Performer reviews of their venues/shows/experience in 2008


Postby Ben Heal » 23 Sep 2008, 07:08

Here is MUCKs report on Ed 08. It is an edit from a de-brief meeting. The context is that last year MUCK had a week in Ed thanks to Danny W. This year we ran two shows at different venues for the whole 3 weeks. Madogs at 1.00 and the Phoenix at 8.00. We used around 25 different comics.

All present found 08 a mostly agreeable and developing experience – while tensions and strains overall it was positive. Agreement to go again and go with PBH if he will have us. In show terms peaks and trough in terms of performance standards, audience reaction and numbers – though in the main a highly creditable outcome.

Wide ranging discussion following realisation insufficient marketing/branding undertaken this year. Ideas mooted around local Mersey media (press and radio) – to be advanced on Forum and Muck meets.
Aside from Nick’s great publicity material little branding undertaken – Jonny designing a new bannerfor our Mersey venues but able to be travel to Ed. There was agreement that MUCK needs to foreground its development purposes, be proud of its amateur status and set realistic expectations for the audience at Ed and Mersey gigs To be reflected on website, meetings and MCs opening spiel.
Observation of other comics at Edinburgh flyering methods indicated MUCK should flyer ecologically, in a targeted manner immediately outside the venue – and perhaps audiences leaving Scouse comics gigs elsewhere. Placarding seen as very successful, especially when twinned with non aggressive banter with those going by. Thought most punters were footfall and a proportion of Ed visiting Scousers wanting to hear more Scousers talk on a stage!
For anyone thinking of Madogs it is so close to the Royal Exchange you get a high quality of footfall. Simon Callow a true gentleman and luvvy asked our placard holder how our houses were doing. Kevin Spacey, arguably greatest actor of our generation, refused a photo with MUCK personnel, preferring to run away while shouting over his shoulder in highly nasal East Coast tones “I don’t do that”. Respect.

VENUES. While Madogs and Phoenix were seen as generally workable, with supportive staff – but we had no great inclination to return to either. Another year, another venue. Madogs good numbers, nice ambience, large room, but daylight and sober audience problematic. Phoenix weekdays often sparse audience members.
MUCK did not lose any equipment thanks to its full involvement with set up and taken down. One of our talented members is applying for the Teccy post with PBH.

Two with big time gap between on same day did not seem to cause any problems. The issue is more could we manage 3 weeks gigging rather than whether two venues is too many. It seems we were unique having two –but we could field 25 comics

THE CREDIT CRUNCH. Audience numbers while hardly overwhelming were fine in terms of always being adequate. The lack of Americans for this long time Ed attendee was astonishing. Overall there seemed to be fewer strangers in town but perhaps those that did come were more ready to make use of the FF. Perhaps FF is very dependent on local footfall of people with no plans for the next few hours and we are not actually in competition with the big players at all.

ACCOM. The majority of MUCK had no option but to camp on the outskirts. So we had the strange experience or recreating the muddy bloody hell of November 1917 on the Somme every night and morning to travel into the mobile paddling pool that was Edinburgh. Given Ed August and torrential rain is a given – anyone with ideas of how to get us out of this unwelcome camping rut would be appreciated.

Scousers are loyal in the extreme and PBH served us proud in relation to equipment and support. As last year we made some good friends from the PBH comics and gigs are being offered.
Ben Heal
Posts: 7
Joined: March 2007
Location: Merseyside

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