UpTwoM - Stephanie Laing: Nincompoop

UpTwoM - Stephanie Laing: Nincompoop

Postby stephanie_laing » 28 Jan 2016, 12:07

I really enjoyed being in this venue.

The way we'd set the room up you could fit about 70 in at a stretch. I got between 15 and 60 most nights. I had to pull one because no-one came, and once went ahead with 5, but apart from that numbers were good. Unfortunately some punters found the venue a bit hard to find. The doorway is quite small, and the signage didn't stick out from the wall, so my flyerers ended up standing outside with placards with my face and arrows on them to guide people inside. I think that probably affected numbers a bit. The venue also shut the front door, I think partly for health and safety and partly so that punters had to pass through the bar to get to the venue spaces. It was easy to get disorientated once you were inside, so some shows found it useful to put extra signs up on the way up the stairs, or arrows on their posters directing the audience to their room.

They were generally very nice. Weekend audiences were a little bit less attentive. My flyerers were good at targeting people who they thought would enjoy the show. I had a couple of walk-outs from people right at the back of the room on busy nights. I think it was easier for them to feel a bit disconnected from the show as they weren't in the main audience area. I tended to keep the audience outside in the hallway and bring them all in at once, so that the first few weren't worrying it would only be them.

Bucket varied from £30-£120. Most nights it was around 50-60. My bucket speech wasn't particularly strong, so I think it would be possible to get more than that.

We did quite a few things to make the space for comedy friendly. We put black bin bags all over the windows to keep the light out. This was done pretty neatly, and with black tape, so actually looked fine. We also put a big black piece of fabric in between the door and the far wall to create a little green room and direct audience into the space. When we arrived the stage was straight ahead of you as you came into the venue and turned to your right. We moved it round the corner so that it was in the little alcove bit, which made it all a bit cosier. We also put a wire up behind the stage to hang the PBH curtain on, which made it look more professional, and meant that the curtain could be pulled aside for one of the acts who needed a lot more space for equipment. We kept the sound desk at the front of the room, but my sound guy thought it would probably have been better at the back of the room. Might be a good idea to come with wires long enough to achieve this. We also clipped lights onto the pipes above the audience, and had a couple of little lights coming from the edge of the room.
My show clashed with a fireworks display which started at about 10 at night.

Venue staff
We didn't see staff from the venue that much, as they were in the bar downstairs. It was a pop-up bar so may not be there in future years. We also didn't have bars on the upper floors.
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