9:45pm Pigs in Gin - Lower

9:45pm Pigs in Gin - Lower

Postby p1gsingin » 06 Oct 2015, 14:57

We were the final show in the Lower room and in the venue as a whole. The room itself was a great size, with plenty of seating, but the lighting was problematic. Even after the Space Carrots bought extra lights (please, someone send us your bank details so we can pay you back!) it wasn’t great – either creating so much shadow it looked like were telling ghost stories or far too bright – but still much better than the original, low-level, lighting.

As we were the final show in the venue, we had issues with noise when it was a club night. The nights started at 10pm, only 20mins into our show, so we found ourselves fighting against the music from upstairs, and the noise from the cloakroom queues right outside the door. We also had a few drunk people wandering in and disturbing our (frequently very small) audiences.

By the time we got into the room to do our show, the side tables and bar were often littered with empty or smashed glasses, so it didn’t feel that welcoming. We were also ‘hurried up’ by members of staff to leave the venue after the show, but then there was no one around to open the office so we could put equipment away. The lack of bar staff was also an issue – we did send audience members upstairs to get a drink as the Lower bar was not staffed, but often had to wait for them as there was only one member of staff serving drinks in the whole venue.

The location has been commented on before and this is just to reiterate that it was incredibly hard to attract any passing traffic to the show – especially at that time of night. Flyering for several hours a day in different locations seemed to have little effect on audience numbers, even in pig onesies on Grassmarket right before the show! On several occasions we saw staff from Silk flyering on Grassmarket for the club nights, and they were also struggling to attract and direct customers to the club. If Silk continues as a venue, it would be incredibly helpful if there were signs both at the end of Grassmarket and under the bridge on Kings Stables Road – and maybe an A-board on the street outside the venue – so people know they are heading in the right direction. I would also suggest not running shows so late at night – the dark, quiet location is off-putting if you don’t know the area, plus all the coaches for the Tattoo made it very hard for people walking on the opposite side of the road to see the venue at all.

Our audience members were very small; we only had one show with more than 10 members, averaging between 4-7 per show. We had to cancel two shows in a row in the final week, and the third cancellation was only saved by a couple of friends turning up. This obviously had an effect on our buckets – we made between £75 and £80 in total over 10 days. I know other shows did much better, but I think this was because they were on earlier in the day and had a greater number of team members to flyer.

Despite the problems with the venue, the shows within it were a pleasure to get to know over our run. Shelf – the show before ours – were helpful and friendly (suggesting social media tips to attract audience members that had worked for them), we loved swapping stories of abuse with the Space Carrots – seriously, what is it about dressing up that appears to be an invitation to get yourself molested?! – and Struan and President Obonjo made excellent agony uncles for everyone, everyday. Struan was also great at managing the pack-down and ensuring that the small band of volunteers knew what to do.

Overall, we enjoyed our first time performing at Edinburgh but it is such a shame that the location of the venue made it a lot tougher than it might have been.
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