14:45 Rory & Tim are Free At Last

14:45 Rory & Tim are Free At Last

Postby rory _ok1 » 10 Dec 2011, 03:14

Here is our Fringe report:

The venue: Although it seems it won’t be used next year as a venue, we’ll post information in case it is ever used in years to come. The shows took place in the downstairs room of the café/bar which was a small, intimate space holding about 50 to 60 people (Perhaps more if people stood at the back). As a sketch show, we needed a fair bit of performance space and there was just about enough (I’d estimate we managed to clear a 9ft by six foot area); there was no raised platform or anything but visibility didn’t seem to be a problem. If you have several performers and need an ‘offstage’, the stairs up to the café provide ample cover.
The location is very central and proved easy to find for the audience. They did, however, have to be led around the back of the venue in order to enter the space.

How we advertised the show: Flyering and word-of-mouth seemed to attract a substantial portion of our audience. People were often very grateful to be offered the Free Fringe Programme alongside our flyer; many said they were looking to see Free Fringe shows and so by popping up with this useful guide, you’re automatically in their good books. The most fruitful places to flyer were the Box office queue on the royal mile, just outside the venue, and outside other comedy shows (particularly Free Fringe). It helped to be inventive and energetic when flyering and I’d advise trying to devise unique ways of grabbing people’s attention.
We did also order 100 posters but these were barely used and it’s difficult to put them up around town without them immediately being postered over.

Audience Numbers: We performed only a 7-day run and the room was full for each show. On a couple of occasions we had to turn people away and, after the first few performances, we realised that some of the bar stools could be rearranged to create more standing room.

The show itself: The show went very well and was extremely enjoyable and also helpful in terms of picking up more gigs when back in London where we’re based. A good idea is to tell the audience at the end that they can review your show on edfringe.com. We realised this after a few days and it led to some nice comments here:
http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy ... ce#reviews
This way you can help your show pick up word-of-mouth and you can direct people you flyer to check out the reviews before coming.

Buckets: The bucket takings were very generous, and we managed to cover our travel and advertising costs for the week. Based on the advice of previous Free Fringers, we scripted a vaguely amusing way of asking for donations at the end (a potentially awkward moment).
Technical set-up: The setup was good and the performers of other shows were extremely accommodating and co-operative. If the venue is used in future, it could do with a little bit more lighting as we had to use desk lamps on the floor to ensure our faces were lit. This wasn’t too much of a problem, though, and simply buying more desk lamps would have solved the issue.

Finally, like Robert Wringham’s show report, I feel it necessary to save the staff section until last. There were problems at Rabbie Burns from the beginning, and the refusal of them to serve complimentary tap water (As mentioned in Robert’s report) actually led to an argument which got the Oxford Revue’s show cancelled in the middle of the run.
The last performance of our run was cancelled under similarly bizarre circumstances; the owner of the venue was quite a temperamental man who had not been present all week, but, on arriving, did not seem happy about the number of people trying to see our show. We had made sure throughout the week that all exits were clear and this system, and the number of people in the room, had been perfectly acceptable to the manager of the venue throughout the week. When the owner arrived, however, he allowed the penultimate show to take place but immediately cancelled the last performance without pre-warning us, giving us reasons, or listening to us afterwards.
It must be said that this seems completely rare and our experience of other Free Fringe venues was much more pleasant. Special thanks as well to Pbh who was very patient and helpful in finding us a venue for our last performance. We were moved to the Voodoo Rooms where we found much more accommodating staff who allowed our last show to go off without a hitch. So overall, a fantastic time. Can’t wait for next year.
rory _ok1
Posts: 2
Joined: December 2011

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