18.40 Mister Meredith - Variety Bunker

18.40 Mister Meredith - Variety Bunker

Postby Luke Meredith » 07 Sep 2016, 15:25

Fingers is located on Frederick Street, off George Street in the New Town. It is an established late night piano bar and most Edinburgh residents know it as such. This was my third show with Fingers and very pleased that PBH has regained it, as the staff are brilliant and super helpful. The entrance is down just a few steps so not suitable for wheelchairs, but accessible for people with mild mobility difficulties.

The room is fairly long,at least 70' x 20', capacity around 70 if packed, but because of the cabaret tabled seating at the front, it feels full enough with only 20 on the slow days. Banquette seating round the sides, about 8 tables at the front, rows of chairs at the back. The stage is dominated by a grand piano (digital, if you need to transpose) on stage left, with an equivalent depth stage right. Total stage area just around 2m square, but there's an area at the front you can step off, and it's only a couple of inches high so feels intimate. The ceiling is fairly low, just below fingertip height stretching up so not very suitable for jugglers or hooping. Sound tech supplied by venue: 3 x microphones, 3 x stands, PA accessible from stage with 6 outputs including the microphones. The sound system here is brilliant. Best place on the free fringe for musical acts.

The way to the toilets is next to the stage, so not suitable for theatre, but shows in Fingers are mostly cabaret and music. Small changing area separated by curtain next to this.

Lighting is fairly basic, one on pianist, two general wash and one spot: plenty for the size of venue.

I know some shows said they suffered this year from the closure of the Assembly Room venue up the road, but generally the audiences for shows were pretty good, particularly in the evening. As mine was a music show, I focused on flyering round the singing stages on the mile and exit flyering the hundreds of a cappella groups. Other general good areas included the south west exit from St Andrews Square and The Mound (Half Price Hut). I also had a surprising amount of audience just from flyering on the corner half an hour before the show.

The venue doesn't put posters up inside as they only get torn down by the crowds later, but they do put out two A boards, so worth getting a couple of posters for that.

Buckets were good, sometimes hitting above a hundred, mostly around the 50 mark, which wasn't bad for a show that had to be re-written two days before as a solo with no press. I allowed the next show to come in and wait at the bar, and Elsie was very good, always there to do door duty and police her crowds, and I often got people back to see my full show when they'd just seen the end, so all good!

We had such a supportive gang at Fingers this year, with many of us taking turns in each others' shows, so thanks to everyone who was there. Thanks to May, Billy, Guy et al for being lovely as always. And thanks Free Fringe. Couldn't do it without you.
Luke Meredith
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