Peablossom Cabaret

Peablossom Cabaret

Postby dylan_townley » 25 Mar 2015, 18:39

Apologies for the lateness of this post after the end of Edinburgh Fringe 2014 - we hope it will still serve useful for future Fringe performers.

Caspar's summary of Dario's is very comprehensive and highly recommended to anyone who wants to know about the venue. Rather than repeat the excellent general information he has already posted, I will add our personal experience of performing at Dario's as the Peablossom Cabaret.

The Space
The function room at the back of Dario's is decorated with paintings and a classical statue, which creates an instant atmosphere and worked well for our comedy cabaret act. It has a character of its own. There are enough chairs from the restaurant to fill the space - roughly 45-50. Restaurant toilets are in the function room which means customers occasionally came in and out from the main restaurant space during our show - however the restaurant was never very busy during showtimes so this wasn't a big issue. The space is great acoustically (we didn't use amplification), and as long as the front restaurant door was shut there wasn't too much noise coming in from the street. Caspar's suggestion of hanging a piece of fabric over the open archway between the main restaurant and function room is a great idea to mark it out as the performance space. Though it was nice to see the waiters and 75-year-old proprietor watching (and dancing) from the main restaurant occasionally.

Co-ordinating with staff and fellow performers
The staff are very kind, always willing to help and enthusiastic about the free fringe. We were the last act of the day, so as Caspar mentions we put the function room back into restaurant formation every day - this took around 15 minutes and often the restaurant staff came to help. The team from Clownslut, the first show of the day, put the restaurant into show formation each morning. A small storage room at the back of the venue was given to us to store a couple of chairs and a small table which we used in the show. We were lucky to have Caspar and the Clownslut team as fellow performers: everyone pitched in for (variously) setting up the venue, finding black material to hang along the back, locating an alternative venue round the corner for Sunday performances (it turned out the restaurant was not open on Sundays so we had to find an alternative for that day), cross-marketing our shows and get-in/get-out. We had a positive experience working with the staff and fellow performers to make the venue work for everyone.

Numbers, Bucket and Marketing
Average audience was around 20 with variation from 12 to 45. Average bucket was £45, variation from £20 to over £100. We weren't in the printed Fringe brochure but paid to be online, and benefited from inclusion in the PBH brochure which we distributed at shows and on the street. We ordered 10,000 flyers and used 7,500. We were a flyering team of two. It took a lot of legwork to get audiences in initially, then we were delighted to see the effects of word-of-mouth and recognition of our flyers and posters by members of the public. A distinctive, professional design for flyers & posters was absolutely central to our marketing - it was worth the investment.

Overall we found playing at Dario's an artistically rewarding, collaborative experience.
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