Comedy often draws the biggest audiences of the Buxton Festival Fringe and it’s no surprise given the quality of the talent on offer in this year’s massive programme.
There are returns for last year’s comedy gong winners Max and Ivan, with their latest show The Reunion, and Geek Songstress Helen Arney in two shows, a reprise of Voice of an Angle, and joining real-life partner Rob Wells in Domestic Science.
Also at the Fringe are former award-winners and perennial favourites: Matt Pritchard with Extra Sensory Deception, Piff the Magic Dragon and The World’s First Conjuring Chihuahua (TM) and James Sherwood, who promises the best of his songs and musical stand-up from the last 400 years of the Fringe.
Sunderland’s duffel-coated stand-up, Danny Pensive, is going Around the World in 80 Haways, Morgan & West have A Grand Adventure, and in Chain Letter Ben Van der Velde rediscovers the lost art of letter-writing.
In Laughrica, African comedian Daliso Chaponda puts the focus on his homeland.
The Fringe gets risque with Sugar & Vice, telling about All The Men We’ve Never Slept With through late-night songs and laughter.
For comedy improv, there’s Absolute Improv, Lights! Camera! Improvise! and The Great Exhibitionists.
There are plenty of wild and wonderful characters: Boris Nicoli KGB Mind Reader is Hammered and Tickled, Ruth E Cockburn Doesn’t Even Smoke, and Alfie Moore tells the story of Viva Alf’s Vegas.
There’s two-man rock opera Total Hero Team, silly comic madness from sketch group We’ve Become Mango in Talking Limbo, and The Wells Brothers present a wry revue of Vaudevillian music and magic.
At Underground Venues, deadpan Geordie Gary Colman presents a joyous show about the crushing banality of family life, I am Happy announces Ishi Khan-Jackson in an energetic show, Amadeus Martin returns with more quirky comedy in Me Etc, Oliver Meech meddles with forces we barely understand in When Magic & Science Collide, Nathan Cassidy previews his Edinburgh show, and Wes Zaharuk is Perfectly Bananas.
And of course there is the always sold-out Barrel of Laughs in the Old Hall Hotel vaults.