three cheers for the free fringe

Performer reviews of their venues/shows/experience in 2007

three cheers for the free fringe

Postby steviep » 31 Aug 2007, 12:28

I’d like to say that taking part in the Free Fringe this year was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring things that I have been part of. It was a truly fantastic experience despite the odd minor hiccup on occasion. Everyone was friendly and helpful and made for a really enjoyable month. A particular thanks to Peter for all his dedication and work. Sorry to all those people whose shows I couldn’t get to. Lesson one for next year. Find time to see more shows!

Many of the people who came to our shows were delighted to discover the free fringe and said that it embodied what they saw as ‘the true spirit of the fringe’. That made me proud to be part of it. A number of mates of mine also checked out Free Fringe shows and on more than one occasion said that they had had a better time than at paid shows they’d been to.

I did Stevie and Evie’s Midnight Muck at midnight at the Canon’s Gait. Despite both being experienced stand up’s It was the first time that either evie or me had worked in a full on double act. It was hard work getting it together but was well worth it as it pushed us both to write new characters, sketch and routines.

One thing we did which I think people should bear in mind for next year, is we wrote the show specifically with the time slot in mind and I think it worked quite well (big crowds, good collections and loud laughs most of the time). Certain things will work better at certain times. I would certainly recommend the midnight slot.

However, I’ll be honest despite being a great time for audiences and atmosphere and Evie and me having a brilliant laugh. I think I would prefer a slot earlier in the evening next year where I can do a solo stand up hour.

Three cheers for Peter and the Free Fringe!

Here’s what I learnt (or think I learnt!):

Flyering works. If you flyer you get an audience if you don’t flyer you don’t. For our midnight show two of us flyered for around one and a half to two hours a day and got, on the whole big crowds. Great idea whoever suggested a free fringe stall on the royal mile, a few hours a week each on this wouldn’t kills us and would swell audiences

Signs are important – if people can’t find us then they won’t come. This was an early problem for all of us but was eventually sorted over the course of week one. I think that the white horse did this most effectively with a large board decorated with flyers with a running order of all shows chalked on it. As you walked past you couldn’t miss it. I think we should make this the norm at all venues next year.

Brochure – I think we would benefit from a more professionally produced brochure/booklet. No criticism of this years brochure as it did the job, but I think we can do better (well actually I couldn’t, as I’m hopeless with design but I’m guessing we have some budding graphics masters amongst us). My suggestion in this area is that we could seek some bigger sponsourship to pay for a free fringe brochure. I suggest that we contact one of the local Edinburgh newspapers (Herald?) to sponsour a brochure of free fringe shows that is distributed by us and also by the paper.

Front of House/ venue management – I did some Front of House at the Canon’s Gait and it is important. Do you think we might be able to find some non performers who might be interested in helping in areas such as this, venue managing and PR. Surely there must be some theatre management or PR students out there who would relish the chance to be able to say that they helped manage a venue and PR for the Award winning free fringe. Perhaps we could all offer a % of our collections to cover the overheads of a few extra bodies. Let me know if people think this would be worth doing and we could approach some colleges.

The idea of finding ourselves a communal area to socialise a good one.

If I think of more I’ll post it.

Well done everyone I for one had a great time


Steve (Parry)
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2007
Location: London

Re: three cheers for the free fringe

Postby Jeff i Hunt » 31 Aug 2007, 23:31

Great idea whoever suggested a free fringe stall on the royal mile, a few hours a week each on this wouldn’t kills us and would swell audiences
The idea of finding ourselves a communal area to socialise a good one.[/quote]

Perfect sense as usual.
Your advice to me was always spot on, whether I chose to follow it or not, such as about who/when/where to flyer..


I suggested both things above at a Fringe "meeting" Nobody went for the communal area suggestion, although Owen N. has also raised this!!
I just felt that a free ticket booth would be a great use of time and resources AND piggyback the half-price ticket office mentality
Jeff i Hunt
Posts: 11
Joined: April 2007
Location: London

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