19.30 - The Lastminutecomedy Club (Paul B. Edwards)

19.30 - The Lastminutecomedy Club (Paul B. Edwards)

Postby Paul B Edwards » 31 Aug 2011, 02:29

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue
Buffs Club is a former private members club now open to the public. It's got an old fashioned feel to it and has few regulars but most of the ones that ARE there are a bit of a laugh themselves.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?
The room was a rather formal looking affair but had enough quirks in it for pretty much every act who came on stage to have something to say about it! It could cram in about sixty people. Having use of the back room as storage space was tremendously useful, particularly as it is the "wrong" side of North Bridge to be lugging equipment about.

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?
The staff were fantastic with me and I consider most of them to be friends now the run has finished and look forward to dropping in to the venue next year regardless of whether I am performing there or not.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc
Flyering for this venue was difficult this year because of the lack of the Assembly Rooms over this side of town. It just didn't get the footfall that the other side of Princes Street did. As a one man band, I couldn't really flyer the busier areas in the hour before the show as I had to be around the venue but to be honest, what developed was a really nice vibe with the the shows all encouraging people to stay in the venue for the next ones. We got quite a nice thing going in that respect and it gave the venue a real community atmosphere. Dec Munro's shows "Edinburgh Must Sees" and "Test Tube Comedy" worked together with me in the evening to offer the audience effectively three showcases in a row. By the end of it we were even sharing acts!

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?
Numbers were up and down with a lowest audience of about twelve but averaged around twenty. The weekends were very busy. It's encouraging really - this was the first year of a new venue in unexpected circumstances and it still managed to work.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
My show was beset with problems that were all the fault of other people (!). it was billed as a showcase show for three acts per day coming along to do their best material. What I ended up with was acts not showing up at all and me having to resort to new comics filling up the gaps. Of those pro comics that did show, too many used the gig to try out new stuff. This was particularly galling as I was just about the only person running a show like this who bought the acts a drink afterwards, regardless of the size of the bucket. In the last week I got a lot tougher about it and the gig got a LOT better. All in all it was a great learning curve for me in running a showcase show in Edinburgh and I'm looking forward to next year and getting it right! I ended up dishing out a few home truths that I hope I won't have to again. In the main I met some really nice new acts though who all show a lot of promise for the future and I wish them all the very best.

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous
This was supposed to be the show that funded my one-man show but actually it worked out the other way round. I think if we'd had the usual footfall over this side of Princes Street all the shows would have been packed. My buckets were also dependent on how my acts did. One day I had an audience of almost forty people and a bucket of nine quid. That was ultimately my fault for not imposing a greater quality control - the show had been of a really poor standard and if I'd been in the audience I wouldn't have given anything either. Normally the bucket worked out about £2 per person.

- Technical set-up at the venue - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
The PA we had wasn't really up to scratch for anything other than vocal PA + CD player but frankly that was all I needed for this show anyway.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
This was one of the highlights of being in Buffs really. We all got on really well and I would often sit pre- or post-show with people who were also in the venue to have a beer. It quickly became a meeting point for other free fringers as well because the bar was a quid cheaper than anywhere else around it (And about half the price of the voodoo rooms round the corner). Communication was excellent, things were dealt with without fuss and I have to say again that the staff were fantastic.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
The lighting could have been a bit better, signage could have been improved a little, bits of tinkering - just nothing major. This venue was conducive to a LOT of good times and a LOT of laughter.

As with my other show, something I did was to put all the small change I got (10ps, 5ps, 2ps, 1ps) in the tip jar for the bar staff every day. It didn't make much of a difference to my overall bucket but a couple of them remarked that if every show had done this they would have been really happy. It probably cost me about £1.50 to £2 per day. With all the shows in the venue they could have got massive tips. I certainly noticed that they worked extra hard for me as a result and I had more than a few free cups of tea, I suspect, as a result! I even got a pint out of Frank on the last night, but don't tell anyone!
Paul B Edwards
Posts: 45
Joined: May 2010

Re: 19.30 - The Lastminutecomedy Club (Paul B. Edwards)

Postby MJHibbett » 31 Aug 2011, 11:19

You got a pint out of Frank?!? I think this means you WIN!
Posts: 3
Joined: August 2011

Re: 19.30 - The Lastminutecomedy Club (Paul B. Edwards)

Postby Paul B Edwards » 17 Sep 2011, 01:58

He asked me not to tell anyone. Oops.
Paul B Edwards
Posts: 45
Joined: May 2010

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