SPEAKEASY - John-Luke Roberts - stnad-up 6.05pm

SPEAKEASY - John-Luke Roberts - stnad-up 6.05pm

Postby jlukeroberts » 28 Aug 2014, 12:59


The voodoo rooms is an upmarket cocktail bar and restaurant in New Town, between Princes Street and St Andrew's Square. There's not a huge amount of passing trade, but, this year certainly, it seems to be becoming a fringe destination for a lot of audiences.


The speakeasy is a terrific room for comedy - a proper, purpose built performance space with a bar at one end of the room and a stage at the other, and a nice low ceiling for trapping the noise in. Some cabaret style seating and some rows of chairs. Seats about 70 (?) Basic lighting and a sound board operated from a booth offstage right. The stage is lit from the sides not the front, but as long as you're aware of this in performance it isn't a problem for a solo performer, it could cause issues with larger performance groups though. Airconditioned, and the airconditioning doesn't seem to be so noisy as to be a distraction.


The staff were all very helpful and good to work with. Technical staff helpful in the set up, and bar staff always helpful in the turnovers and when needed during the show.


A few posters up in the venue - which staff had helpfully put up before I arrived. Other than that, I found flyering around Bristow Square and the Pleasance, and exit flyering shows of a similar sort to mine, was effective.


Went very well - the majority of days the room was full. In the first couple of days the numbers were more variable, but after that the room was packed weekends and midweek (with one peculiarly slight dip on the Friday of the second week).


Buckets were good - covered the cost of Edinburgh, with a decent month's wage on top of it. Increasingly, people seem to be coming expecting to pay at the end.


Technical set up good, but simple. Two mics, two micstands, a soundboard, lights from the side of stage. Separate houselights. Occasional issues with the mics and mic stands, but my technician was able to sort most of these. Considering bringing my own mic stand next year, because inevitably with so many performers a day, it can end up weirdly set up / weakened in parts.


Everything seemed to go smoothly although the queues got tricky...


There were some very popular rooms in the three voodoo rooms this year, which is brilliant, but has the unfortunate side effect of big queues going outside of the venue and bottlenecks when people are coming out of / going into shows, which makes keeping start times consistent a little tricky sometimes. I don't know that there's a perfect solution to it, although I believe the manager has plans... It seems to me that staggering the start times of shows in the three rooms, so there's a twenty minute gap between each, would help a lot. Keeping turnover times consistent between shows in the same venue would aid this - at the moment some are ten minutes, some are twenty. Perhaps there's a reason for this that I haven't spotted.


Bring a storage box for any props - there's one cupboard for the ballroom and speakeasy, and it can get a bit hectic in there - so anything protective and tidy you can stick your things in will help you and everyone else. Although it was a lot tidier this year than last.
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