2.45pm GARY COLMAN: ChUNT (the verb to grumble)

2.45pm GARY COLMAN: ChUNT (the verb to grumble)

Postby Gary Colman » 18 Sep 2014, 15:39

The venue :-The Venue is ideal for stand-up comedy. The Venue has an ideal location being located in the Old Town just off the Royal Mile and close to many other comedy venues. The venue has two entrances; Niddry Street and South Bridge Street, both busy streets.

The performance area:-It is a side room off the main bar set up as a purpose built music venue and therefore has stage, sound, lights and good site lines.
There were some spare speakers and spare music venue paraphernalia (extra mike stands/ guitar stands etc) stored on stage but these were pushed to the wings and did not impact upon my stand-up comedy show.
The room was separated from the main bar by a theatre black which could have posed a problem in terms of noise bleed however in my time slot the main bar was usually empty (usually all the customers where in comedy room watching the shows) and so noise bleed was rarely a problem for my show at my time slot. To further reduce any potential problems of having a curtain separate the show from the main bar I also employed someone ‘front of house’ and his job was to police the curtain during the show. His role was to ensure that the curtain remained closed during the show, to politely ask people talking in the main bar to sit at area of the bar furthest from the curtain, if there were no seats inform late comers that we were full etc. This further stopped any noise bleed/ distraction problems. This front of house work was most important on Saturdays and Sundays when the bar had more drinkers in it; luckily on those days our comedy room was also rammed full.

The team of staff at the venue :-
The staff are very used to hosting regular music nights and are therefore brilliant at running an event in the back room. The venue staff set up and struck the room every day and were very helpful.

How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth:-Posters and Flyers:-
I ordered 10,000 A6 flyers ‘Cann Printers’. The flyers were at the venue on my arrival in Edinburgh.
I had 3 or 4 people flyering for 1 hour before every gig.

How your shows went in terms of audience numbers ?
Audience numbers were excellent throughout the run. The average audience size was approx 50-60 (the show would often start with 45-55 audience members and finish a little larger). The room looked full with 50+. On several occasions, especially Saturdays and Sundays, extra bar stools could be brought in order to sit about 70 people. My policy was that people weren’t allowed to stand and once the seats were full people would politely be turned away. On the last week the Monday and Tuesday were our only two quiet days, but we still had about 45 people in the room and good bucket take.
My time slot (2.45pm) was ideal for stand-up comedy in that there were always enough people looking for comedy and yet the main bar was usually quiet (therefore reducing noise bleed problems). I noticed that later in the day the main bar was often a little busier and noise bleed may have been more of a problem for stand-up shows later in the day. However musical comedy acts scheduled later in the day, which were louder and higher energy, didn’t seem to have a problem with the extra noise from the bar.
I think the afternoon time slot was not only useful for getting in audiences but also for getting in reviewers as I wasn’t competing against established acts in the bigger venues.

Buckets:-I thought bucket takings were very good throughout. The lowest bucket take was £59 and the highest was £225 (plus or minus a few Euros and various foreign currency) with an average bucket of £105.

Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to changeI’m very grateful to PBH and the PBH Free Fringe for an amazing opportunity afforded to me and highly recommend PBH Free Fringe and the Whistlebinkies Venue.
Gary Colman
Posts: 4
Joined: September 2012

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