One of the most exciting developments at Buxton Fringe this year is brand new managed venue, The Market Place.
Founder Sian Dudley explains: “The Market Place is a network of small Fringe venues at Buxton’s Level 2 nightclub and Trunk bar.
“As this year is our first year, all our performances will be taking place in the Loft, which is the bar above the Level 2 Nightclub.
“It’s a brilliant modern space, with a fully licensed bar, comfy seating and the best view over Buxton’s market place!”
A theatre director, performer and project manager who has worked at Buxton Opera House as well as more recently with Sheffield Theatres and Opera North, Sian has a wealth of experience and the Market Place has attracted acts including the award-winning Brick Wall Ensemble, Orange and Pip Theatre with a piece by Fringe Award-nominated Lilly Posnett, and, fresh from Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, comedian Claire Cogan. Sian is also bringing her own show, Wow!, about gaming and online double lives.
Sian says she has always loved both Buxton and the Fringe: “Despite the economic hardships this rural community has faced, Buxton really is fighting back as a vibrant, cultural and revitalized town.”
A proud member of the Fringe committee, she says it “cares deeply about the festival and Buxton – and it’s really infectious. There is a strong emphasis on fairness, accessibility and inclusivity, which underpins every decision made.”
In the last few years Underground Venues has functioned alone as a managed venue but Sian says they have been nothing but supportive. “I owe a lot of my enthusiasm for the Fringe to Underground Venues… The Market Place isn’t on the scale of Underground Venues just yet, it’s very early days. I think both venues have a different feel to them and Tom (Crawshaw) said that it’s really good for Buxton Fringe to get some more managed venues…” She also hopes The Market Place will bring people up the hill to other venues, helping to “connect the Fringe up a bit more”.
Sian is keen for her project to grow and looking forward to supporting up-and-coming theatre makers. “I really admire companies who take a different approach, even if it isn’t my cup of tea; that’s what the Fringe is all about – putting yourself out there and daring to be different.”