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Blog: The Buxton Fringe, Day One

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I met with Mr S Hewitt on a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon, ready to spend several hours on a train heading for Buxton, where we were due to do TWO shows at Underground Venues for the Buxton Fringe. As it was summer, and the Fringe, and ESPECIALLY Carnival Weekend, Buxton was VERY booked up, and so we'd got ourselves a couple of rooms in a student lodgings place that, I guess, was letting rooms out during holiday times.

It was a right funny old place - a MAZE of corridors, bathrooms, single rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, with Steve two floors up at one end and me on the ground floor at the other. I felt a bit NERVOUS about the whole thing - the idea of there being other people wandering around all day and night was slightly SCARY, and also it gave me FLASHBACKS to when i WAS a student and lived in a place just like it (except smaller) for seven months. They were not FUN months!

Anyway, we decanted ourselves and wandered over to the venue, where we left our GEAR so we could have a bit of an old wander. Our first stop was the Opera House gardens, where we had an ICE CREAM and watched a band doing covers of indie songs, called The Indie Annas. I thought that was quite clever, although they seemed to have chosen to play songs by bands that have had ONE hit, but to play something ELSE by them instead. Next we strode up to the Market Square, which was playing host to the FAIR as part of Carnival. It was DISSOLUTION CENTRAL, a DRUNKEN BARRAGE of DRUNKS, with people staggering around in not much clothes, demanding to see, and showing, breasts and bums EVERYWHERE, with the general feeling that a FITE would be breaking out any moment.

It was a bit strange because the rest of Buxton was so CALM and GENTEEL - after a cheeky pint and a CHIPPY TEA we went back down the hill to the place of FRESH SPRINGS and OPERA HOUSES. I think I preferred it there!

We went back to the venue and got set up - our room was a long low cellar, which was ACE except for the fact that it was a bit TOO low for the WomanDroid hat, and I kept hurting my head as it prodded the ceiling and clunked down on my bonce! Other than that the show was GRATE - as we'd hoped, doing it in an ACTUAL Fringe venue made a huge difference, and we RELAXED into it and had a THOROUGHLY good time. We had a decent sized audience who LARFED, both at the GAGS and also at some of the Running Jokes. I don't know if I've mentioned it here - i certainly have to Steve, a LOT - but I really like the fact that this time around there aren't any LONGEURS, where the whole thing SAGS. There ARE some bits where there aren't any LARFS, but it doesn't seem to matter so much as in previous shows. It feels like a whole, finished, THING.

It was good fun, especially getting an audience who (as far as I could tell) had no idea what to expect from us to get INTO it, although CRUMBS, i had forgot quite how KNACKERING it is doing a full on show in a tiny room with bright lights and not much ventilation, my shirt was SOPPING!

With everything finished we said cheerio to the LOVELY people running the venue, dropped our gear off at the flat, and then popped round the corner to a SUPER beery bar, which had Thornbridge Festival ale on. There were two festival ales on - the other was a Fringe Beer which, at 2.8%, made VERY easy/sensible afternoond drinking. We watched some of The Young People demonstrating YOGA to one another, and Steve got EATEN ALIVE by Midges.

On the way home we stopped for a POSH WHISKY and retired safe in the knowledge that the show was WORKING, and all was well. The next day, however, promised EFFORT - for LO! we had another show in Buxton at 3.30pm and then one in MANCHESTER at 7.30pm. WOuld we make it?

posted 15/7/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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