Mother's Fat Accident - The Phoenix

Performer reviews of their venues/shows/experience in 2008

Mother's Fat Accident - The Phoenix

Postby Elise Harris » 02 Sep 2008, 18:13

Although Ollie and I enjoyed the time at the Fringe, The Phoenix was probably not the best venue for us.
The pub attracts locals rather than the usual Fringe goers, and so it is most suited to variable bill shows and material of a more rowdy nature (rather than whimsical or quiet). We had a problem on the first day with some regulars who decided to heckle through the whole show, then start a fight (one of the guys decided to 'defend' us from the other hecklers and they ended up shouting very loudly at each other. Blows were exchanged and one of the larger barmen had to break it up. This argument continued even after we left.)
I think the atmosphere of the place mean that it's probably best for acts who need and want a lot of audience interaction and disruption. Though it is fairly quiet in the daytime in the week.
As it is so far from so many of the venues regular fringe audiences tend to wander over only if they really, really want to see the show - and there is very little passing trade.
Although a few times we had people just waiting until their coach was due or passing half an hour before going to see a paid show at the Stand. Even then not many people venture that extra stretch from the Stand. If it is used in 2009 it would probably work better if there was at least one more Free venue very close (in the way the Outhouse was in 2007).

It is a good little space for the right show though, and the staff were very helpful and friendly.
It might work well with musical acts as well as variable bill shows - but with shows of a general, rather than niche appeal.

The venue is down steps and at the bottom of a steep hill, quite far from even the main part of the New Town, and is not really disabled-friendly.

It was difficult to know the best place to flyer for this venue (we usually tried near the Half Price Ticket Hut).

I think it would have been better if more people had given out the brochure as people seemed to take flyers more willingly when the brochure was offered (though this helps other people's shows just as much, if not more, than it helps the individual flyerer/show! Though if everybody handed them out it would all even out in the end and everyone would benefit, I think.)

The top of Broughton Street would seem to be a good place - though you risk blocking pedestrian access. Outside St James Centre is busy, but most people coming/going there tend to be shopping and not in the mood for entertainment - whether it be free or no.

It is difficult to judge how effective flyering was, as it seemed some days the more we flyered the fewer people came! The brochures (Free Fringe and main) seemed to be more effective.

What audience we got/managed to lure all that way seemed to enjoy themselves (after the initial hiccup of the first day's events).

Wednesdays were hard as Comedy Dublin (the show before) had no show that day and so the downstairs bar was locked for several hours after the preceding show. There was also no roll-over audience on those days. I believe Comedy Dublin had the same problem towards the end of the festival when there was no show before them either - so it was even harder that last Wednesday as there had been no show or event since Hoopla impro workshops much earlier in the day.

We did a show every day, even though twice we started with no audience (some people came in part way through and seemed to enjoy it as they stayed to the end and put money in the bucket).

We were not reviewed at all - but that was in part our fault for not publicising it well enough to the press. It was the first year either of us had done a full-run show so we will know better next time.

That said, we were featured on Youtube for an Edinburgh video diary I made and one day some people came because they said they had heard about us on Radio Four (we could find no evidence of this but they seemed certain.)
Elise Harris
Posts: 16
Joined: January 2008
Location: London

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