18:00 Hitch and Mitch: Genisis

18:00 Hitch and Mitch: Genisis

Postby Adam_Mitchell » 30 Oct 2011, 14:31

The venue is usually a heavy metal kind of bar. Its billed as Edinburgh's most haunted pub and has a lot of dungeon type rooms, including a pole dancing room which has a musky stench. It does some food and the beer is reasonable to the wallet and to the palate. The clientèle are very friendly, they normally wear black clothing, as is befitting of their musical tastes, other than this no other generalizations can be made.

The cinema room is a dream. I perform there throughout the year and have become very comfortable in its dank interior. Its a seperate room, most easily described as a mini cinema. Capacity around 50 though any numbers over 20 make the place seem full. During the course of the run we did fit over 50 people into the room by accident, though this made it uncomfortably sweaty though gleefully raucous. Though the capacity says 50 I'm unsure how you fit this many people on to the rows of comfortable raised seating, at least 10 audience members had to sit on the isle stairs and a few had to stand at the back of the room, blocking the door.The technical set up in the room is fantastic, I know two cordless mics were available although we used two mics with cords. Our show relied on a powerpoint presentation and the huge cinema screen was perfect for this. Sound quality was more than okay, the acoustics in the room helped. Downsides? Not really, the room was very hot but that was mainly due to boombastically sweaty performances. I know since the festival the technical aspects of this room has improved even further, with the sound box being removed from the stage and hidden beneath chairs and the speakers/lights have been updated.

The staff were fantastic, there were 3 performance spaces in the venue, plus an almost hourly influx of ghost tour tourists, the Banshee Labyrinth being the final stop on the tour. Though as far as I'm aware no two shows started and ended at the exact same time, the small corridors of the Banshee got incredibly busy between performances, getting audiences in and out etc. With this problem the staff were wonderfully patient at directing crowds to where they wanted to go. Did it interfere with normal business? I'd say no, all three venues were separate from the main bar and drinking area. One of the rooms (music) had its own bar anyway. From speaking to the manager since, I know he was very pleased with how the festival went.

We advertised in the normal avenues, flyering, brochure and general word of mouth. We are part of a comedy collective called We Happy Few. The few had back to back shows in the Banshee cinema room from 15.30 to 19.15. We advertised each others show heavily. I know this was a major source of audience as someone who had enjoyed Ben Verth's show for example would often come back to see our show. Also we did as many guest spots as we could, in which we plugged our show through the medium of mediocre performances.

Audience was generally great. I counted we had around 12 sold out shows. The lowest we had was 10 and the average was around 35. Saturday and Sunday were always highlights as it took little work to get a sold out show. We found flyering on the Royal Mile to be a lost cause. Though we tried to do an hour a day handing out PBH booklets, with our flyer bookmarked to the relevant page. This was very effective.

After a first day scare the show went generally well. Once we knew the show and knew it worked, we played around with it a lot more and adapted it to the audience on a day by day basis.

Buckets were fine, we made our money back pretty early on in the run. A full room with a good show lead to £80-£100. A quiet room with a good show £40-50. Still the audience were generous (too generous) with bad performances. We had developed a 'donation' speech with a lot of jokes in, this was major contributing factor in getting good donations.

We are good friends with our room captain, Ben Verth, Ben being in WHF so communication was easy. WHF perform at the Banshee throughout the year so we already had good communications with the staff there. All in all, a great experience in one of the best Free Fringe venues I've seen.

Thank you to PBH and every other PBH performer. You sexy so and so's.
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