12:30 Science, Love and Revolution

12:30 Science, Love and Revolution

Postby David Lee Morgan » 25 Sep 2013, 08:55

- The venue - The Banshee Labyrinth is an alt rock pub just off the High Street about a two minute walk from the Fringe Ticket Office. It is a cool place to hang out year-round, with experimental cinema on the weekends and other alt music events. All the cool people who lived/worked at the hostel where I stayed knew about the place and spent time there. This carries over into the festival; it is a GREAT PLACE TO HANG OUT when you’re not fliering, performing or seeing other shows.

- The performance area – The Banqueting Hall. A perfect venue for my show (at that time of day), it seats about 30 people comfortably with squeeze-in space for about 10 more. It can get hot and sweaty as the day rolls on, and noise from the bar and people hanging out in the corridor can be a problem.

- Staff at the venue – Brilliant. Friendly, helpful, and reasonably patient when dealing with my pre-performance freak-outs. (They take no shit, but stay cool.) I enjoyed talking with them during the run – a lot of interesting information about the city.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe Brochure, PBH Brochure, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc). We found fliering before the show at that early hour (12:30) to be not very productive. Exit fliering after related events wasn’t much use either, because we were always doing it for shows that happened AFTER ours that day. Most people came from word-of-mouth, the good reviews (maybe even some of the bad ones) or having just found the show title in the Brochures and being really interested in the subject.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers – The first week averaged between 7-20 people, after the killer review in the Scotsman, the average went up to 10-30.

- Your show itself – Hard-hitting poetry on a pretty demanding political/philosophical level, with lighter comments linking the poems into a coherent storyline. A fantastic experience – the chance to do an hour show every day for three weeks and to reach an audience that listened with intensity. Wow!

- Buckets – Amazing, even on the small audience days. I think this was because the people who came were seriously interested in the subject matter – and I guess they were reasonably satisfied with the treatment.

- Technical set-up at the venue – More than adequate for spoken word: two mic’s, good speakers, good small mixer. Only down sides: During the festival, the cinema doesn’t happen, but they still tear down the sound set-ups every night, rig for a post-midnight disco, and then set up for the Fringe anew every morning, so sometimes the placement of the mixer and the lighting would vary slightly. Also, with only 10 minutes between shows, you have to move quick to get ready. As the first show of the day, we had more time, usually about half an hour, but it depended on how quickly the re-setup went. If you have a complicated set-up, it might be worth thinking about the first spot of the day.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) – I guess it all went smoothly. Don’t really know, because I found there were NO PROBLEMS that needed to be referred to the captains.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved – I’m told in years past, all the spoken word shows happened in one place (the Banshee). I would like to see that return. I’m not interested ONLY in spoken word, but it is such a wonderful opportunity to have a concentrated performance/hang-out space, both for the punters and for us poets who want to really study our craft and learn from each other.

I decided to not let fliering prevent me from seeing lots of other shows, but I didn’t really get going on this until the second week, so I missed a lot of first-week-only shows that I wanted to see.

Better signs directing people to each performance space would be very useful – it really is a labyrinth.

(This one is for all venues) When your show is done, TAKE OUT YOUR FLIERS, both the boxes and the ones on the wall. Don’t leave them for others to clean up at the end of the run.

When you’re making travel arrangements, it’s not enough just to come a day early for set-up (which I did), you need to stay late enough to help tear down and clean up at the end (and to go to the party!). This should have been obvious without anyone saying so, but I didn’t figure it out until my tickets were already bought. Will do better next year.

All in all – Damn, I loved this place!
David Lee Morgan
Posts: 4
Joined: September 2013

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