The Translator's Dilemma

The Translator's Dilemma

Postby Jessica Phillippi » 10 Apr 2012, 11:03

Venue: Princes Mall, Space 13 (Upstairs)

Performance Area: A disused shop on the middle floor of the mall, next to the back escalators. The biggest problem with this venue was the lack of a door or closure of any kind, which meant that the loudspeaker or tannoy could be heard from the mall during the show. The mall manager had assured us that the speaker directly at the entrance of the venue would be turned off when shows started for the day, so that at least if we could not block out customer noise as people walked through the mall, we could prevent audiences hearing “Welcome to Princes Mall!” announcements. However, the security guards in the office repeatedly forgot to turn off the speaker and at one point refused to do so until we spoke to their manager, and she required them to shut it off. From then on, we had to ask them to turn it off every day before starting our show.

Venue staff: None. We got keys from the mall security staff every day and opened the venue ourselves as we were first to arrive, then passed the keys to the next company when we left.

Advertising: Free Fringe brochure, EdFringe brochure, flyering in Princes Mall and on the Royal Mile, word of mouth, Twitter, Facebook

Audience: Average of 20 people per day, up to 40 some days as there were only 40 chairs in the venue, not bad for a 3 week run.

Show: “The Translator's Dilemma” went extremely well. We received four and five star reviews, and we've been invited to perform it at the Theaterszene Europa Festival in Cologne this year. We had audiences fill out feedback forms and they were overwhelmingly positive about the piece.

Buckets: Averaged 1 pound or more per person. Varied according to audience numbers.

Tech set-up: None except what a couple of companies organized with a few lights, a sound board, sheets and projectors they brought themselves. We designed our show to be extremely low-tech so all we needed was an overhead projector, screen and an electrical outlet to plug it into. The seating in the venue was supposed to be 50 capacity but there were only 40 chairs delivered. We tried to rig our one large black curtain as a closure for the entrance to the shop unit, to keep out sound.

Admin and Communication: Kim Shields, our venue captain, and her company were extremely generous and easy to work with, as were Carlo Pirozzi and Gabriele Com's company. We came through from Glasgow to meet up with Kim's group a couple of times and discuss things, as they were Edinburgh-based. We also very much appreciated the group efforts to photograph and draw up a tech spec plan of the space, which were passed on to us before we first saw the venue. We reciprocated and sent more photos of necessary areas to other companies who couldn't get to the space once we visited in July.

One issue was that there was supposed to be a major clean-up effort before the show but our team tried to help on the day and found everything locked and when we called to get in were told that the clean-up was finished. When we arrived early the next day to set up, we had to clean for an hour because the venue was not fit for an audience yet. A few companies, those that did Blonde Compassion and Kim's team worked with us to do the get-out/final clean-up together.

For the most part, the Space 13 companies worked well together, sharing the space respectfully, but at least three of the other companies engaged in rude behaviour such as flyering our audience inside the venue before they had even left their seats at the end of our show, or entering the venue loudly while our show was still in progress to collect/put away their items when their show was 2-3 hours later, instead of waiting 10 minutes until our performance was over, etc. etc.

Other learning points/issues:
Sound: As mentioned earlier, audiences commented on the sounds from outside so much that we had to modify our script to incorporate the noise into the show.

Location: Needs giant signage inside and outside the mall so that anyone who makes their way to the right shopping centre can find the venue itself. We tried to put as much of our own signage up, but needed a few huge sandwich boards with FREE FRINGE HERE and arrows or something of the sort.

Cleanliness: Since we were the first show in the venue every day, we had to clean up the mess left by the other shows the day before, every time we came in.

A very successful run for us, as our first Fringe show, but we would not recommend Space 13 as an effective performance space in the Free Fringe unless the sound and location issues are addressed.

Scandal Theatre 2012
Jessica Phillippi
 
Posts: 1
Joined: April 2012
Location: Glasgow, UK

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