Monday, 19 March 2018

Bear Jokes with John Pendal

John Pendal has performed at Bear Jokes for several years now and has carved himself out a very likeable niche mixing warm humour with tales from the more exotic side of life. A former “Mr Leather” title winner, his kitchen sink delivery of kink gained a family twist in his preview at Bear Jokes with the audience even invited to participate with post-it note contributions on their nearest and dearest’s most irritating eccentricities.

At sixty minutes long with few preview-related bumps the audience enjoyed it immensely, having already smiled their way through the ten minute spots in the first half. Lenny Sherman ably concluding proceedings at that end while I opened with Tales of the Unexpected and Tinny Drums linked by way of a post-Lidl bus journey.

The narrative for the 2018 show is slowly but surely taking shape. The freestyle improvised mid-set rap odyssey is, however, still some way off from Anna and I even taking it near an open mic. One month to our first festival of the year and counting...Wales you do not know what you’re letting yourself in for.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Festival Flyer and Poster Printing

With just over a month to the first outing of the 2018 FWP show in Merthyr Tydfil my attention has turned to the mind melting task of getting people to actually come. For anyone who has performed or intends to perform at an arts festival the amount you pay for such things is bewilderingly variable. 

Assuming you have designed your poster/flyer (minimum essentials in my opinion) printing these can cost over £100 if you go in slightly unaware. I recommend the following based on a short or long run. I’ll go with these suppliers for one date in Merthyr and 24 nights in Edinburgh (where I’ll be printing 5,000 flyers instead of 1,000)  as they’re always the best value. 

It’s unlikely you’ll need 1,000 flyers for a single date show (as FWP has in Hastings, Merthyr and Guildford) but to maximise value I’m using one flyer for two shows (Merthyr on one side and Hastings on the other) where I can. These shows will only need 500 each. You may see mileage in having a back to your flyer for more info but in my opinion this is only necessary if you have a ream of high profile reviews to quote or a really complex narrative to deliver. Even the Edinburgh show has FWP on one side and Clash of the Tight Tens on the other. 2-4-1 outweighing the need for me to print a pointless map (I’m flyering outside the venue and people have google maps anyway).

You need 10 posters (A3)  max. Even in Edinburgh. Put five up in the venue and use the rest to refresh them should they get damaged. Fly posting is illegal. Paid for postering is way too much for a relative unknown. Excessive posters = excessive ego.
Pay £7 with Swiftprint on EBay.

Order in advance from £18 for 1,000 double sided on thick 250gsm card. £25 for 5,000.

Marketing for Edinburgh is just £ £300 to be in the official program and app 🙀

Friday, 2 March 2018

Bear Jokes at The Leyton Star

It's no great secret that Bear Jokes has had a few lean months of late. Numbers of real audience stayed firmly in the single figures and the donations bucket rattled in a concerning way.

However, this all changed this evening when 8pm rolled around and every seat in the comedy broom cupboard I call home was taken. At last, a significant number of people in the bar had listened to my promo-patter and believed it. There was also a good showing for the first of this year's acts previewing their Edinburgh show, Jon Long.

The first half went well. Anna and I opened with our Edinburgh 2018 remixed intro track and then bounded our way through Meal Deal and Airport. Between the two there was an actual semi-rehearsed segue involving an audience member which came off nicely. Given the lack of spots in London over 10 minutes I guess we'll be rehearsing our links one at a time for now.

Adam Coumas then came on with a slick ten involving baby gender cakes, Sam Mitchell did similarly well with new material, Maddie Campion talked about sex with ghosts and Nig Lovell had enough ink on his hand to fulfil an ancient prophecy but couldn't read it so ably freestyled around the themes he's planned to try out.

The second half rolled around with some of the acts heading home to beat the snow-hampered public transport and new audience members arriving. This included a somewhat vocal and more than somewhat inebriated man. From the off it was obvious that he might cause some disruption to the show but, being a preview, I figured Jon would appreciate some heckler exercise and sat back as I watched the musical troubadour include, pacify and and at one point tell off then hug the voice at the back of the room. Did it detract or add to the show? Possibly it detracted but it's the kind of thing previews are made for and despite the interruptions Jon pulled off a engaging fifty minutes with an equal split of storytelling and song.

Show complete I rattled the bucket and actual folding objects put in an appearance. A shuffle is always better than a rattle. Another of these in a couple of weeks and my tax return might not look quite so embarrassing.

John Pendal previews on March 15th