9pm The Creative Martyrs, Tales from a Cabaret

9pm The Creative Martyrs, Tales from a Cabaret

Postby James Lismore » 20 Nov 2011, 13:34

- The venue - what sort of venue is it? Pub, Bar, Club, Restaurant... What sort of clientèle normally frequent this venue

Fingers is a late night music bar, usually open from around 10pm until 5am with live music and pianists (hence the name). It seems to be pretty well known in Edinburgh for being open when most other places have shut! As a fringe venue it is slightly isolated, particularly as everything Fringe seems to increasingly be moving old town, which is a shame because this really is a great, atmospheric venue.

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

It is all one room with the stage at one end and bar off to one side at the other. It's rather a small stage space and this is occupied by a rather large piano, for stand up I would imagine this would be fine. We're theatre cabaret and use the audience space quite a lot so it was fine for us.

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

Fantastic staff. We've had the 9pm slot at Finger in 2010 as well as this year and a friendlier and more supportive group of bar staff you will search hard to find. Really could not sing their praises more highly!

- How you advertised your show - Fringe brochure, flyering, posters, word of mouth etc

We were in the PBH brochure and the fringe Brochure. We performed at a lot of Variety Cabaret, particularly Kabarett at the Voodoo Rooms and Gorgeous George and we did a lot of flyering at these events. We also benefitted from a lot of word-of-mouth... quite a few people that saw us in 2010 came to see the show again and a number of people saw it on multiple occasions bringing different people each time (thank you). We are Glasgow based and perform a lot in Edinburgh, so are generally known on the Edinburgh/Scotland Cabaret scene.

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

Numbers were very good this year, we were almost completely full most nights and the staff had to turn people away on a couple of occasions.

- Your show itself - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

Our show is very flexible and very simple (it's two performers, a couple of suitcases and a handful of instruments) and can fit in a variety of spaces. The show itself concerned the slow demise and oppression of cabaret, art and expression, due to an increasingly totalitarian state, as told by a pair of jaded cabaret performers through stories, songs, clowning and mime. The show has been developed and performed over the last couple of years, so we were pretty happy with it by this point.

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

Our audiences were generous. We doubled our money from last year and didn't lose any money on the show at all. Our worst take was £8.86 and our best £98.19. Our average worked out at about £60 per night.

- Technical set-up at the venue - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change?

There is a PA in the venue but the space was small enough for us to be heard speaking and singing without. There are a couple of stage lights providing a general cover for the stage and these were absolutely fine for us. The audience sat at tables in a cabaret style seating and this worked perfectly for us, allowing us to leave the stage area and interact.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

We knew the venue from the previous year so were pretty self sufficient. What communication we did have was all well and good.

- Any other learning points for anyone involved - what worked, what didn't work, what needs to change

A little of the beaten track so you'll need to work that little bit harder to get the audience there but if the space works for you it's a great venue with excellent atmosphere.
James Lismore
Posts: 10
Joined: June 2010

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