Chalky's - Griffin and Jones: Fooling Themselves 20:50-21:50

Chalky's - Griffin and Jones: Fooling Themselves 20:50-21:50

Postby Griffin and Jones » 30 Dec 2015, 20:51

Griffin and Jones: Fooling Themselves was a magic show by double act, Griffin and Jones. Not quite a family show, but aimed at a 16+ audience

This was our first experience of Chalky's, but our second year taking shows to Edinburgh Fringe.

We were Venue Captains this year.


Chalky's is an underground nightclub on Picardy Place (near the Omni Centre). So it's a little off the beaten track, but with venues like The Street and CC Blooms either side of us, the location wasn't too much of a hard sell. Even from the Royal Mile, we had very little trouble persuading people it was worth the walk!


The performance room was a secondary dance floor, separated from the main venue by a sliding panel and a small, boothed seating area. the room was a nice size, comfortably fitting 50 chairs (with potential for more) and some standing room at the back. There was a bar at the back of the room, but this was not in use. the stage area had two support pillars at either side, which narrowed that part of the stage to 5m or so, but we were able to perform in front of them easily enough.

The only lights in the room were disco lights which were unsuitable for lighting the stage area, but the Mechanisms and the Grumpy Magicians brought in some flood lights that we were able to use. Not ideal for a professional look, but at least we could be seen!

There was occasionally some noise leaking through from the main room during shows, even when the venue was not strictly open as a club. We would generally turn the house music down before our show, but it would sometimes be turned up again.

The room was not used by the club during the week, so we were able to leave the chairs out. We only had to pack them away on Friday and Saturday nights.


The staff were all very friendly to us, but a little inconsistent. For example, some nights they would allow under 18s in, and other nights we had families thrown out for bringing younger teenagers in. We were aware that the venue was listed as over 18s, but we would have appreciated more consistency either way (turning potential audiences away when we didn't have to vs risking them being refused entry by the venue!) There also seemed to be issues with staff not opening the venue on days where other acts were coming in to fill in for performer days off.


We felt that the venue could have done more to promote the show. It took several days before they put a PBH sign and venue number up outside the venue, and the posters we left for them to display were never put up - They DID, however, put our poster image up on their digital screens. Fortunately the Grumpy Magicians provided a small 'A' board to put up outside the venue while it was open, so at least there was some street-level signage. We also flyered extensively - on the Royal Mile, outside the Omni Centre, outside the venue, and outflyering other shows. We also used street shows and our other venue show to publicise this one.


Our average audience size was around 40, with a maximum of 60-70 and, on our quietest night, 9!


Buckets varied, but we generally did ok. It was pretty easy to bottle-neck the audience as they left which, combined with a good hat-line and high energy end to the show, meant we regularly saw £10 and £20 notes in our hat.


As mentioned before, the venue provided no lights. The room did have a PA system in the DJ booth (just behind the performance area) but no mics. The staff were generous enough to lend us a lead each night to connect our mp3 player to the PA.


Queuing was never a problem. the main venue was given over to the Fringe while the shows were on, so people could wait in the main club, and access the bar while they were waiting. (I suspect they could have increased their bar sales by lowering the music during this time, but that is just personal opinion!)


We all had plenty of storage as the venue allowed us to use their VIP room for the duration of the run, which was a large room right next to the performance room. The VIP room was not lockable, but I'm not aware that anyone had any of their props or possessions interfered with.


Chalky's has the potential to be a great Fringe venue. Performing here felt like hard work at times, but hopefully enough was learned for them to make it run a little more smoothly next year!
Griffin and Jones
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Joined: December 2015

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