Last year, Despite the Monkey won our prestigious John Beecher Award which recognises original, challenging work with high production values for their stunning show, Debris. It Flows is an altogether gentler piece but continues to develop their reputation for innovative theatre making.
This piece is in the Fringe’s Street Theatre section and described as a weird and wonderful wander through Buxton, so with your mobile phone and some headphones you do indeed wander around the town as you listen to this immersive play.
The piece starts at the train station, so take yourself up there and follow the links from the show description on the Fringe App or website to the show website and follow the instructions from there. They are really straightforward, though one tip is to hit play when the instructions tell you to walk to the next stopping point. We missed that the first time and had to catch up when we got to the next stop.
Cassie is a sound designer with a commission to work on a horror movie about paganism. She hops on a train to Buxton in an effort to learn about Britain’s pagan past, and help move on from a relationship gone sour.
Much of the joy is in the synchronicity of how Cassie talks about landmarks just as you pass them. Her perspective on the town as a young visitor is fun and you may even learn something about the town’s pagan past. The play itself is relatively slight, but Karren Young as Cassie is good company and the ambience and mysticism evoked by the sound design is both eerie and appropriate to the surroundings.
The walk is not too taxing and should be within the compass of most listeners. If you can walk to the train station to begin with, then you won’t find the walk any trouble, don’t worry, you won’t be marched up and down hills! Technically, it worked fine, though my companion’s mobile signal dropped out briefly, but I was able to pause mine until she was able to catch up.
One of the highlights of this mostly online Fringe is how some creatives have responded to the restrictions imposed by lockdown and have created pieces specifically for Buxton. This is one such piece that works very much in harmony with the town itself, do go out and enjoy it.
Utterly wonderful! The company of The Shakespeare Jukebox are regular street theatre performers at Buxton Fringe and this year have produced a series of short videos of their pieces. The online format works really well - it feels like Shakespeare’s characters have taken to social media and are producing their own TikTok videos. Hearing birds in the background as Tullus Aufidius makes a speech which unexpectedly welcomes his arch-enemy Caius Martius Corolianus (Day 6) adds to the sense that you are watching a video from the Volscian army’s media department. The three witches (Day 1) have canine accompaniment. The vegetation trembles around Prospero as he talks of our ‘insubstantial pageant’ (Day 2). Beautifully filmed and edited, these short pieces of Shakespeare are great for all the family.
The Shakespeare Jukebox are posting a new video every morning of the Fringe, so keep checking back for new material.