18.30 Quiz in my Pants

18.30 Quiz in my Pants

Postby nicola.bolsover » 16 Oct 2011, 15:08

The Venue: Opium. An alternative club on Cowgate. Normal clientele does not apply as the rest of the club isn't open at 18.30 so clientele are there purely for FF.

The Performance Area: Large stage. Seats around 60 people. Stage is at one end of room with a couple of steps leading up to it along the length of the stage. Stage is a series of three booths by night, so benches and cushions need to be removed at beginning of day and replaced at end. Two pillars on stage can cause problems if your show isn't adaptable - be flexible! The room does get very warm and the air conditioning is too loud to be on during shows, but it does help when it's put on between shows.

Staff: Excellent, excellent staff. Always kind and supportive. They never cleared glasses or caused any disruption during the show, which was very considerate. They actually watched the show and told us they enjoyed it, which gave us confidence. They gave us constructive feedback, and let us know if there were any problems with the sound towards the back of the room. On the last weekend they asked us for some flyers as they were sending out their own team to make sure we had a packed last few shows, which was extraordinarily kind of them.

Advertising: Fringe programme, FF programme, flyers, word of mouth, social media, radio, and via our special guests. The majority of audience members were people we recognised from flyering them earlier in the day. We flyered on the mile, and outside the venue for the last 15 minutes or so.

Audience numbers: Really good. Never fewer than 20 people, normally around 30, often up to 60, and on a few occasions 80. The more people the hotter it gets.

The Show: Good, but we took a while to hit our stride. Unfortunately, our only reviewer came on the first day so we were still experiencing teething problems and playing with how to use the space, so we didn't get a very good review. Some excellent special guests this year, including Tom Green, who all did the show for free.

Donations: Ok, but not as good as last year, possibly because the audience were in general younger. In general, we had twice the audience numbers of last year, but were getting half the money, which isn't so good, but the money's a bonus anyway. We always had enough for some dinner, and often had enough for a drink or two as well! Bear in mind the room is quite dark so people think you can't see how much or little they're putting in! We wouldn't recommend leaving the bucket unaccompanied if you want a decent amount, as people will just sneak out without putting anything in. But if you stand with it, smile and say thank you to everyone, you'll get more.

Set-up: I already mentioned benches. There is a space in the room which is useless for audience as it's round a sort of corner and there's a pillar in the way, which is good for leaving tables and benches. Keep your valuables in sight as someone had a laptop stolen while they were on stage in 2010. The room is very dark, there are no windows, but some of the ceiling lights can be rotated to be facing the stage. Don't dress warm as the room gets very hot! Opium has its own PA and two mics, although we just had the one mic set up because none of the shows needed two. On a couple of occasions we couldn't get the sound to work, but sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles! There was a lead for connecting iPods, etc., but it won't reach to the stage so be sure to turn the music off and take the iPod with you onto stage. Or get another lead and a connector, which is what we did as we used music throughout the show. Audience's chairs are kept at the venue next door and need to be brought in at the beginning of the day and taken back at the end. This can be arduous as the performance space is up a flight of stairs. On too many occasions there were not enough chairs for audience members as the people setting up had not brought up the full amount, so we ended up losing audience members who weren't prepared to stand for an hour. This is particularly galling when there is room for more chairs, just not enough time to run round and get more. Perhaps next year we could ask the venue if they could store at least a few chairs there, so there aren't so many to take round. Lastly, there needs to be a sign at the front of the venue pointing audience towards the side entrance, and the side entrance needs to be clearly marked. We lost a reviewer because she thought the venue was closed and hadn't seen the side entrance. Also, you do tend to see people standing outside looking confused. We luckily had enough people in our show for one to stand outside doing some last-minute flyering and directing confused people to the side entrance. But signs are vital if you're doing a one-man show or can't spare someone.

Admin & Communication: No issues here. Sean Brightman was an excellent VC. Only thing I'd say is for VC to have contact details for all performers, not just primary contacts for each show, so that everyone gets info first hand.

All in all, good year, and looking forward to next year!

Nicola Bolsover, Laura Lexx and Miles Lloyd of Quiz in my Pants!

PS. Sorry if this all sounds a bit blunt. I already wrote it all out once then got logged out...
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Joined: January 2010

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