Sara Hirsch - Venue Captain - Silk Upper

Sara Hirsch - Venue Captain - Silk Upper

Postby Sara Hirsch » 01 Sep 2016, 10:39

As a performer the venue was a great size, with plenty of seats, very well laid out with a bar at the back and plenty of space. It is the quietest room at Silk as the lower floor continually has people banging doors just outside it or mistaking it for a toilet and accidentally entering the performance space and the middle floor has a continual stream of people walking through for the bar/toilets. So Upper is the quietest with the least disturbances during performances.

The bar was not always manned at the start of the show which was a shame but the bar staff are really friendly and helpful and so this wasn't the biggest issue.

The issues at the venue are quite significant however and worth mentioning as it did impact our fringe. Firstly, there is no storage at the venue whatsoever between Thursday and Sunday and so all props etc (except flyers and posters) must be stored elsewhere over the weekend. As it is a nightclub the PA system, chairs, banner, mics etc must all be packed away two nights a week and set back up on Friday and Sunday mornings. As venue captain this responsibility fell on my shoulders. This adds to the wear and tear of the equipment and adds a lot of manual labour to an already tiring month. However, the bar staff were very helpful and always joined in with the set up which made things a lot easier. There is no lighting at the venue so the performance space is really dark. We improvised with some little spot lights but it needs a stronger light really.

The cloakroom where things are stored the rest of the time requires one of the venue staff to open it and so every time you wish to get flyers/props, there is a lot of running up and down stairs and waiting involved. Lastly, the room is hard to find, not well signposted and as the toilets are at the back of the building, routes to and from them to the performance space are confusing and add time to getting an audience settled before a show. All in all, although we found the staff to be really friendly and the venue big and easy to perform in, it was a really tough month logistically, especially for a venue captain.

The venue itself is really well located for flyering on Grassmarket but is a little out of the way in terms of finding it. Because there is no bar when you walk in it is also really hard to direct audiences when they arrive at the venue and would benefit from better signage.

We managed to get good sized audiences and generated a good amount from the bucket but I do know that a lot of people struggled in this venue. I would say that this is a good venue overall but is slightly tougher than others. It would suit a show with more than one cast member so the other actors can be at the bottom of the venue to direct people. It also suits shows with no props/a simple set up.
Sara Hirsch
Posts: 2
Joined: September 2015

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