Lower Floor 2 - Cathy's Kitchen by SHATTER RESISTANT

Lower Floor 2 - Cathy's Kitchen by SHATTER RESISTANT

Postby shatterresistant » 21 Sep 2013, 13:14

The Venue
We were told the venue had originally been a paper warehouse. It was a large wooden-floored space, with temporary board partitions put up to create the performance spaces. The performance areas were end on, with a small raised stage. The stages themselves were quite petite, but this gave the spaces an intimate feel and there were good views throughout for audiences. There was a small slip of space by the side of our stage to put props and have entrances/ exits. The different performers all collaborated to provide lighting for the space.
The space was a bit dusty, but had real atmosphere, with its thick stone walls.
The Free Fringe bar was beside the venue and provided the area with real atmosphere.

The Performance Area
Two floors, with two performance spaces on each. Small end-on stage, with small offstage space on one side for props, entrances/exits. The stages were wood and were on a small raised platform (roughly 20 cms raised).

Venue Staff
The only venue staff I met were the people from the bar next door (Cowbarn) who were very friendly. There was no real need for extra support as the shows ran themselves. Our venue captain (Fleur) did an excellent job of organising the different groups of performers and providing extra support in the venue.

How You Advertised Your Show
We flyered immediately outside the venue one hour before the show, and further down Cowgate/ Grassmarket before that. The Free Fringe brochure was really popular and was both a good way of engaging people in conversation when flyering, and was the way that many audience members seemed to find the show in the first place.
We weren’t listed in the Fringe programme, as we secured our space quite late.
Different shows would collaborate and flyer for each others’ shows (i.e. directly before one persons show everyone would flyer to pull in audiences for them) and in return they would exit flyer the show.
There were two red boards outside the venue with flyers on, which were good and everyone stuck up their flyers inside the venue. It would have been good to have a clearer sign on the outside of the venue, as the door entrance itself was very noticeable.

How Your Shows Went In Terms Of Audience Numbers
We got decent audiences, although they were never full. On one day there was quite a small audience. We were only there for 7 days so word of mouth didn’t take effect and we were mostly pulling fresh audiences off the streets.

Your Show Itself
We were very happy with the run and found the experience of performing at the Fringe immensely useful as a company.

We got very generous donations in the bucket and found that in general audiences were forthcoming with donating.

Technical Set-Up At The Venue
We used some stage lighting and we had a PAT tested CD player we used ourselves. We didn’t make use of the PA system, but there was one provided. We used the houselights, as well as some lamps and fairy lights on stage.

Admin & Communication Process (Between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues And You)
Our Venue Captain Fleur Alexander was AMAZING. She was very helpful and supportive and she helped sort out lighting issues, as well as being a really friendly face to see in the venue. She was really good at helping others (i.e. with flyering) and had lots of energy as well as an excellent show herself. She really helped make our experience of the venue.
Sometimes Free Fringe emails were quite long and could have perhaps been more clearly bullet pointed as performers are receiving a lot of information, and need to keep track of it / keep it ordered.
The coordination of contact lists/ email lists by Free Fringe was excellent – it really helped performers support each other across venues (i.e. someone emailing with a problem others could solve).
Free Fringe were always very prompt at responding to correspondence, which made it easy to organise the show/travel etc.
We found the Free Fringe well organised and were very proud to have been part of it.

Any Other Learning Points For Anyone Involved
You have to support other companies/ performers. You can’t just turn up and expect to slot into the space: we rely on each other when anything goes wrong and for day to day energy and support.
It would be good to have more of a visual presence on the outside of the building if Cowgatehead is used again, as it would help to attract audience’s attention that there is a new venue there.
Maybe the Cowbarn would be utilised for publicity purposes more as it is next door and is a great space (shows doing little skits/ acts to promote the venue?).
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