Mon 13 July 2020


It is with great regret that for the first time in forty years we must cancel the Buxton International Festival in July 2020. This is an enormous disappointment but the health and well-being of our audience, our volunteers, the BIF team and all the artists involved is of primary concern. By taking this difficult decision now we are safeguarding the Festival for the Future. Read our full statement here.

Please save the dates for next year’s Festival taking place 2 – 18 July 2021.

Composed by Tom Coult and written by Alice Birch

A Music Theatre Wales production, co-commissioned and co-produced by Snape Music and Theater Magdeburg, in association with the London Sinfonietta.

In an isolated community controlled by the regularity of the town clock, suddenly an hour is lost every day. As the hours disappear, long-held certainties evaporate and ordered society falls into disarray.

While the men in charge lose control, Violet begins to imagine a different future. Trapped and stifled in an unhappy marriage, she senses there’s a new life to be discovered and sets out to find it.

Known for her powerful female-centred writing, Alice Birch’s credits include Anatomy of a Suicide (Royal Court) and story editing for Succession (HBO). She is joined by director Jude Christian, following her direction of Dark Night of the Soul (Shakespeare’s Globe) and her appointment as Associate Director at Home in Manchester, and Rosie Elnile, ‘a designer with a passion for extravagance, unruliness, mess and fun’ – What’s On Stage.

Founded in 1988, Music Theatre Wales is the UK’s leading producer of new opera and music theatre. Creating bold and adventurous work, the company collaborates with the most acclaimed composers of our time, including Peter Maxwell Davies and Philip Glass. Music Theatre Wales has a long association with BIF, and its celebrated original productions include Greek, The Killing Flower, The Golden Dragon and Y Twr.

This event does not include an interval.

Coult is a composer who spins glittering, teasingly ambiguous patterns out of simple-seeming material – The Telegraph

Creatives & Cast

Tom Coult Composer

Alice Birch Libretto

Jude Christian Director

Andrew Gourlay Conductor

Rosie Elnile Designer


Elizabeth Atherton Violet

Elliot Carlton Hines Felix

Frances Gregory Laura

John Graham-Hall Clock Keeper