3.10pm Charmian Hughes:Odd One IN

3.10pm Charmian Hughes:Odd One IN

Postby Charmian Hughes » 07 Sep 2013, 11:27

venue: The BANSHEE LABYRINTH, a music pub the rest of the year so very well equipped with tech-savvy staff. Centrally located with good pass-by pedestrian activity. Ground floor bar with plenty of seating- useful for punters between shows too. Lots of spoken word stuff and wonderful how well attended this all was.

Performance Area: THE CHAMBER ROOM. Basement. Excellent self contained room, well equipped, good stage one end and entrance/exit the other end, capacity about 50. Separate staircase down to it from front door of pub so easy to control audience going in. Can get hot but we had two air fans.

STAFF: Helfpful, kind, enthusiastic. Love the Banshee Lab and all who sail in her!! Always willing to go and sort something at drop of a hat.

HOW I ADVERTISED: Big fringe brochure entry, 5,000 flyers, 500 posters (yes a huge amount but Andy McCann was offering an irresistable deal!) with so many posters I could use and replace them on a daily basis. I had a brilliant flyerer who did an hour for me before the show. She was very effective. I did a few slots on other peoples shows- PBH's show and the One Star show which brought extra people in, and I flyered the Pleasance Courtyard and Dome every morning in a laxadaisacal relaxed way, pushing the PBH brochure mainly which was a good conversation starter.
at end of every show I asked audience to comment in edfringe.com audience review section if they liked show and their comments brought more people in.

AUDIENCE NUMBERS: Were pretty good. Much better for me than last year. The afternoon slot was great and attracted random exhausted shoppers as well as people looking for a show! I was full saturdays and sundays and sometimes mid week. Mainly weekdays I had 20-30 and the lowest was 9 on the first wednesday.

VENUE CAPTAINS: There was so much cooperation at this venue, with people tidying up the flyer cupboard when it got impassable that leadership was in many ways irrelevent. Quite a few of us pasted PBH logos all over the front windows that first Friday to give a prominent presence to venue. It was all great.

SHOW: This was a new venture for me- comedy based on true stories rather than jokes, but I still put it under stand up as at the time of committing to main brochure wasnt absolutely sure what my show would be like! The afternoon slot was perfect for this but I had to make a disclaimer at beginning about not stand-up. Then it was great. The first couple of shows I didnt do that and got wrong audience expectation! The show evolved strongly during festival. Had a blip in the last week when big Radio 4 personage came and I was like a pre-Murray British tennis player on centre court facing Sampras. But all in all the show I am most proud of!

BUCKET: I made more than twice what I made last year. One reason was I had a much better bucket speech- gleaned from PBH forum advice. Another was I had a better show. But also siginificantly, after watching Ian Cognito do same and garner nothing but notes, I stopped using the bucket and started using my rather fetching straw hat. I did this in week 2 and saw an amazing transformation. Its not just that punters see that you can see what they put in, but they want you to! They don't want to put in a tenner that isnt noticed! I immediately got much more money. Weekdays in week 2 I was getting between 40--80 quid (in a half full room!) culminating in a whopping 126 quid on the saturday. I would definitely recommend using something more personal than bucket. Bucket suggests charity runs, street collections and small change! Audience want YOU to know they are being generous.

TECH SUPPORT: Great! It's all there.

OTHER POINTS: Once again we didnt use the wall space down road outside labyrinth enough as a clearly PBH identified publicity space. I used a lot of my 500 posters and so did a couple of others, but still think this is a lost opportunity. The venue banner was MUCH more clearly positioned this year which again I think made a massive difference.

Another thing is I know how lucky I am to have been able to perform in a well equipped central venue for the third time in three years- as good if not better than anything the paid venues could offer! even The Stand! The Banshee Labyrinth is an example of the best kind of free fringe venue, run by management and staff who are right behind the venture-and more of these venues in the free fringe would be fantastic.
I think if I had had one of those venues at the other end of the scale that I have been hearing about this year, impossibly set-up, poorly signposted, desolately located, however good my show was, or my flyer-er, or my efforts, I wouldnt have stood a chance. Food for though.
Charmian Hughes
 
Posts: 18
Joined: March 2011

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