A sizzling Buxton Festival Fringe 2014 concluded with a packed-out awards ceremony at the Old Clubhouse on Sunday.
Fringe chairman Keith Savage welcomed performers, Fringe Friends and supporters to the presentation, commenting: “I have seen some 45 events and not a bad show among them.”
With thousands of tickets bought and sold, he thanked all the front of house staff at the various venues and the technical support, while saluting the army of volunteers, and those who offer financial and other support to the Fringe, which is now in its 35th year.
In a very competitive theatre category, the production award went to the uplifting First World War musical Swan Canaries by Arletty Theatre. Acting awards went to Ami Jones for Shrew and Gerard Logan for Wilde Without the Boy, while James Beagon picked up the new writing accolade for the powerful drama, First Class.
In youth theatre, local group REC Youth Theatre Company collected the production prize for the second year running with Blue Remembered Hills. Alex Brown, from Mansfield-based Shadow Syndicate, won the young actor prize for his menacing performance in Lapse.
There were local winners in many of this year’s categories: Buxton Drama League’s Shakespeare Jukebox (street theatre), Buxton Film’s Open Shorts (film), High Peak Magic Society (other events) and the rain-defying Chapel-en-le-Frith Morris Men (Spirit of the Fringe).
Dance was a rather special category this year with the award going to a company viewed by many as having delivered the best show ever seen at the Fringe, Dotdotdot Flamenco Company.
The overall high quality of the music category was reflected in no less than five awards. Amaretti Chamber Orchestra were given the large ensemble prize; CLOUDS Harp Quartet triumphed in the small ensemble – world music category, as did flute and piano performers Rachel Johnson and Jemima Palfreyman in the small ensemble – classical tradition section. Pianist Jonathan Ellis won the instrumental performance prize, with Buxton-raised Laura Monaghan winning the vocal performance award.
Local artists triumphed in the visual arts category. The event prize went to the Grinlow Art and Storytelling Trail, with Buxton photographer Caroline Small, from the Green Man Gallery, receiving the artist award.
For comedy, Bulletproof Jest (The Dead Secrets) won the show award while Nathan Cassidy picked up the prize for individual comedy performer for his show Date of Death.
In other awards, Box Tale Soup won the ‘for families’ award with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Buxton-based Word Wizards won the spoken word category.
The event concluded with the presentation of the John Beecher Memorial Award for original, challenging work with high production values, which went to Off-Off-Off Broadway Company for Back Door. Details of all the nominations and winners can be found at www.buxtonfringe.org.uk.