Postby shelfcomedy » 15 Sep 2016, 13:52

Shelf is a comedy double act doing sketches, stand-up and songs at 4.45pm every day from the 6th - 27th August.

T-Bar was very well located on Cowgate between Just the Tonic At the Caves, and Just the Tonic Mashhouse. It was excellent for flyering along that road and we got a lot of people in during the last half hour before our show. People also had little trouble finding the venue if they were flyered on the mile or elsewhere in Edinburgh. The only improvement is that the bar could have been slightly better signposted and there was some confusion between the venue name being T-Bar, while the bar itself still had a sign saying Tank.

Performance Space
The performance space was excellent in terms of size and layout. We are a comedy double act sketch group with minimal props and tech and found the space great for our style of show. The room is nicely intimate, seating roughly 50 people, and still felt full with only 10-20 people in the audience. The layout of the room, in terms of seating and stage area was very flexible and each show preferred a different layout depending on whether they wanted more audience or a larger performance space. The PA was excellent for the space and our sound cues were clearly and easily heard. The venue staff also put in a door to the room, which was incredibly useful for noise bleed and also for organising audiences prior to a performance. The only downsides to the room was the lighting and the heat. Despite several fans, the room was incredibly hot, which, on the hotter days, became very uncomfortable. It would have been useful to have bought extra lights for the room, although we had a couple of desk lamps, as the room itself was very dimly lit. The venue manager did put in an overhead light, which helped a bit, but overall the dim lights and heat made the room less ideal as a performance space.

Audience Size
Audience size varied across the week. Saturdays tended to be absolutely packed, with lots of footfall along cowgate and people interested in seeing free comedy. During the week, our shows averaged at around 25 people and we always had decent takings in the bucket.

Venue Staff
The bar staff at T-Bar were always very friendly and helpful. Although they played music that was slightly inappropriate for 4.45pm in the bar downstairs, it was never loud enough to disturb our performance and they were always very accommodating if we asked them to turn it down when getting people into the venue. There were a couple of staff in particular who took an interest in the show and would let us know prior to the performance how busy previous shows had been. The only real downside was that the bar played loud club night music all day and had disco club lights going, this was often a turn-off for punters looking in to the venue as it didn’t really provide a pre-show atmosphere, particularly earlier in the day.

We found our run at T-Bar to be an excellent experience, we had generally good-sized audiences (especially considering there were only two of us flyering) and the performance space suited our minimal tech/prop show. We had no major issues during our run and the only major improvement that could be made to the venue was better lighting and perhaps some sort of air con unit. Ultimately T-Bar is a great venue and would be even better with some minor improvements.
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