Polaris (2.45/3.00pm)

Polaris (2.45/3.00pm)

Postby hannahraymondcox » 20 Sep 2017, 17:05

I performed Polaris, my spoken word show, for a full month run at 2.45 or 3pm every day except Thursdays.

The room was downstairs in the pub opposite the bathrooms, seating around 35 people at a push. There was not a raised stage, but the intimate nature of the venue meant that it wasn't a big deal for this particular show. A key issue was the fact that the stockroom was to stage right, which meant that on several occasions bar staff had to cross the stage during the show - this was unavoidable. This may not be a big deal for a comedy show, but I would caution spoken words acts to be aware of that, especially if dealing in heavy themes. The room also had some noise bleed from upstairs, though besides one live music Sunday above us, it wasn't overly distracting. More concerning for some acts was the lack of lighting and MacGyvered cable situation to remedy that- there were two working plug sockets. For lights and a microphone, this was fine, but it appears halfway through the month another act had a projector that necessitated daily rejigging of the cable situation. The lighting set up also meant that only one side one's face could be properly lit; in the last two weeks, the lighting was frequently somehow borked, including having lighting cables nicked or removed on the last two shows, tuned to the wrong setting (there's only really one neutral white light setting), or simply wires tangled and not taped down. For the most part these were easy fixes (barring straight up missing cables)!
Storage was good- there was a large bookcase that could be used to store flyers and props.
Chairs were fetched from Bar Bados, this worked great! Set up of the venue was relatively straightforward as well, though perhaps more black fabric could be good for next year.

Fab location just up from the Grassmarket, meaning good footfall and lots of last minute punters if need be. A bit confusing because the googlemaps showed its old location, but a printed map on the back of a flyer coupled with the Wee Blue Book meant things ran smoothly for the most part.

The staff were absolutely lovely and patient, and they did everything they could to ensure the smooth running of the venue! Fully would recommend the bar staff and location to other Free Fringers.

Not a problem for my show- just encouraged people to buy a drink at the bar!

In conclusion, a serviceable venue with lovely staff in a great location. Would be happy to perform there again, with a more fully considered approach to solving the lighting issues and plans for interruptions by staff.
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