Speakeasy, Tales from a Cabaret, 8.25pm

Speakeasy, Tales from a Cabaret, 8.25pm

Postby James Lismore » 21 Jan 2016, 13:04

Speakeasy 20:25 Tales from a Cabaret

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue


The Voodoo Rooms is a large cocktail bar with three performance spaces; The Ballroom, The Speakeasy and The French Quarter. The bar offers a range of very good cocktails. The venue has a number of performance shows and events outside the Festival.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?

This year we were in The Speakeasy. The Speakeasy is a perfectly formed Cabaret space with a small stage at one end, sound booth stage right and a bar at the back of the room. There are booths at the sides of the room and rowed seating with a centre aisle and standing room at the back, seating 70 or so with another 20 – 30 standing.
We use minimal tech but there is a well-equipped PA and sound system, a projector and screen and stage lights. The stage lights are set at the side of the stage so if there are more than one of you on stage you will often cast shadows on one another, some front lighting would be useful but this is a very small point.
There is a bar at the far end.

The one issue with the Speakeasy (and The Voodoo Rooms in general) is access when it is busy and at key points / clashes of performances. There is one quite narrow staircase that serves all three space in the venue and this can be difficult to get through / clear out space / flier audiences etc. The venue and Free Fringe adjusted show timings this year to try and mitigate this issue and on the whole it worked very well.

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?

The staff at The Voodoo Rooms are excellent. They are helpful and supportive and genuinely interested in the shows that come to their venues, we could not praise and thank them enough.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc

We were in the PBH brochure and the main Fringe brochure. We had posters (although we did not put up enough) and flyers. We flyered quite regularly but could have done more. We did a number of slots at Cabaret nights and this helped spread the word. The Creative Martyrs have a good reputation at the Fringe and word of mouth certainly helps.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?

We had fair average numbers over the festival, possibly a little quieter than previous years, mostly pretty busy, some quite quiet and a handful of packed houses.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

We keep our shows very limited in terms of set, props and tech, essentially it is just two performers, a cello and a ukulele. Lots of props, costumes, tech are just going to make your life difficult – keep it simple.

The show itself is part cabaret part theatre and worked very well in the Speakeasy, the stage is just the right size to delineate a ‘fourth wall’ but the audience are close and accessible enough for us to break said wall, which we do regularly. Cabapocalypsaret and our cabaret style in general is designed to be very flexible and adaptable to many, all and whatever space…

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous

Buckets varied and didn’t always correlate with the size of audience, we had some small but very generous audiences and vice versa. On the whole they were very good and once again we managed to leave the Festival not having lost any money and making a small profit.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

All admin and communication with the Free Fringe, the venue and with the captain was efficient and seemed to work very well.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change.

The voodoo rooms is a great venue that has a particularly good reputation for cabaret, it is a little off the beaten track while close to important thoroughfares and main audience hubs.
We very much hope to return in 2016.

James Lismore
James Lismore
 
Posts: 9
Joined: June 2010

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