Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

G’town audiences

Of all the things I was involved in Improvision’s TheatreSports did the best from an audience point of view. We had two completely sold out shows and a few more that were almost totally sold out. Our venue, the Drill Hall, was big, seating about 250 I’d say. We have taken TheatreSports to the festival before and it does have a bit of a good reputation, which certainly helps. An audience feels safe in our hands, it’s family entertainment and it’s reliable, good value for money, feel good, creative fun. Our very late night show struggled for numbers and the last few early morning shows didn’t do brilliantly. I’m convinced it’s because everyone had already gone home.

Shez Sharon struggled to pull an audience, despite good reviews and audience members who diligently spread the word. I know it’ll do better next year, when people have heard about it. How weird is that?

Songs of Hangings and Redemption was my biggest disappointment in terms of attendance. It had had two successful runs in Cape Town, word was out about how good it was and Graham Weir certainly has a big following. All our shows were at 10pm, and I think that killed us. I chose the time thinking that a music show would do well that late at night, especially at a festival. Wrong! It’s just too late and cold for festinos. So, only the die-hards attended.

We weren’t the only ones battling for numbers. It seemed that the shows that did really well were the ones that had been at the festival before. Lesson learned.

PS. I meant to add, and forgot, and have just remembered. We all need to make sure we don’t get sucked into the bullshit hype propaganda of  ‘the best attendance at the festival ever’ that the organisers recite every year. I know for sure that numbers were down from when I was last at the festival. Parking was not a problem, many popular shows were not sold out, food was easily accessible and attendees stayed for shorter. The festival virtually ended on Thursday the 5th (and not Saturday 7th). By Saturday G’town was more Ghost than Grahams.


The shows I saw at the fest


G’town – the final post mortem


  1. I think the biggest problem is that the fringe cannot compete with the subsidised prices on the Main. Weir was charging a perfectly realistic price for his show – R70, but that made it almost double the price of anything on the Main and possibly the most expensive show on the fringe. I think this was the problem. Secondly, there are simply far too many shows competing for far too few people. Unknown brands, like Shez Sharon, stand little chance. The Cape Town edge concept was a brilliant one, and was in fact commented on to me by members of the festival’s board. I think innovative ways (including group pricing) have to be thought up on how to market it more effectively. The advert in Cue didn’t do as much as it could have, and should be reconceptualised, as it was just a repeat of information already in the paper, rather it should have been designed to entice audiences.

  2. megan

    I think you are half right about the price. Joe Barber charged R70, also on the Fringe, and nobody seemed to mind. The show I went to was full. My next post is going to deal with The Cape Town Edge. I’m still formulating my thoughts on that one.

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