1700 last week - "And the Award Goes To..."

1700 last week - "And the Award Goes To..."

Postby Michael Conterio » 25 Sep 2011, 21:16

- The venue - Base Nightclub is a Nightclub on Cowgate, just across and down the road from the Underbelly

- The performance area - there is a slightly raised stage in one corner, which had a surprising large amount of space on it - easily enough to cope with seven improvisers bouncing about all over it. There was an area next to it fenced off with stools, which acted as a backstage area. This was about the same size as the stage, but is completely visible to the audience.

- The team of staff at the venue - were great. Helpful with setting chairs up (leaving only the ones at the front up initially so that the audience wouldn't hide at the back). Also in our last show, Allan (the manager) reacted to our improvised scenes on stage, providing us with appropriate disco lighting and music when the scene moved into a disco, and also activating the smoke machine as one of the cast turned into a werefrog. The wonders of improv :) Also Allan asked if we'd come back with the Free Fringe next year, and if so to apply early so we could come back to Base Nightclub, which was nice.

- How you advertised your show - we had the cast of 7 plus a few hangers-on out flyering every day. This seemed to be our main source of audience, and we got extra audience by having a couple of performers standing outside the venue in the half-hour before the show. We also did three slots on the participants stages on the Royal Mile, but here we found it hard to be heard above the ambient noise. Might have got a few people interested enough for them to take flyers though. We were in the Fringe Guide, but a straw poll didn't reveal any audience members who found us in there, and we didn't get any online reviews, so this was probably a waste of money.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - We were there in the last week of the Fringe only, so didn't have a huge chance to grow our audience. We got 35-65 most days, although we never worked out what caused the variation. However on the last night (Saturday) we got quite a few over 100, which was a very nice way to end the run!

- Your show itself - we gelled over the course of the week - it was very noticeable how much better we were on the last three nights compared to the earlier performances. A couple of us could also have done with a bit more compering practice. Apart from that it went pretty well, considering more than half our cast were newcomers, and for one of them it was his first show with our group.

- Buckets - averaged about a pound a person, which seems reasonable. A bit more than that on the last night - the larger crowd seemed more generous.

- Technical set-up at the venue - normally there were just lights on the stage, and we asked Allan to turn the music that was being played as the audience came in off when we wanted to start. See above for when Allan got a bit more involved though :)

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - nothing really to say, went fine

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - it was key focusing on selling the show rather than on getting rid of flyers. Enthusiasm for the basic show concepts really helped there. We really enjoyed performing with the Free Fringe for the first time, and hope to be back again next year!

Michael Conterio
Improvised Comedy Ents
Michael Conterio
Posts: 1
Joined: September 2011

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