Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Tour Blog – Part 1 (Liverpool Everyman)

I’ve decided to blog about my shows on the tour of Every Little Hope – a record for myself as much as anything else, so that I can make sure I remind myself of what I’ve learnt, what was great, what worked and what didn’t.

Show #1 at Liverpool Everyman in the Bistro was technically a preview but I’m still counting it. It’s horrendously nerve wracking when you’ve not performed a show for 9 months to pick it up again. The feelings of sickness and regret are in the pit of your stomach. It’s really helpful when everyone is lovely. From Rachel on the operations team to Danielle behind the bar to my favourite person Sarah in Comms, the Everyman is such a warm and welcoming building. The venue was perfect for my show, intimate and quite stress free too.

Audience: 22

Technical: The set up was easy, certainly I’ve made it more complicated than it needs to be – I use two sound cards to power different speakers – clearly I could have got a similar result manipulating the left/right channels… Lighting as simple and static kind of works – that said a blackout at the end would have been nice so I didn’t have to stand like a lemon as people clapped.

Marketing: Tough to say what worked. The Facebook ads got some people I didn’t know saying they’d come and numerous retweets and shares suggested I’d get lots of new faces. There were no new faces. Which was good, it was the nicest audience ever and I know everyone.

Pre-Show: Hate it. The wait is horrific. I can’t eat and I feel sick. I thought the doors opened at 8, so at quarter past when noone had showed I was about to burst into tears. As it happens the doors opened at 8:15 so, yeah, fine, massive relief. I need to do more of a warm up for my voice – but got through it and my voice is fine today.

The Show: Good, a little bit ropey at the start but then settled quite nicely – it’s not standup comedy, it’s a story, so the reaction isn’t a hit parade of laughs, there’s one or two, but what was wonderful was at the reveal towards the end there was a big gasp – massively reassuring.

Post Show: I need a better system of packing away. It’s a curious one. Previously I’ve largely seen performers post-show chatting to audiences and relaxing. I can’t really do that (until night 1 at Huddersfield) so it was largely me packing up while people had a lovely chat. I should have bought another of the wheely toolboxes. That said its eminently tourable!

Rating Out Of 10: 8

Nice Feedback:
“I applaud you in the journey you took us on!”
“I LOVED it. I loved the story thread, the ‘is that who I think it is’ wonderment… ….My friend, who has never seen you perform before, also loved it. So it’s not just me being nice.”

“Lovely enough to enjoy a preview of this last night… a beautiful story of love, bikes & courage… well done”

Final Thought: I’m not going to the AMA conference (I wanted to share it out a bit) so I think when I get to the end of the tour I’ll write a massive “From the other side” blog post on the marketing stuff… Y’know, generally, I was informed last night, Directors of Marketing don’t tour shows as a hobby alongside their full-time jobs… So that might come up too. As always drop me a tweet and, please, I beg, come see the show on tour. Oh I’ll also put up a full and frank financial account at the end… Which will be a delight I’m sure 🙂






One response to “Tour Blog – Part 1 (Liverpool Everyman)”

  1. Gerard Devney Avatar
    Gerard Devney

    This is really insightful Sam, and bravo for being the all singing, all dancing, all writing, acting, and marketing one-man-whirlwind! Keep that energy – you will be learning so much from all of this!