You gotta get a gimmick

I’m very lucky in that our cast and team are more than up for flyering. They know that their performance is better with an audience, and thank goodness they are prepared to work for it. However, a lot of theory has gone into our flyering strategy. No joke, we’ve spent workshop sessions role playing potential scenarios and discussing what worked and what doesn’t. Most of it is pretty obvious stuff (don’t touch people, it’s just not nice) but I think it’s important to remember that it’s far easier for a show to make a bad impression than it is a good one. Here’s what we’ve found:

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And so it begins…

It’s been just under a week since I last posted here, and while in the blogsphere that suddenly feels like a decade, in the Edinburghsphere it feels more like a century. So here is a quick update.

Our arrival in Edinburgh bought with it a festival of dramas of its own. There were the highs and lows – on the one hand realising we’d managed to rent a beautiful Georgian penthouse completely by accident (we honestly thought it would be a dive), on the other realising we’d left our two extra inflatable beds on the train. A nicely decorated apartment is harder to appreciate when you’re sleeping on the floor.

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Splashing and Smoking – The Marketing Mix

Take Note Theatre at BBC Bristol

Luke Sheppard is directing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Jet Set Go! The Cabin Crew Musical as part of the Musical Theatre @ George Square festival.

With over two thousand shows at the festival all vying for the attention of festival goers, actually putting together the production is only a fraction of the story. As small fish in a big pond we were always aware we needed to make quite a splash, especially to compete with the larger sharks who might have the budget for PR firms and distributors. That’s not to say productions shouldn’t flex their marketing muscles, but we’re doing it the old fashioned way – in house and on a budget!

Not that we’ve compromised. We took the plunge and paid for a quarter page ad in the Fringe Programme – a substantial investment for us – but aside from that creativity has had to preside over finance. This has its benefits, for example our street team who will be flyering all day everyday will be the most enthusiastic we can find, people who know the show inside out and care about its success. That’s us. Where we’ve lacked resources we’ve employed the charm, wrangling our way into local newspapers and radio studios across the country. Continue reading

Act 1 – Double Trouble

So why two shows? Good question, and one some of the more seasoned (read: older, greyer, and probably wiser) Fringe goers have asked me frequently, usually with an expression that blends bemusement and pity with a little twinkle of romantic reminiscence. Well, here’s the condensed version:

Back in 2007 I directed a production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in a small and sweaty studio theatre that, from the outside, looked more like a multi-storey car park. We hit on something that worked; we sold-out our very short run and immediately the Edinburgh cogs started turning. Of course, lack of funding had the potential to stop that machine quite quickly, but we found support in a company called Office 2 Office who had seen the show and liked what we were doing. A hefty business plan and several meetings later they made our Edinburgh venture a reality, which we will be eternally grateful for. Continue reading

A Brief Prologue

It brings a smile to my face reading here in this blog that Chris feels like he is heading off to Uni again for 6 weeks. His blog comes rather poetically the week that the majority of our cast and crew graduate from Bristol University, leaving the tins of value baked beans behind in our crumbling student dwellings for good. In theory, that is.

While the medics and lawyers are off to their graduate jobs (and the company cars and expense accounts that go hand in hand), we are heading to the Edinburgh Fringe to be a part of the largest arts festival in the world. Something tells me our days with the tin opener are not over yet, but that’s the exciting thing about the Fringe. Continue reading