Chesterfield’s crooked spire inspires creation for Buxton Fringe

Chesterfield's crooked spire has inspired a new musical.Chesterfield's crooked spire has inspired a new musical.
Chesterfield's crooked spire has inspired a new musical.
A story of murder, deception and love set in Chesterfield in the aftermath of a global pandemic willl be aired in a highlight of the online Buxton Fringe.

Ashgate Heritage Arts will present a developmental reading of a musical in the making, entitled The Crooked Spire, today and tomorrow (July 18 and 19) at 7pm. A cast of professional actors and singers have been “filmed” for this unique production.

Just a few short years after the Black Death ravaged the country, the spire is rising above the tower of the Parish Church. John Carpenter has come to help build that spire. He finds a friend in a young boy, Walter and falls head over heels for Katherine. But death and intrigue strike the construction site and John is suspected of murder. He is faced with a life and death struggle to clear his name and bring the guilty to justice.

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Chris Nickson’ novel, The Crooked Spire, has been adapted for the stage by Fringe award-winning writer, Mary Hennessy whose script brings the flavour and character of the story to life. Music and lyrics are by Martin Coslett (Ferguson’s Gang, The Perfect City) and Peter Gray (Aliens in 6F, Mr Boltin and the Temple of Doom.) Martin and Peter’s music and songs blend traditional folk melodies with contemporary harmonies and rhythms to set your feet tapping.

The creators have been collaborating from a distance to write the script, songs and music for this original piece and will also host a question and answer session at 8pm tonight (Friday) to discuss their experience of working collaboratively during lockdown.

Other highlights of today’s Fringe offerings include The Roth Guitar Duo, comprising award-winning guitarists Sam Rodwell and Emma Smith, who will be performing music from their debut album Canonica.

There’s a virtual tour of the sketchbooks created by local artists before, during and after lockdown which you can see on Instagram (@thesketchbooktrail) throughout the Fringe which is running until Sunday, July 19. To find out more, go to

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