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16.30 Conversational Tones

PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013, 16:25
by MattMac
The venue is a folk pub right in the centre of Fringe in Edinburgh, five minutes from the Free Fringe hub at Banshee's Labyrinth and mere walking distance from main tourist hub of the Royal Mile, which proved massively helpful in terms of flyering. The performance room itself is downstairs. The staff couldn't have been more accomodating to my needs, special mention necessary for the barman who assisted with an aberrant telephone that rang in our downstairs room. It was only my second year performing in the Fringe, but I found the staff and venue simply sublime.

The room itself is pretty basic, which for the show I was putting on was perfect. It is not necessarily designed for large groups, as it can fill up very quickly, and there are a couple of spaces where the audience gets drawn into semi-dead space. I didn't fill the room to capacity at any point in my run; but 15, the most who attended, provides more than enough ambiance to allow for a great dialogue between performers and audience. THe floor space is perfect for a limited performer spoken word show, which are usually tech-light.

In terms of tech - there is none, other than a basic wall plug socket, which is perfect for spoken word shows. I have seen, and accomodated performers with iPods, very basic amplification systems, but this is a rarer thing, and this venue is designed primarily for solo spoken word shows. The room and the facilities are designed for more intimate and conversational shows.

While the numbers were perhaps on the smaller side, compared to the shows before mine, but I was very happy with the turnout along with the donations, which meant that I was able to make a profit personally on the Fringe (modest though it was).

The publicity element is the most complex and tricky to get right; my publicity options were word of mouth, flyering (though, I wasn't directly aware of that many coming to see the show from flyers directly), and the PBH Programme. Without doubt, word of mouth and the programme did the most for my attendance figures. It definitely felt like word of mouth had a stronger effect this year, than it did last.

In conclusion, The Royal Oak is a impressive venue, and is so excellently suited to spoken word showsthat I hope they have more of us along next year.

Matt Macdonald