This week’s been full of ups and downs, which seems to be the norm. It started with us hearing back from Arts Council England, and it has rejected our application to Grants for the Arts. One of my slightly embarrassing early mistakes is that Arts Council England doesn’t support activity in Scotland, so our proposal for support to go to the Fringe wasn’t very sensible. Creative Scotland doesn’t give grants for the Fringe either. So in essence this was a fairly bad move. It’s one of those scenarios where I should have read the small print slightly more carefully, so I start this week’s blog with a slice of humble pie.
Without the grant from Arts Council England, I’ve had to go back to the drawing board. Edinburgh is so expensive, and we were wanting to do a whole month’s run.
So without the grant (of around £5k) we’d be looking at a huge loss, because I’d only be predicting to sell around 30% of all our available tickets (about average for a show our size at Fringe). So without being disheartened I’ve had to have a rethink. The Fringe programme deadline is at the end of March, and we’re nowhere near being able to make that at the moment. So I’ve decided to put on pause the plan for Edinburgh and start making some early enquiries on the London fringe scene, venues similar to Leicester Square Theatre which we’re using for Love Remains and C-Dub in April, just to see how much a two or three week run would cost us there. Another option is to do a short national tour, but that does unfortunately start racking up the costs again on accommodation and travel.
I’ve started costing all of that up ready to apply again for a grant. Edinburgh is one of the most incredible places to perform, and has such a glorious atmosphere, but I think I need to be slightly more realistic and think a bit more carefully. It’s not that we’re ruling it out, we’re just being slightly more cautious and considered.
Of course the key problem with a run in London in August is trying to drum up an audience, so a lot hinges on what venue we’d end up with.
I’ve also started to think a lot more about fundraising. We’ve created a page on WeFund, which is a crowd-funding site where people can pledge money to a certain project, and then if the project reaches its goal then it get’s the money. It’s a pretty inspiring way to fight the arts cuts.
So to sum up this week: things are changing. I’m having to become slightly more realistic, but through doing that I’m becoming more excited. I feel much more connected with the project now that I can actively work on re-costing it and trying to get my head around exactly how it’s going to work. I’ll, of course, keep you posted.