Marjolein Robertson: UK's 2nd Most Northerly_Back Room

Marjolein Robertson: UK's 2nd Most Northerly_Back Room

Postby MarjoleinRobertson » 14 Sep 2016, 11:53

This was my frist ever Fringe Show, and therefore first PBH show (hope to do many more!) As it was my first I was just doing an 11 day run.

- The venue – Right onto Cowgate - so great footfall for flyering outside of the venue. Just make sure you get a spot that isn't overstepping another flyerer.

- The performance area – The seating was organised so that you were facing along the length of the room, which I found really great for engaging the audience. There was a curtained off area behing the stage part, this was very useful for a breather before the show and for storing belongings in. Being only curtains between the Back Room and the bar I was worried about noise spilling through from the bar area. However I only noticed it on one performance and that was during an incredibly busy Saturday in the bar. The staff were great and kept noise down to a minimum, reminding customers a show was on. Also the PA we had was really good and I never felt like I was competing to be heard at all.

- The team of staff at the venue – So great, so helpful. One day they even found a kettle for me in the office upstairs just so I could make myself a lemsip! They were really enthusiastic and happy to help, would love to go back to Opium just to hang out with them again. Cheers Opium! They really make you feel at home.

- How you advertised your show - 2500 flyers (toooo many) 500 posters (madness - I ended up covering a whole bollard on the Royal Mile cause I could and also wanted to clear Opium of a box of posters!) I also set up a Facebook page and event. I joined Edfringe, although I missed the programme I was listed online - I think that is the way to go, there were at least two people in every show who had found out about my show using the Edfringe app. Also the Wee Blue Book - always bringing people to every show! So useful!!! Lastly as I was a Shetlander there were always Shetlanders in, that was cool.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers – On average I had about 25+ per show, there was about a third of shows were people had to stand as there were not enough chairs. Also one night where we had to turn away over ten people. The smallest crowd I got was 14. I am really happy with numbers, however, I was also playing in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo for the second two weeks, so rehearsals really impinged on my flyering time before the show, so I am incredibly happy to still have had such a great turn out.

- Your show itself - Stand up with story telling elements - a brutally honest account of coming of age in Shetland, where we're all pretty much family, as well as observational comedy about politics, Harry Potter, Tinder and more, all from an islander's perspective,

- Buckets – Really dependent on how you do that pitch! I was happy with the buckets, I did notice on the busiest day that payment per head was the smallest.

- Technical set-up at the venue – It was brilliant, Opium had it all covered. The aux cable for ipods/iphones went walkabout pretty early on, but venue captain Hal lent us all his one. We would put it behind the bar at the end of each day for safe keeping. The bar staff were happy to look after it for us.

- Admin & Communication process – Really great, Hal emailed before the Fringe to get in touch with us all. Also emails from PBH were informative and great for keeping me up to date. I would advise anyone who hasn't been before to go to the Meet and Greet at the beginning of the Festival - really helps and gets you meeting other performers, the PBH team, really helps you to feel part of the whole organisation!

- Any other learning points for anyone involved :
-I went to the Meet The Press by EdFringe, there I met a few reviewers, one of which ended up coming and reviewing my show. The Meet The Press was a long day and quite tiring, but all worth it for that review!
- Work on that elevator pitch - a 20-30 second pitch to sell yout show, really helped, also worked at the Meet The Press.
-Try and see other folks shows, I am gutted I ended up missing out on several shows I had so longed to see during the Fringe, although as I mentioned preiviously I ended up having rehearsals during the days. What I saw was great- just wish there was more time (I think everyone does during the Fringe).
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