The Creative Martyrs; Tales from a Cabaret

The Creative Martyrs; Tales from a Cabaret

Postby James Lismore » 11 Oct 2010, 20:42

Finger's piano bar was a very good venue for our show 'Tales from a Cabaret'. The architecture and atmosphere of the bar greatly suited the subject matter and style of the piece. It allowed us to wander in among the audience as well as perform from the stage.
We were initially worried about the acoustics as we had, for performance reasons, decided not to be amplified. But this turned out to be fine. With a little voice projection the acoustics worked well both for the songs and the spoken sections.
The Bar staff were very helpful, both at the beginning of the run and throughout the festival. Chris was especially great as was the barman whose name we shamefully forget but who has a Northern Irish accent. He even willingly took part a little!
An example of how the bar staff catered to us was the fact that, without us even asking, two pints of iced water would appear on our arrival. This started happening after about the first two performances.
The drinks however, as has been mentioned elsewhere, were prohibitively expensive.
The audiences we had were overall very good. Capacity was consistently two thirds to full. Flyering of course helped enormously. On most evenings we would flyer in the High Street for half an hour to an hour before heading down the mound to flyer outside the Half-price hut, then flyering the Assembly rooms queue before loitering with intent outside Fingers (making sure the previous show had finished). We flyered in character which helped us enormously and we feel was more interesting to the passers by than if we had not been. Many members of our audiences travelled all the way from the High Street which was encouraging. The Assembly room queue did not reap so many rewards though despite it's closer proximity. The one night we were unable to flyer was, unsurprisingly, the evening we had the smallest audience.
We had slots on the High Street stages which helped to publicise the show. If anyone decides to do this next year we recommend press ganging friends and fellow performers to flyer at the same time as you perform, as audiences tend to dissipate once your performance finishes.
The audiences were generally very attentive during the show. If people did leave during the show, either because they had stayed over from the previous show and had another show to go to, or it wasn't to their taste, did so politely and sensitively. We had one negative episode involving a group who seemed to be in the bar just to drink. Two of them watched but the other three talked loudly. They then got up to leave at a crucial moment, pushing past my fellow performer very rudely. My fellow performer reacted very well, raising his hat sarcastically as they left. I did the same and we paused the show 'til they had gone. One of the group did however apologise on the way out.
Another slightly annoying occurance was when members of the audience would leave just before the end thus missing out on the oppurtunity to donate. However it is a free show and perhaps they were not aware of the impending request for donations. Perhaps!
The performers from the other shows were very friendly. Unfortunately we could not see the other Fingers Piano Bar shows as we had day jobs and were commuting everyday to Edinburgh. Hopefully next year we won't have to work and actually see other shows.
Thanks go to Luke, our venue captain. Texted enquiries were consistently answered and it is not often a venue captain can be seen regularly in drag!
Here's to next year,
All the best,

The Creative Martyrs
James Lismore
Posts: 10
Joined: June 2010

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