12:05 - Operation Perfect Teaset - Middle

12:05 - Operation Perfect Teaset - Middle

Postby optset » 16 Sep 2015, 17:54

Apologies for the lateness of this report - been a bit manic here.

Firstly - many thanks to the Silk, our venue captain Struan, and all the lovely Silk performers! It was our first fringe and we had a great time - nice to meet you all!

The regular staff on during the lunchtime slot were absolutely lovely and very helpful, with a special shoutout to Cat, who was the staff member normally on duty during our show and who, despite being exhausted from pulling double shifts, was always very smiley and welcoming. She and her colleagues provided assistance with lighting and sound (extremely helpful as I am not particularly tech-minded ...) and I felt I could yelp for Cat whenever the mixing desk baffled me and she'd be happy to sort me out.

Our audiences ranged between 1 and 20, but our buckets were good. It was quite difficult to promote an adult comedy show at a lunchtime slot, especially as we found promoting after the show to be a deadend (many people are in Edinburgh just for the day). However, we found people very generous at this time of day (perhaps because it was too early for them to have spent their cash!) with quite a number giving £10 or £20.

The Silk is a little down the road from Grassmarket and it isn't too far out from the main hustle and bustle, but audience members did tell us they started to feel unsure as they started walking down King's Stable Road if they were going in the right direction, as it looks a little as if it's leading out of town. If the Silk was a venue again, perhaps it would be useful to organise a sign at the corner of Grassmarket reassuring people they are going the right way!

We met several of the other shows, who were all really nice people. Struan, our venue captain, was really friendly, as well as helpful and a quick responder to emails. He was great at negotiating between the venue and performers when it came to things such as storing props, which we had originally been informed would have to be removed from the cloakroom on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Struan got permission for us to keep our stuff in the venue if we didn't use up too much room, which was especially helpful to us, staying as we were 7 miles outside the city...in tents...(not doing that again...) So I just wanted to say many thanks to Struan for organising that and communicating it clearly to everyone.

I realise this was an experiment for the Silk as well as the Fringe so teething problems are inevitable. The difficulties we had were perhaps also augmented because we were the first performers in the venue. During the nightclub's regular business, all chairs and backdrops had to be removed and then reassembled the next day. This was a lot of work for the staff first thing in the morning and we found ourselves being admitted to the venue later and later, sometimes with our audience in tow, as our earliest arrivals tended to come at 11:45. On one occasion the audience actually helped us set up their chairs! One audience member also told us some people had assumed our show was cancelled when the venue was not yet open past our start time on one day, which meant we lost a few punters, and that was discouraging. Usually we were able to let the first members of our audience in at the same time as us if we were getting in a little later than normal, but this isn't an ideal arrangement. It may be that if this venue is used again, the first show starts a little later than 12:05 to give everybody time to organise.

One suggestion if the venue decided to be involved next year is perhaps not to use the middle floor as a performance space, and use only the lower and upper floors. The space was a good one, but because it also served as a bar and provided toilet access for the lower floor, we had quite a lot of (sometimes quite noisy) through-traffic during our performance. As our show relies quite heavily on its silent sections, this could be distracting. Also, as all floors were being used for performances, every day staff business was conducted on the middle floor, with what looked like job interviews/one to ones taking place during our show a couple of times. The staff were speaking quietly during these, but unfortunately due to the quiet nature of our show, it was distracting for us. I think these particular issues could be easily sorted, however, by keeping the middle floor free as bar space and an area for staff to conduct everyday business.

Teasetter Sarah
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Joined: September 2015

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