14:45 Applied Mathematics

14:45 Applied Mathematics

Postby Dan Simpson » 28 Aug 2014, 11:42

The Venue
Just down from the Royal Mile on Canongate, very near to Canon's Gait pub (so excellent for picking up more WBB and exit flyering!). The Cafe itself is a small and welcoming establishment, that serves excellent coffee. The venue itself is downstairs, through a door not visible from the street (so it's worth being around 15 minutes early to assure people they have found the right place). The room is down some fairly steep stairs, through a storage area and an office space - something some guests (perhaps more used to professional theatre spaces) found funny / perturbing / strange. This can be made light of, and once people are in the space they are ok.

Performance area
The room itself is small (20 capacity) and bare - white walls, white chairs. No black backdrop or PA, and our venue captain sorted out a spotlight to give it a bit more atmosphere. There was no sound bleed, and the space is yours to make the most of. I bought a mini speaker to play some pre-show music, which made things nice. The venue and performance area all suited my needs.

Technical set-up
I did the last third or so of the run, so wasn't here for set-up. There was no PA (one was not needed as it's a tiny space) though the spotlight was essential. A black backdrop would have been nice (though not essential). Our venue captain set up a spotlight, which added a lot to the atmosphere.

The guys who run the cafe were great - mainly leaving us to get on with our shows, and welcoming of the extra custom. Buy their coffee!

Advertisement / Marketing
I did not go in the big brochure, and the only thing I think it affected was reviews (I got none). I flyered most days, and mostly exit / entrance flyering similar shows (spoken word, geeky, science / rationalism) - this always feels more effective than the Mile or anywhere else. I did lots of guest spots, which also brought people in. Posters up in the venue, plus other spoken word places (Banshee) and George venues.

Audience / Bucket
Smallest audience = 20, biggest audience = 48, average audience = 29. This was the biggest (and most welcome) problem for me - fitting so many people into a small space. People were happy to sit on the floor, and in the adjoining room. There were no extra chairs available. Cushions would have been useful. Bucket take was good, sold out all 50 copies of my book and even if people didn't buy it they gave money. Bucket average (minus book sales) around the £1.50 / head mark.

The Show Itself
was a fairly straightforward set of spoken word and poems, linked by chat and jokes. No duff shows, some really excellent ones, and I had a lot of fun this year doing it. Thinking about doing a revamped version of this next year (in a bigger space!).

Communications were great - felt I knew what was going on all the time. Huge thanks to Fay Roberts and RTJ as Spoken Word Directors!
Dan Simpson
Posts: 7
Joined: September 2013

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