March 6, 2007

Fringe Wrap

John Smythe      posted 4 Mar 2007, 07:25 PM

Rather than attempt a wrap myself – hell, you’ve heard enough from me – I thought I’d start this Forum topic by way of inviting audience members, particpants, locals, visitors … anyone who feels so moved, to have their say on Fringe 07. Open forum …

Super Dooper    posted 4 Mar 2007, 08:52 PM / edited 4 Mar 2007, 11:17 PM

A top-notch Fringe with a great variety of shows. The standard seemed to be generally a little higher across the board than in years past. I’m sure I’ll come back to this forum, but I’d like to acknowledge a couple of events that may have slipped under the radar of many visitors to this site:


Excellent idea, total fun and a sign of a healthy artistic community. Look out for future events.


Dave Edwards’ most accessible and affecting project to date, and something which deserves a much wider audience.

Congrats to all involved.

One more thing. I didn’t agree with Neil Furby’s original comments regarding Hotel’s place in the Fringe, and still don’t. (Let’s make that clear.) However, it was a little strange to see the marketing award go to a company which seems to have outsourced that whole end of the operation. Not that everything’s gotta be total DIY, but, y’know, Fringe and all…

Many thanks to John Smythe for giving us the straight dope on this here fest for the last few weeks.

neil furby             posted 5 Mar 2007, 09:46 AM / edited 5 Mar 2007, 01:07 PM

Dear Super Dooper

I am afraid you cannot have it both ways.  You supported Hotel and all its trappings of professionalism yet you now make criticism of a theatre company which outsourced its marketing to a marketing company being awarded the marketing award.

(Please be clear in your reasoning)

Moya Bannerman            posted 5 Mar 2007, 10:35 AM / edited 5 Mar 2007, 12:23 PM

Did groups who used the marketing skills of Brianne Kerr, for example, “outsource” their marketing? Surely the marketing award belongs to the production and if this reflects kudos on a 3rd party, so be it!

Oh, and Neil – you seem to have a problem with Fringe being professional (I take it “professional trappings” is meant to be perjorative).  The Fringe takes all comers and if proven professionals want to step out of their usual squares and play, fan-bloody-tastic. Which leads me to add, if they are also creative and innovative with their marketing, that’s brilliant too!

Paul McLaughlin               posted 5 Mar 2007, 12:28 PM / edited 5 Mar 2007, 01:07 PM     

HOTEL played to 600+ people over three weeks, in 55 performances by some very dedicated, hard-working actors and actresses. The objective of this work was to create theatre that would invigorate, challenging potential and existing theatre audiences to appreciate how good the medium can be, and therefore hopefully encourage them to come to more theatre in all theatres/locations.  I believe, as all of the awards must surely reflect, that we achieved  this.

HOTEL was created by theatre professionals. My wife Carrie McLaughlin was our publicist, and the marketing award must reflect her months of emailing, photo-opportunities, ‘phonecalls and old-fashioned hard-slog selling. We most definitely did not ‘outsource that whole end of the operation’. Our sponsors Neogine worked with us to create our outstanding marketing, they listened to what I needed; and from my ideas they worked with us to create the brand. All theatre (Fringe or not) needs to do this, and Neogine must therefore share some of the kudos of the marketing award. 

I am a reluctant independent producer, but I am passionate about theatre and will therefore do whatever it takes to create work that moves people. Why HOTEL is receiving flak for achieving our goals is beyond me. If people such as ‘Neil Furby’ saw HOTEL I would be interested to hear comment on the work we made rather than this unfathomable questioning of our professionalism. As I have said before, I will never apologise for making the best theatre I can for the audiences of Wellington and beyond.

Congratulations to everyone who made FRINGE 07 such a success, that we have such a stage to show off our collective creativity and verve is outstanding!

Cam MacDuff     posted 5 Mar 2007, 01:41 PM

Well as sponsor of Hotel, I’m also a little perplexed by some of this reaction to the marketing as the production itself was very much in the spirit of the Fringe. I thought the idea of marketing the Fringe was to get as many people along as poss. to see something new, unusual or avant-garde. If the logic of some of the detractors here is correct, should they not question the trust’s outsourcing of it’s own marketing to Creature or Springload. From a personal perspective, I can see nothing here at odds with the Fringe. simply took a professional approach to publicising their show and part of that entailed coercing sponsors like ourselves to get onboard. Anyway, not to hijack this thread. Highlights – Hotel naturally, and In the Cube.

Super Dooper    posted 5 Mar 2007, 09:10 PM / edited 5 Mar 2007, 10:02 PM

You know what?

It’s entirely appropriate that ‘Hotel’ got the marketing award. I didn’t say the choice was ‘morally repugnant’, I said it was ‘a little interesting’. A knee jerk I admit. It’s just that the words ‘marketing’ and ‘fringe’ summon up, for me, photocopied A4s and street pranks. What ‘Hotel’ did was, as it turns out, ‘best’. All-in-all, the presentation of the production set a gold standard for the open entry festival, as we saw on Awards night. I’m sorry I missed the show, and will make an effort to see any future Site Specific productions. More strength to your collective arm.

You stand alone, Field Commander Furby.

Paul McLaughlin               posted 5 Mar 2007, 09:43 PM / edited 5 Mar 2007, 10:01 PM

Understood Super-Dooper. My target demographic expect good web-presence, good marketing, good design. This is something I have seen NZ music (amongst others) do, and do well. I believe NZ theatre must do what we can to stay in the LOOP. (Cunning sponsor placement there eh Neil?) 

There will always be many levels of FRINGE shows, and it’s a great way for all of us to see what marketing strategies work. HOTEL was lucky enough to secure the sponsorship of Neogine; and therefore get professional help with our promotion and marketing. This makes sense to me. I’m no rocket scientist; I make theatre; I’m not a marketing person.  With Neogine I was able to concentrate on creating theatre, not marketing; and this was great for both and Neogine.  

The creation of a website, good posters/flyers, a u-tube trailer is surely not beyond anyone trying to market a show; let alone ageing hippies like Carrie and myself. And, as I have said; if any emerging company would like help to get their ball rolling – please contact me; I’m more than willing to help in any way I can. We all have to support each other. 

I’ve received several attacks on our work now. Tall Poppy Syndrome aside; it’s very strange to see how this community react to success.

joshua judkins   posted 6 Mar 2007, 08:24 PM / edited 6 Mar 2007, 08:27 PM

Well, ‘big ups’ to a group who’ve had little-to-nothing mentioned about them in the comments/forum: THE LONESOME BUCKWHIPS. I was really happy to see they won Best Comedy, because the show was fantastic. Even the people I’ve simply told about the show have asked if an album will be forthcoming, because they’d buy it.

Are there plans to film a mockumentary when the show comes round again for the Comedy Festival?

I’m really glad there will be a chance to develop the show further… though beware, you might find it ends up another one of those few kiwi plays that just never stops touring and having return seasons…

Share on social


Make a comment