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Buxton Fringe 2012: Reviews Archive

These are archived reviews from the Buxton Fringe in July 2012. We keep archived reviews online as a courtesy to performers, and to help members of the public researching the history of a show.

Once again in July 2012, our reviewers were hard at work England's beautiful Peak District.  This friendliest of festivals sees a dozen or more events each day, running across a compact cluster of venues.  With many shows stopping off on their way to Edinburgh, it's a great chance to catch both local and national talent in the relaxed setting of this pretty spa town.



 
Prufrock's World
Published on Tuesday, 17 July 2012

3 starsUnderground Venues, Spoken Word
7 Jul, 1:00pm-2:15pm; 8, 10 Jul, 4:15pm-5:30pm; 20 Jul, 1:00pm-2:15pm
Reviewed by Carly Bennett

This afternoon’s show is listed under “Spoken Word” – but far from an innovative piece of performance poetry, I find myself witnessing a relatively traditional recital of T.S.Eliot’s poetic works. Starting in a theatrical style, the lights come up on a small stage set up with early twentieth century furniture and props. It’s a rather familiar scene, and it feels like I have been here before…

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Diva Gigs: A Week In The Life Of A Diva
Published on Monday, 16 July 2012

4 starsUnderground Venues, Music
6, 14, 20 Jul, 1:45pm-3:15pm; 15 Jul, 5:15pm-6:45pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

A Week In The Life Of A Diva sees soprano Sarah-Ann Cromwell perform a well-selected programme of classical and contemporary songs. It’s a very personal recital, beginning with the first piece she performed, and continuing through her training and some much-loved favourites. Cromwell’s connection with the material shines through.

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
Published on Monday, 16 July 2012

4 starsUnderground Venues, Theatre
15, 17, 18 Jul, 6:00pm-7:00pm; 21 Jul, 3:00pm-4:00pm
Reviewed by Ian Hamilton

Uproot Theatre Company’s ambitious project to stage a one-man version of Stevenson’s famous novella yielded interesting results, in a thought-provoking play written by Richard Wiseman with a mesmerising performance by Jamie Robertson.

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Absolute Improv
Published on Monday, 16 July 2012

3 starsUnderground Venues, Comedy
13 Jul, 10:30pm-11:30pm; 14-15 Jul, 7:30pm-8:30pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

ToBeContinued – tonight consisting of Peter, Paul, Lauren and Sam – perform a variety of improvisation games for and with the audience. Enthusiastic and confident improvisers, the team’s enjoyment was immediately evident, creating a good atmosphere for participation.

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Ed Eales-White: Champions
Published on Monday, 16 July 2012

4 starsUnderground Venues, Comedy
Run ended
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

Best known as part of sketch group Clever Peter, Ed Eales-White is on the road to Edinburgh with this debut solo show.  It’s a big-hearted, warm-spirited performance – which pokes fun at the familiar foibles of people around us, while reassuring us that, actually, we’re all pretty much OK.  It won’t be the most polished or thematically-consistent work you’ll see this Fringe, but it might be one of the most feel-good.

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This Was Your Life
Published on Sunday, 15 July 2012

4 starsUnderground Venues, Theatre
Run ended
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

There’s an entertaining energy to the start of this cabaret musical, which drops us straight into a busy TV studio moments before a live transmission begins.  The guest, Michael, stands nervously by, not sure what to expect when the story of his life is told.  The self-obsessed host knows Michael’s darkest secrets – and gleefully plans to reveal them, with the connivance of his one-time friends.  But it soon becomes clear that this is more than just an episode of Jeremy Kyle: it’s a ludicrous juxtaposition of death and showbiz, which will end with Michael’s soul being sent to Heaven… or to Hell.

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Sinful: 7 Comedy Shorts For 7 Deadly Sins
Published on Friday, 13 July 2012

3 starsMilton's Head, Comedy
6-7, 13-14 Jul, 7:00pm-8:00pm; 8, 15 Jul, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

The Seven Deadly Sins.  A fairly obvious set-up for a comedy sketch routine… but there’s nothing at all predictable about Carly Tarett’s one-woman show.  Each of her seven self-penned vignettes picks an interesting angle on the featured vice, and most of them present intelligent laughs, based around well-developed characters and highly creative themes.

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Grimm Tales
Published on Thursday, 12 July 2012

3 starsUnderground Venues, Theatre
4, 9 Jul, 10:15pm-11:15pm; 13 Jul, 9:00pm-10:30pm; 17 Jul, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

The Grimm brothers’ famous fairytales rewritten by Carol Ann Duffy, then transplanted to the age of cabaret?  It sounds like it might be a remix too far.  But, as it turns out, there’s a real depth to the Almost Famous theatre company’s interpretation of these stories; the four short fairytales fit well together, entertainingly linked by a haughty, decadent, cigarette-toting host.

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Bobby
Published on Thursday, 12 July 2012

5 starsUnderground Venues, Theatre
6, 9, 11, 15 Jul, 9:00pm-10:00pm; 10 Jul, 10:30pm-11:30pm
Reviewed by Elijah James

Choreography, puppetry, intriguing props and dramatic mastery take the audience through an internal world and an external world, the universe of Bobby.  Inside Bobby himself, we find touching, individualized and personalized emotions, delivered with piquancy.  Outside lies a world of misery, which we navigate through puppetry, props and dancing starts-and-stops.  We never really escape from fear; it’s a cyclical and unified expression of a universal, perpetual struggle.

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15 Minute Theatre
Published on Thursday, 12 July 2012

3 starsUnderground Venues, Theatre
4, 9, 19 Jul, 9:00pm-9:45pm; 15 Jul, 2:30pm-2:45pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

The title’s a bit misleading, I’d say; this is really 15 Minute Cinema.  It’s series of three acts, each lasting just a quarter of an hour, and each capturing a moment from the early days of film.  Acted out by a cast of four (plus a few props which appear from behind the screen), they highlight the idiosyncrasies of cinema’s golden age – with varying degrees of comedic success.

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Punk Rock
Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012

ImageArts Centre Studio, Theatre
5-6, 8 Jul, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

It’s a tricky review to write, this one; firstly because it’s a very young cast, with understandably varying skills, and secondly because my beef is with the script far more than it is with the actors.  But my job’s to review the whole experience, and I fear the structural oddities of Simon Stephens’ plot – widely noted but universally forgiven on its professional debut in London – overpowered this ambitious production.  Nonetheless, some striking individual performances and well-choreographed ensemble work demonstrate the group’s future potential.

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The Buxton Military Tattoo
Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012

5 starsUniversity of Derby - Buxton Dome, Events
7 Jul, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

This has been a year which, once again, has put the role and sacrifices of our nation's armed forces at the forefront of our minds. But amidst the sombre news reports and the political debate, there's still room to celebrate the pageantry and proud history shared by all those who serve. And so, the third annual Buxton Military Tattoo proved both stirring and poignant - filled with music, showmanship, military precision and superlative skill.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Buxton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.