible Guide to Opera at such a prestigious festival in beautiful Buxton. This is a joint celebration as it marks our first year at the festival on the Fringe's 30th Birthday!"

Patricia Hartshorne, GlovesOff Productions

"Buxton Fringe means to me...Winning the Comedy Award in 2000 and falling for my partner, Michael Elphick, who was providing the tech at my venue. Returning in 2001 with Michael as 'GlovesOff Productions' and clocking up seven more shows together for the Fringe. Flyering in the Pavilion Gardens is fun - whatever the weather! Enjoying the atmosphere, the interesting people, the great audiences, and the beautiful surroundings. Networking and meeting new promoters."

Nigel Thorne, The Bronte Legacy

"The Buxton Festival Fringe is a great and vibrant event for all the arts. Congratulations to all involved in organising The Fringe - 30 years on and still 'Keeping The Flame Alive !' The Bronte Legacy are delighted to be performing our original new show at Buxton Methodist Church. See you there !"