1700 - Eddie Naessens: Butter People

1700 - Eddie Naessens: Butter People

Postby Eddie Naessens » 17 Feb 2012, 21:54

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue
The venue is under the George V Bridge. High-ceilinged and cavernous. Worked well for a first-time round run. It's an Irish pub, a late-night venue; doesn't normally open until 5pm.
- The performance area - stage, separate room, open air?
A slightly raised section at the end of the bar. There are booths to the side in front of the stage that restrict the seating potential but not too much.
- 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 owner and staff were very friendly and helped where possible. There were problems with getting the backdrop up; really makes a difference to have a backdrop in terms of focusing visual attention. The venue is popular for sports events and has a huge screen behind the stage area; I suggest more could be made of this in future. Christy and staff really entered into the spirit of the festival and showed they could turn this venue into one of the best Free Fringe venues next time out. It is a question of playing to the strengths that are already there. Music, Theatre, and sketch might fare better than more low-key solo shows because of the high-ceiling and open space. I set up the seating close to the stage to counteract to encourage the audience to fill to the front.
- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc
I focussed mostly on handing out PBH brochures with my own flyer tucked inside.
- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - solid numbers every show? Did it vary by day? Affected by weather?
It varied. The venue is a bit out of the way, and I was on at 5pm doing stand-up. Some days (early week) were a struggle. One day I performed to an audience of 3. In a big space that felt flesh-crawlingly difficult. Overall I was happy with the run, by the end I figured out how to play the venue better.
- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
When the numbers were there, the show worked well enough. At times it worked really well. The important point about the venue is to focus on getting the seating set up close and around the stage. That works a dream. The space is big and therefore people will hang back and that makes for a tougher share. Always ensure seating is set up and bring your audience up to the front to fill.
- Buckets - we don't need accounts, but how were the donations to the buckets - bad, good, generous
I found some audiences early in the run to be positively scabby - so I began making a point of mentioning that if they were happy enough to stay to the end they should be happy enough to make a contribution that didn't include coppers. I found this approach worked. Obviously for the couple of occasions where I felt the show was below par due to a tiny audience numbers I didn't push the point.
- Technical set-up at the venue - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
Back drop, seating set up around the stage, more identification of venue as it is off the beaten track a bit. The owner and staff are very open to suggestions. It would be a good idea for the recce team to help set this venue up better, it has excellent potential, and most importantly they're great people to deal with.
- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
Gareth was good. There when needed. But overall I dealt directly with the venue and other shows to sort out any issues. Non-delivery of brochures at venue was a problem.
- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change
This is a good venue. It needs more work and consideration in terms of setting it up technically and making it more visible. Although very central it is hard to access. Perhaps a banner on or near the bridge might help.
Eddie Naessens
Posts: 3
Joined: February 2012

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