17:15 Fat Penguin Bitesize Comedy Showcase

17:15 Fat Penguin Bitesize Comedy Showcase

Postby JayH » 27 Oct 2012, 13:30

- The venue -
A very posh restaurant in a very posh part of town.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?
A lovely small separate room in the basement with nice chairs, black walls and a spotlight.

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?
Nice bunch, I didn't require much assistance but when I did they were perfectly helpful.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc
It was a last minute show so I didn't bother with flyers. To get crowds I:

1. relied on the blurb in the main brochure (which I handed out on the royal mile).
2. (most importantly) Stood outside the venue with other acts shouting "FREE COMEDY STARTING IN 20/15/10/5/1 MINUTES". Apparently I could be heard across the Square. It was very effective.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?

We had 2 or 3 full houses (turning people away on the last day) and our smallest crowd was 11, which in that room was still fine. When it rained it was easier to get people in off the street as I could tempt them with the promise of a "nice dry room" which might have been more appealing than the comedy on offer..

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

The show was fine, it was a simple showcase of between 3 and 5 acts a day. Very easy to run! The audiences always seemed to have had a really good time too. I think this was aided by the nature of the room. Though very small it had a posh spotlight and a pitch black, "arty" feel which made the shows feel like proper shows rather than an awkward collection of strangers watching a man talk to them in a pub.

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous

I would say generous. Around £2 a head was the average.

- Technical set-up at the venue - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

The acoustics were very boomy, we didn't use the mic and still felt like we should talk softly. The more people were in the crowd the less this was an issue though. I would certainly consider jettisoning the PA in favour of a less cluttered stage area. Hanging some heavy black blankets from the walls would help trap high frequencies too.


- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

I didn't hear a great deal from the venue captain and didn't feel compelled to raise any issues with him but I'm sure if I had we would have been able to sort any that might have arisen.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

1. At the start of my run the room was very untidy and I had to do a fair amount of cleaning up to get it in a fit state to put on a show.

The bin was a bit small and often overflowing and the back of the room was used as a store for most of the flyers/props and other gubbins. If there was a more robust black bin and maybe a different place in the restaurant to store props the room itself would have been really special. It had a good minimalist vibe to it as a space and I thought that was slightly compromised by the clutter.

If there was some way to rectify this I think it would really benefit future shows.

2. Also, the venue itself was very busy. This is in no way a bad thing but I felt there might have been a missed opportunity to advertise shows to the customers of the restaurant.

I thought maybe a very simple venue specific flyer (that listed the shows that would be on at Amarone during the fringe) could be placed on the restaurant tables with the food & drink menus.

I imagine if the cost was split amongst the individual shows a run of flyers for this purpose would be fairly cheap and a cost effective way of advertising the shows to people who are customers of the venue itself. Maybe even more effective than handing out individual flyers. The only problem I can foresee would be whether or not the venue management would want to have these flyers on their tables? Maybe if they were well presented and had some sort of Amarone-centric formatting that could be cleared with the management?
JayH
 
Posts: 15
Joined: October 2012

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