21:15/22:30 - Guns Ablaze (Southampton Outtakes)

21:15/22:30 - Guns Ablaze (Southampton Outtakes)

Postby AidanPittman » 15 Sep 2015, 15:53

Please note - Some of this report is identical to the show report for our sister show Uncanned Laughter, as I was in both shows.


Sportsters Bar is a very large nightclub venue, with the capacity to hold 150-200 people. The stage is relatively wide and very deep and can accommodate the 7 people in our improv troupe on stage at the same time but is probably better suited for a troupe of 4/5 members. The stage is very high compared to the audience seating, which is great for sight-lines, but makes for a slightly harder job of connecting with the audience. It is a very nice place to perform, with a large backstage area.

There was a problem however with the Venue booking. Our show run was Mon-Thurs for 3 weeks and for the first 2 weeks we had no problems. However our last 2 days of our run (26th and 27th) were double booked, with Hot Dub Time Machine and so our last 2 nights had to be cancelled. This was extremely annoying as we were looking forward to our last 2 shows of the Fringe and obviously our profit suffered too. I'm not at all looking to blame anyone, I just want to make sure this doesn't happen to another show next year.


Almost all of the staff at Sportsters were delightful and super helpful with moving chairs and answering any tech issues. The management especially were very helpful; storing our publicity material before we had got to Edinburgh and publicising our show on their social media.

The staff were also very sympathetic towards the double booking error and the manager offered to open the upstairs area for us on the last 2 nights to do our show. This was extremely generous of them but unfortunately it would have been way to noisy to do a show up there, due to the Sports bar below and no door separating the two areas.


We flyered on the mile from for 2 hours every afternoon from 3pm and then for an hour or so before our show started in the evening.
Handing out the wee blue book was also very useful and got us into conversation with the public much more easily, making it easier to sell both our show and the PBH Free Fringe as a whole.

Due to our run of only 12 days (that became 10) we only gave out around 2500 flyers.

We also had a double sided banner bought for £100, which was great and gave us an identity on the mile.


We grossed approximately £150 in bucket takings during the fringe and we broke even with production costs, combined with takings from our sister show Uncanned Laughter.
We bought some badges and used these to increase bucket donations, with everyone putting in £3 or more getting a badge.
As with our sister show, to begin with we didn't realise the importance of a good bucket speech, but we had significantly higher takings when we started to tell people how much a paid show is in comparison or the costs involved in performing at the Fringe etc. Bucket speech cheek, like 'fold your money' etc. can be extremely effective for small shows like ours.


Due to not being Fringe Affiliated, we struggled with audience numbers, with a couple of shows with 0 audience. However, we still averaged around 10 people a night on most days, with our biggest audience being around 25.


Being a nightclub, the venue came with impressive tech with a Backstage sound board and a seperate sound and lighting desk up the stairs looking over the stage. The spot and wash lighting were great and there is the capability for coloured lighting if needs be.


There was a large cloakroom for storage for props and publicity stuff that the management very kindly let us use.

Despite our slightly curtailed run, Southampton Outtakes had a cracking time this Fringe in a great venue with lovely people and a brill 20% performers discount. Thanks again to all the Sportsters staff, Ed Jollyboat/Croft for being a lovely venue captain and all the Free Fringe volunteers.
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