An hour long sinister wink, UP2X, Cowgatehead, 5.10pm

An hour long sinister wink, UP2X, Cowgatehead, 5.10pm

Postby James Lismore » 21 Jan 2016, 13:36

Cowgatehead, Up2x An hour long sinister wink 5.10

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue

Cowgatehead is a warren of myriad spaces. Somewhat dilapidated I’m not aware of the building being used for anything outside of Fringe time. It was difficult for audiences to find their way around and sometimes even difficult for the audiences to find their way in as the main entrance was rather difficult to find.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?

Up2x was a last minute addition to the Cowgatehead venue after The Velveteen venue was made unavailable (due to mismanagement at Velveteen). The space was dank and drippy, with one side of the space suffering from a number of permanent leaks, not only wet but rather musty in odour. There was a small stage and enough chairs (although these did disappear from time to time, only to be found in other Cowgatehead spaces). There was a simple PA, although the space was small enough that we did not use it. We provided a small portable lighting rig that was available to all during the run.

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?

There were no staff associated with Cowgatehead.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc

We were in the PBH brochure, although advertised at Velveteen , we had posters and flyers, which we reprinted with the new Venue. We flyered quite regularly but could have done more. We did a number of slots at Cabaret nights and this helped spread the word.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?

This was our worst attended show in our 7 years at the Fringe. Our biggest audience was 13 but audience was generally 3 – 6 people. Not being in the main brochure, being advertised at a different venue in the PBH Programme and the general difficulties of the Cowgatehead made it difficult to pull in audiences.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

We keep our shows very limited in terms of set, props and tech, essentially it is just two performers, a cello and a ukulele. Lots of props, costumes, tech are just going to make your life difficult – keep it simple.

The show itself is part cabaret part theatre and has been received with great acclaim at the Fringe in previous years. Those few who saw it this year were very positive.

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous

The hat take was small this year.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

The venue Captain for Cowgatehead seemed to work very hard despite a lot of issues and demands. He seemed pretty stretched with all the spaces in the venue he had to look after, but we appreciated all the time and assistance he gave us when required.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change.

While it was very difficult losing The Velveteen space so late on (1 week before the Fringe began), PBH FRinge did a great job organising another space. Cowgatehead has a lot of potential and could be a great venue, however with the furore prior to the fringe between different promoters booking the space and the actual reality and practicality of the space and its condition we would not be eager to return. Saying that some shows in other Cowgatehead spaces seemed to have great runs with busy audiences.

James Lismore
James Lismore
Posts: 10
Joined: June 2010

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