I’d like to thank you and everyone in theSpaceUK team, particularly at theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall, for a fantastic experience. Things have run very smoothly. There isn’t a lot of space (no pun intended!) for performers with disabilities at the Fringe – at least, not as much as we think there should be – and when we made a presentation on access issues to Fringe Central earlier this week, we were able to highlight how accommodating and constructive theSpaceUK has been in this regard.
We would like to say a huge thank you for helping to make our show so successful again this year (our fifth year on the row). We look forward to working with you again next year
Coming to Edinburgh as a solo artiste is hard. The festival can be daunting, scary, exhausting and lonely when one is travelling with a team, but to be in the middle of the chaos of Edinburgh as one person...And not just one person who needs to perform one (or in my case, two) shows a day, but who also is in charge of media, postering, outreach, promotion...
It is a tough task. And I achieved it - and successfully, too - but this is because even though I came to Edinburgh alone, the staff at theSpaceUK quickly became my team. And I am so incredibly grateful to each and every one of them.
I had an incredibly successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe. My children's show, "Opera Mouse", received four 4-star reviews, and a 'Hidden Gem' listing. My adult show, "Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert", also received four stars, and sold out the entire run. In addition, I received performance offers in New York, Dubai, Kuwait, as well as throughout the UK. In so many ways, theSpaceUK was the perfect fit for me, and I could not have been nearly as successful without Charles' advice in advance of the festival about what theatre would be the best fit for me, and the wonderful, supportive staff at all of theSpaceUK venues.
Most venues in Edinburgh are rented with a guarantee v % model, which puts an artist at significant financial risk.
They are large businesses, with their own financial gain as their main focus.
And theSpaceUK is the complete opposite:
Flat fee rental: This allows an artist to budget for their run, and takes away the pressure of needing to satisfy a guarantee. It is a fair, artist-friendly way of running a venue. Also, with 100% of the ticket sales being given to the artist (and not a percentage, as at many other venues), the ticket sales that one achieves from flyering or promotional events directly benefits the artist.
I could not say enough about the staff at theSpaceUK. Throughout the run of my shows, they became my team and my support system. When I sold out, they cheered along with me. When I was having a rough day (and it happens, when one is exhausted and completely hits the wall mid-festival), they were supportive and cheery. The staff at the ticket desk always had a smile and a friendly greeting. They all knew that I was alone at the festival for most of the run, and several times I sat in the courtyard with staffers, chatting over a G&T or a haloumi burger. I have performed in over a hundred theatres around the world, and the ticketing and front-of-house staff at The Space was probably the best I have ever encountered. Rory in particular was incredibly helpful.
The technical staff was excellent. My operator Wayne was fully committed to both of my shows - he did not just show up and do a job, he seemed genuinely delighted to be there, and always took a few minutes after to say something nice. He was professional, enthusiastic and attentive to my needs as an artist. The other tech (and other) staff members went above and beyond their job descriptions, coming into the theatre to help set the lights before the show, helping with front-of-house, and setting my microphone as I rushed around getting things ready for the show.
Some of my most memorable moments at the Edinburgh Fringe were with these wonderful, supportive, caring staff.
Without exception, the other artists I met at theSpaceUK were friendly, good-natured and solicitous. All of the friends I made at the festival were either staff members or other artists at my venue. The venue policy of allowing rush tickets to other shows allows artists to see each others' work, which was just so nice. This also allowed for personal recommendations of other shows at the venue, which is an invaluable way of spreading word-of-mouth about lesser-known shows.
theSpace also have a dedicated press office and when I was chosen for a feature in ThreeWeeks magazine (one of the major EdFringe publications), the office supported and tweeted about the feature to their extensive following.
"Spaces filled with fringe goodness"
Just to say a big big thank you for all your support, help and advice. It was exhausting but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Can you also thank the team for all their help, kindness and enthusiasm?
Thank you for a most professional experience, our first time at the Fringe! We were met most graciously, and escorted through our technical with such patience and so much help! The technical staff were so brilliant, and made our run so easy. We felt so supported throughout, everyone at theSpaceUK were so ready to be of service, and I was always immediately responded to with any queries. I don't know how you do all you do, with such calm and dedication to get every detail right. Of course we are coming again- because of how smooth you made it for us. What a pleasure to work with people who are at ease with the highest standards of artistry. Thank you so much.
I'd like to say thanks for giving us the opportunity to perform with theSpaceUK this year.
We've been incredibly satisfied with every aspect of our venue, the stage was a perfect fit for our play and the venue staff were terrific and couldn't have been more helpful.
We'll definitely try to use theSpace for any future fringe projects. I hope this year's festival has gone well and I hope you have a lot of success as it draws to a close.
Just wanted to say a massive thank you for making our show such a success!! I'm already talking to folks about next year.
I must admit to being a bit worried that we would struggle to fill even the front two rows of the 75 seat Niddry Street Upper theatre but a combination of some very successful promotion on your part (so lovely to see our posters up at the many theSpaceUK venues in town) and us tapping our "friends and family" market meant that we had an average attendance of over 50 for the 8 shows - something beyond my wildest dreams.
The youngsters had a terrific time and grew in confidence throughout the run to the point where they have now demanded that I write a couple of new shows to bring up to next year's Fringe. The chance to work with you both and theSpaceUK "family" again next year would be great if you have the space and time to accommodate us. As I say, we can't thank you guys enough for all the support and assistance you provided in the run up to the Fringe and during the performance run itself - so professional and so very patient!
Before the last day madness of shows getting out takes over, I just wanted to say on behalf of myself, John and Phil what an utter pleasure it has been working with you and the team at theSpace @ Niddry St. Alex and Simon have been great to us every day