SHOW REPORT - The UnWrong Quiz

SHOW REPORT - The UnWrong Quiz

Postby frogmorris » 16 Nov 2010, 10:22

Bannerman's was a really great venue and we were really lucky to be here. We had a number of days when we were full which we were very pleased with as it was our first time in Edinburgh and had heard plenty of horror stories of friends who'd playing to empty rooms in past years. I think the prime position close to Cowgate, minutes from the main street, and in-between a number of other free venues helped get people in.

The staff at Bannermans were really great, friendly and helpful to anyone who was courteous to them. The room looked full with about 50 seated and could take about 80 or so standing, we only had to turn a few people away. There is stage for live bands and a big PA though most days they just rigged up a smaller vocal PA. There is space to run video projectors if you bring one. There are stage lights but they are coloured lights for live music rather than theatre spots. There are also house lights which can be faded up and down. The room is underground cavern, separated from the main bar by a door, and recently decorated as a rock venue with posters from past gigs on the wall, including the house band called 'Lords of Bastard' which gives you sense of the regulars in this bar. The bar itself is well stocked and usually has Deuchars on cask plus one or two other guest ales changed every couple of days and some rarer scottish brews in bottles so often a share of our takings went on an after show ale tasting. There is also a good selection of whiskey and the usual selection of fizzy larger pop. Only a few minor issues with the venue. The PA went down one day as the venue is used for live bands in the evening and the thrash metal group the night before had blown up some part of the system, this was not the fault of the pub and Chris the sound man got it fixed as soon as he could. Also we were very lucky to have a free PA and sound man laid on in the first place, and as Andrew Collin showed when the PA was out during his show, a good performer can work around these technical difficulties without having to disappoint an audience. The only other really issue we had was that the pub is over 18s only and as we didn't know this in advance we had billed ourselves as family show. This disgruntled a few teenagers and people with kids, however on the up side we were still full most days and we could edit back in some of the more adult material we'd previously cut expecting a lunchtime crowd.

We made the effort to make sure one of us was there for finish of the show before and the start of the show after, not sure everyone was doing this everyday, but it felt rewarding as we knew everyone was getting a smooth run and could pick up contented audience members from the show before and pass them on to the show after and the bar staff seem please there were extra hands around to direct people and even brought us a beer to say thanks.

Money wise our taking ranged from £3 to about £70 (NB we made a novice mistake on the first day of not begging). As we were splitting that between 3 performers plus expenses we could see why others were doing 2 or 3 shows a day to take decent cash even if you are packing out the venue... but we still made enough for a beer and a haggis supper most days.

Our show was an interactive quiz and thus not a straight stand up show or sketch show or comedy panel game and this might have helped us stand out a bit more in the listing. We did get a few bemused people because we were not doing straight stand up, but it is healthy to divide audiences a bit. Coming up with a good unique tag lines also helped when we were selling our show and other people show without established fringe names on the bill.

We were very please with Bannermans and departed wanting to come back next year.
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