8pm My First Laugh

8pm My First Laugh

Postby TheManinTheBowlerHat » 03 Sep 2015, 02:45

Venue: Sportsters is a sports focussed bar just opposite the side of Waverley Station, at the bottom of the Scotsman Steps.

Performance Space: A beautiful large room, there were about 150 seats plus. There was a proper stage area and sightlines from most vantage points were very good. The only problem was that to get to the performance space you had to walk through the main bar which was often noisy and busy. There were very few posters in the venue (even though I asked loads of times)

Venue Staff: Very varied. Danielle was superb, many of the other barstaff were less good. I think of all the pub's I've ever been in (and I've been in lots) this must hold the record for the most staff & still worst service. Venue staff would constantly walk into the venue during the show and often would leave the door open. They'd also be noisily pouring ice into buckets, tidying glasses etc whilst my show was on. On the first show, a Saturday, a disco started in the main bar halfway through my show. The noise was both loud and distracting - I did speak to the DJ after and from then on he didn't crank the volume up until after I had finished.

How you advertised your show: My show was in both the PBH programme and the Fringe programme. On top of this I had 25 posters around the city. I started with having 2 flyerers doing 2 hours each for the first 4 days but unfortunately they weren't very good so I had to get rid of them. After that I flyered for about 3 hours every day.

Audience Numbers: Audience numbers were absolutely pathetic. The largest number I had was 40 when Piff the Magic Dragon was one of our guests. I had to pull one gig when no-one turned up. My average number of audience was about 6. It was heartbreaking. There is almost no passing trade to try and flyer, the venue is slightly off the beaten track and so only people who are 100% committed will venture down to find it. I was also on 8pm-9pm which is when if people weren't already off to see Hal Cruttenden or Stephen K Amos or James Acaster then they were going out for dinner.

Show itself: I thought it went pretty well considering audience numbers being appalling. I recorded the shows as podcasts and hope to release them shortly. Audience numbers were usually so bad that I took to getting the whole audience on stage with me to make it more intimate for them. I am convinced that the show was the right show, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Buckets: My buckets were pretty shocking. Worst was £3 on a couple of days.

Technical set up: It was good but as I was recording my show for a podcast I couldn't use their cordless mics. Often the PA wouldn't be set up properly and I'd have to spend time sorting that and the lighting out.

Admin: Was generally fine, many thanks to Jollyboat for this. Only slight annoyance was when one of the shows before over ran by 10 minutes everyday.

Other Points: Room was lovely but huge. Trying to get people in was impossible.

Overview: I did not have a good time here, I tried everything but just couldn't get an audience for my show which was a shame. If I was offered it again I would turn it down, unless you have a very large cast who will all flyer for you, or if you are a big *name* then this would be a lovely venue but if, like me, you are running the show on your own then I think you will find it very hard to get people to attend.


Nigel Lovell
My First Laugh
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2011

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