2.30 -3.30 Cheshire Liberation Front's Indoctrination Rally

2.30 -3.30 Cheshire Liberation Front's Indoctrination Rally

Postby Francis Shire » 05 Mar 2012, 11:57

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue
The Buffs club is the Edinburgh-based home of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos – that’s Buffalos that originated before the flood! The venue sells one of the cheapest pints in Edinburgh in tennants at £2.40, slightly more for a McEwans. You can also get a whiskey and lemonade for under three pounds (the price of this seemed to fluctuate). Cheap drinks were always a useful hook with which to tempt punters up the numerous flights of stairs to the awaiting Buffs. Several people reported they had trouble finding the venue so it’s a good idea to put someone on the door handing out flyers, 20 minutes before the show starts. The core of the venue’s clientele are the Buffs club membership, generally at 2.30 there’d be one or two in watching some kind of motor racing. Apart from on Sundays when a hardcore few would be coming up drinking from the Pans – the Buffs represents the earliest pint you can get in the New Town now that the nearby Penny Black has closed. Although I was initially wary of the Buffs club members they turned out to be a friendly bunch. None of them actually came to see the show, probably for the best though. Upstairs there’s a hostel and we had varying degrees of success convincing the hostellers to come to the show. I stayed in the hostel one night and would recommend it for anyone needing somewhere to stay.

- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?

The performance area of the Buffs club is the back room where the sacred and mysterious rites of the RAOB usually take place. Sound doesn’t travel through from the main bar and the unusual Buffs club furnishings definitely contribute to the atmosphere, look out for a painting of the signing of the Magna Carter featuring a knight with six fingers. There are quite a few windows but we dealt with these by sealing them up with tin foil; creating a stiflingly hot atmosphere for Robin Ince’s sell-out shows each night. There’s also a backroom where props can be stored. The room has an idiosyncratic charm to it, which makes it ideal for a slightly bizarre fringe performance. We were lucky in that there was some great camaraderie with the other performers at the venue and many of them came to see our show. The Moonhorse boys in particular gave us lots of sound advice on what was our first fringe. Still haven’t forgiven Dec for beating me at thumb wars though.

- The team of staff at the venue - did they assist the shows? Did the show get in the way of the normal business etc?

Banter with the barstaff Frank, Matt and Nancy were one of the things that really made the fringe and we spent many a happy hour boozing away with them after the show. Frank even allowed us to use the legendary Buff’s club throne for the final performance of the run. Frank and co seemed really happy with the extra business the free fringe had brought the Buff’s clubs night and were planning a weekly comedy night when we left, tentatively entitled ‘I’ll be Frank...’. A word of warning watch out for Nancy’s guillotine choke, it’s a killer.

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc
We missed the press launch because it clashed with our first show, however, next time I would have tried to get to that. Flyering worked best at the discount ticket hut off Princess Street. Aim to start two hours before the show and just get enough free fringe programmes out as possible. People were really keen to take the free programmes and sometimes asked for recommendations close by, which gave an opportunity to plug the show. We used various gimmicks to stand out from the crowd including a llama puppet, face paint and a cow costume. This may have attracted more kids to the show than was suitable for the subject matter. Paying out the extra cash to feature in the Fringe brochure probably doubled our audience. The subject matter of the show also seemed to draw people – we had quite a few people from Cheshire but also people who worked in the salt industry, and key cutting professionals.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?

Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays were the days when we had good numbers, week days particularly Thursdays numbers were lower. Our maximum was 32, our minimum was 0 (this only happened on one day though), our mean audience number was 11.9.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
We never had a show where we actively heckled and had a lot of positive comments, although there was the occasional mid-week show where we played to baffled silence to around four people. I was pleased that when we only had one audience member we still did the show and if I had one piece of advice to give is that even if the audience don’t seem to be enjoying themselves, the important thing to do is give the impression that you are.

- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous

In total we got £356.52 from the bucket. Making on average £16.20. So people donated an average of £1.36 per show.

Sat – 6.8.2011 – 12 people - £15.36
Sun – 7.8.2011- 5 people - £5.50
Mon – 8.8.2011 – 20 people - £14.85
Tues 9.8.2011 – 4 people - £3.50
Weds 10.8.2011 – 12 people - £11.20
Thurs 11.8.2011 – 0 people – 20p (found on floor)
Fri 12.8.2011 – 1 person - £0 (Cheap)
Sat 13.8.2011 – 22 people - £27.00
Sun 14.8.2011 – 12 people - £31.98
Mon 15.8.2011 – 16 people - £13.37
Tuesday 16.8.2011 – 10 people - £11.23
Wed 17.8.2011 – 13 people - £21.95
Thurs 18.8.2011 – 13 people - £21.70
Fri 19.8.2011 – 8 people - £9.00
Sat 20.8.2011 – 17 people - £32.85
Sun 21.8.2011 – 19 people - £40.01
Mon 22.8.2011 – 13 people - £14.30
Tues 23.8.2011 – 9 people - £20.90
Wed 24.8.2011 – 7 people - £7.00
Thurs 25.8.2011 – 4 people - £4.37
Fri 26.8.2011 – 13 people - £16.49
Sat 27.8.2011 – 32 people - £33.76
Francis Shire
 
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