FRESH FACES AT THE FREE FRINGE

Performer reviews of their venues/shows/experience in 2008

FRESH FACES AT THE FREE FRINGE

Postby danny.worthington » 31 Aug 2008, 10:41

On the positive side, I never had to pull the show. So there were 22 performances (2 - 23) August. On the negative side it had low audience numbers. I would say we had between 6 and 12 audience members on weekdays and generally a few more on Saturdays - although the Saturday audiences seemed less 'up for it'. The first few days I fliered on my own but found this disheartening and employed two girls to flier from the Wednesday onward. I felt that it was difficult to get audience members to the venue due to its perceived distance from the hub of the festival with it being the most westerly venue on the fringe map, and this year there being so many more Free venues in the more central areas. The nature of the show ie a new acts show may also have made potential audience members question the value of walking there. I also wonder if the distance was the reason why I had no-shows from a number of the acts that I had booked. The likelihood of a rolling audience was reduced in the first couple of weeks by Nicko and Joe cancelling or pulling out of I think all but two of their shows. The final week saw a group of American acts filling the slot left by Nicko and Joe, though this did not seem to help my audience numbers, perhaps because of the length of their slot. Do people want to see another show after an hour and three-quarter show. I did also wonder if the 'dinner time slot' 6.30 - 7.30 was the best slot for Fresh Faces as I felt it had done better in the afternoon slot the previous year. Due to the nature of the show - ie variable bill I had not sought out reviews but did get a reasonably written 3 star review from Three Weeks.

I would like to give Alfie Moore a big thankyou for stepping in as compere on the night that I felt too poorly to make any attempt to run the show.

General notes -

We were unable to set up the venue of the Friday due to the Mercat completing some refurbishment work and it proved difficult to contact other acts on the Saturday in order to get the room set-up. Myself and Joe Donnachie managed to get the room into some sort of order for the first show, though nowhere near as good as I'd have wanted, fortunately on my return for my own show I found that as Nicko and Joe had not been intending to do a show on the Saturday that Chris, the manager at the Mercat had inserted some ceiling eyes and rehung the backdrop and thus been able to reposition the speakers which we had supported the backdrop on to create a much more pleasing look. There was no curtain between the performance space and the lounge area at the bottom of the stairs this year which meant that noise from there travelled to the back of the room, but this was not a problem as long as the audience was in front of the main arch which deadened any sound from the rear area.

I was distressed by the number of shows that I came across flyering who were not offerring the Free Fringe brochure.

The take down of a number of venues was badly performed. I have still not been re-united with two microphones I had lent to the Free Fringe and because of this will be reluctant to lend any equipment next year.
danny.worthington
 
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