Speakeasy, Voodoo Rooms - Abi Roberts: Twerk in Progress

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Speakeasy, Voodoo Rooms - Abi Roberts: Twerk in Progress

Postby Abi Roberts » 04 Jan 2015, 21:18

This is my second year performing at the Voodoo Rooms. I was here in 2011 with a cabaret show called Up the Aisle! Twerk in Progress was at 4.50pm every day. The venue is very cool and the bar upstairs is always full of people. Posters were everywhere to represent each show and it was well-signposted with signs up pointing to each room and boards for the day’s programme. Having a bar in the room really helped us to sell the next show too as we could point audience members to stay and get their drinks in the room. The venue, the staff and the other shows were fantastically supportive and helpful throughout the run. A joy!

The Speakeasy is my favourite venue so far at the fringe. The stage is a perfect height for being close to the audience which I love and the room has perfect sight-lines. There were two mics provided, good lighting and a sound desk which is dead easy to use with i-phone/Mac jack etc. It's also close to the stage incase of any problems that arise. The seating was perfect and gave a real comedy club feeling - especially when it was absolutely rammed! Air conditioning came in very useful too on many occasions. Good acoustic as the ceiling isn't too high. I wouldn't hesitate in coming back to play the room. It was perfect.

Brendan runs one of the top venues in Edinburgh and it shows. On a couple of occasions he went out of his way to help and is such a nice guy. John was also there from the very beginning for any issues that came up, however small. The bar staff were very helpful and positively added to the show a few times when I could banter with them! I always felt I was on board The Good Ship Voodoo sailing with the best crew.

The venue has a policy of taking 5 of each performer's posters and distributing them through the venue themselves. This means it's all fair and there's no postering over. There was plenty of space for flyers and lots of copies of the Wee Blue Books and these were kept tidy by the venue staff. The WBB were very much welcomed by my audience and a significant number of them found my show through the WBB. I was also lucky to have a little flyering team who did a fantastic job in various strategic positions and of course, we flyered elsewhere too. My show was also recommended as “one of the top ten shows to see before you leave Edinburgh” in both GQ and the British Airways Inflight Magazine which was amazingly helpful in getting attention and audiences!

We had pretty much full houses apart from the odd Tuesday or Wednesday in the second week when we had between 50-60. The days Thursday through Sunday were usually completely full (we had to turn people away on a couple of occasions due to being overcapacity) and during the last 4 days of the run it was heaving. This made the whole run a joy to do and the Voodoo Rooms as a whole had a real buzz about it this year and long may it continue.

Put it this way, the bucket lasted us into December! Audiences were extremely generous and I even got business cards from overseas comedy club bookers popped in! Having to stand with said wine bucket at the end is a great thing to do as you can say thank you to each audience member for choosing your show amidst thousands of shows. Being part of PBH was also a massive bonus as far as the bucket was concerned as the audiences are already so familiar with the Free Fringe ethos and how it works.

At very busy times it was a bit like Piccadilly Circus but the staff were on hand to guide people into the various shows and there was very little late-running as a result.

This was my first solo stand-up show and it was my best experience yet. The Voodoo Rooms is a jewel in the New Town's Crown and I had a total blast, even though of course, it was very hard work. Thanks must also go to Paul B. Edwards for doing such a sterling job and our Venue Captain for this year, Kieran Hodgson, who was unfailingly supportive. His show was a joy to see and to follow. I wouldn't hesitate to come back to the fantastic Voodoo Rooms.
Abi Roberts
Posts: 3
Joined: January 2015

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