There's No "I" in Shinoxcy 14:00

There's No "I" in Shinoxcy 14:00

Postby Sinead Lynch » 12 Sep 2011, 12:40

- The venue - A really nice small-ish piano bar. Unfortunately quite far away from all the Fringe action, especially since the Assembly rooms were moved this year.

- The performance area - the whole bar/performance space is one room which means that people can wander in in the middle of a show (with no interest in watching it) and order drinks which can be distracting. The stage has a piano taking up most of it. This is a perfect performance room for a music show but for a comedy play like ours all these factors caused problems.

- The team of staff at the venue - The staff at Fingers are amazing! So friendly and helpful. They really went out of their way to help us make the show work, and on the days we had to pull the show (see below.) they never blamed us and always kept our spirits up. Couldn't have asked for better. oh except on the day of our first show there was one guy who started giving out to us saying we started 15 minutes late and had delayed the whole schedule for the day. He would not believe us when we said we started on time! ( we'd made sure we did, and also this was at 3 o clock... our show is scripted and is exactly an hour long so there was no possible way we started at a quarter past!!) He was a bit rude, but we're not sure who he even is and never came across him again.

- How you advertised your show - We were in the main brochure and did about an hour and a half to two hours flyering each morning, usually on the mound and at the half price hut, and sometimes during the evening on the Royal Mile. We also did some open spots in other shows, left flyers at other PBH venues and flyered after other PBH shows.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers - This was pretty dismal. Average audience of about 4-6. Had to pull the show about 5 times due to nobody showing up. On weekends we always had decent crowds (12-30 usually) but due to the location and time it was impossible to get people in. Now that the Assembly rooms are moved, the people in that area are just going to work or Spanish teenagers from the English language school next door. Stuart Wilson (friend/collegue of PBH and someone who's worked with the Free Fringe for years) even came to help us try to get a crowd in and couldn't. It was very disheartening. People didn't want to walk for 20-30 minutes to see a comedy show they've never heard of, when there are so many more to choose from closer to the centre. Shows in this venue should either be specialty shows like cabaret or music, or should only start later in the day, because at lunch time the area is dead. There was one day where I think about 3 or 4 of the shows in the venue had to pull due to lack of audience.

- Your show itself - our show was a very surreal comedy play with sketches, videos, dancing and a lot of weird characters. When the audience liked it they LOVED it, and we got a great review from the Skinny, but it didn't suit everyone. Also people who came in late were totally confused. Towards the end of the run we learnt to use more audience interaction and to edit the show slightly to suit a certain crowd when it was necessary.

- Buckets - About £2 per audience member, sometimes a lot more generous but never a fortune. Again linked to the small crowds, however we did find that smaller crowds tend to be more generous!

-Technical set-up at the venue - All we used was a projector which we brought ourselves, and the staff stapled a sheet up to the back wall for us every morning to use as screen.

Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) - All fine here. Nothing to report!

- Any other learning points for anyone involved Fingers is a lovely bar and a great venue for music and cabaret. Unfortunately for us the time and location combined just did not work. We learned a lot about performing and in a way it's good that we'll go back next year with no fear because we've experienced all the fringe nightmares such as walkouts and nobody showing up! I'd say this venue should as much as possible be reserved for shows with a musical element and should probably not open until about 4pm. The bar is famous in Edinburgh as an amazing music venue so those shows had the advantage of already having a guaranteed audience.
Sinead Lynch
Posts: 3
Joined: February 2011

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