Girls & Boys at The Beehive

Girls & Boys at The Beehive

Postby Jane Walker » 06 Oct 2010, 10:57

[b]Show info:[/b]

Girls & Boys at The Beehive (stand up – four-hander)

Full run – 10.20pm at The Beehive Inn

[b]Background:[/b]

As all four of us are local to the Scottish circuit we were already familiar with the Beehive as a venue and pleased to have been allocated it – partly as it is more central than our previous venue (the four of us had, in previous years, all been involved in shows at the Mercat at Haymarket) but also because we knew that we would be made welcome and supported by Ged and Norma and their team.

[b]Audience numbers:[/b]

We never had less than double figures for the show and while numbers varied across the run (there was not rhyme or reason to these fluctuations) we always had a comfortable number of punters in. Some nights we were pretty full although I don’t think we were ever totally packed out.

Flyering tended to bring in a good number of people, although more often than not a fair number of the crowd had come along based on listings in the progs or simply because they’d seen the PBH sign and decided to attend whatever show was on next at the venue.

The fact that there was one Saturday night when pre-show flyering was impossible due to torrential rain, yet we still had between 20 and 30 people in demonstrates both the power of the Free Fringe and the fact that with a central venue people will be willing to come along see what was happening.

[b]Bucket & feedback:[/b]

As you would expect bucket takes varied across the run but were generally pretty healthy – most nights yielded at least one bank note! – and we covered costs early in the run.

There was no real correlation between audience numbers and bucket takes – or between audience response and bucket takes, one night felt really flat yet the door take was above average.

In terms of audiences, most of ours were friendly and up for it and we had no real problem punters – we did have to ask a couple of guys to tone it down or leave one night but they took it well and departed without fuss.

We had a couple of nights that felt a bit flat or less positive but talking to people from other shows we found that this had been the case for them as well on those nights – something in the air maybe?!

On the whole, however, our audiences were supportive, warm and enthusiastic, and many audience members took the time to speak to us afterwards and say how much they’d enjoyed themselves.

As with last year we had people either actively seeking out Free Fringe progs or working through as many PBH shows as they could. Several of them said that the shows they’d seen on the Free Fringe were at least as good as those they’d paid to see. Some expressed surprise at the quality of the shows they’d seen – free having been equated with “not that good”…

[b]Venue:[/b]

The room is a good size and layout for comedy – it’s maybe a little too bright but other than that the only slight issue was that it could get rather hot and having the windows open wasn’t always viable due to noise. That, however, was pretty minor and par for the course with a venue like this, it certainly wouldn’t put us off playing that room again.

Ged, Norma and their team were very supportive and welcoming and went out of their way to accommodate us, providing storage space, allowing us access to staff only areas and routes and generally looking out for us. Massive thanks are due to them all.

[b]Misc:[/b]

As we followed a non-PBH show we didn’t have anyone to man the door for us for the start of our show – as there were four of us this wasn’t an issue but it may have been a wee bit stressful for a solo performer. This also meant that we weren’t guaranteed a plug and the chance to retain audience members from the previous show, although in fairness the non-PBH performer did when chatting to people after his show point them in our direction on more than one occasion.

We did find that no matter what we told people – and what was clearly stated on our flyers – that quite often people had it fixed in their heads that our start time was half past not twenty past. Again, not a big deal as latecomers are par for the course with free shows, but some nights the numbers coming in ten to fifteen mins into the show was quite distracting. Not something that can easily be addressed – or, indeed, a gripe – just an observation.

[b]Conclusion:[/b]

Another great Free Fringe experience – we all felt we benefitted from a more central venue this year and would certainly have The Beehive on our wish list for future shows.

Thanks are due to The Beehive staff for their help, support and all round loveliness.

And, of course, huge thanks are due to Peter for this opportunity and for everything he does that makes the Free Fringe possible.
Jane Walker
 
Posts: 11
Joined: February 2009
Location: Edinburgh

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