Sarcasticus, 8.30 Black Medicine 8-18 August

Sarcasticus, 8.30 Black Medicine 8-18 August

Postby Katielane » 07 Sep 2015, 14:15

Russ Peers and I enjoyed our time here enormously. It was our first show at The Fringe and so a positive experience was vital for morale.

Location: Black Medicine is in a plum location, on the corner of main drag Nicolson Street and Drummond Street, one of the main access roads to The Pleasance Courtyard. Assembly Roxy is also next door so we benefitted from heavy footfall to both venues. As most people had come from a paid show, they were more than enthused by a free show accompanied by something to eat and drink in a more relaxed environment.
Our show was at 8.30 so we began flyering an hour before when the venue was still busy – I can see how later shows might have suffered the ‘dead’ feeling once it was closed.

Venue: The performance space is the newly-opened downstairs area of a very busy café and it’s in pristine condition. There is a separate entrance to the basement so performances weren’t too disrupted by customers and a smaller, separate bar area meant audiences were able to purchase alcohol and drinks prior to the show.
We were able to put up posters and flyers quite easily, plus give out flyers to visitors during the day whilst they had coffee. It was relatively easy to persuade people upstairs to pop down for a show.
The only drawback I could see was that it was quite difficult to make it feel like a true performance venue. The ‘stage’ space was quite well demarcated but the tables and some incredibly large, heavy chairs made forming a discernible audience space very clunky. There was also no way of dimming the lights over the audience to give more of a gig feel. I’d still take this over a moldy, dingy basement any day though.

Staff: Dougal, Red and the team could not have been more helpful, friendly or supportive. Given there was not a minute when they weren’t rushed off their feet, they always had time to answer questions or listen to feedback. We can’t thank them enough for their support.

Audience size: We averaged 25-35 per night, with a weird ‘zero’ on the final night, which was middle Tuesday, 18th August. A lot of shows experienced the same on that date. The middle Saturday brought in 55 but they weren’t our best crowd by any means. Buckets varied but we managed about £2 per person, slightly less for larger crowds.

Lastly, our venue captain, Chris O’Neill was a total godsend. Saddled with a group of mostly first-timers without a clue between us, he whipped us all into shape, gave us clear instructions and told us off where we needed it. Thanks Chris for everything.
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