House Rules

This document outlines the basic house rules that we expect all users of the theatre to follow.  

Please ensure that all members of your company take the time to read it.  If you have any questions or concerns, just ask a member of our staff.

General responsibility for Health, Safety and security

This lies with all staff and users of The Cockpit.

Specific responsibility for Health and Safety

All events involving an audience at The Cockpit are subject to the requirements of Westminster City Council Rules of Management. At such times the College Principal, The Designated Premises Supervisor and the designated Duty Manager and technician are charged with enacting the Rules of Management. Their decision in matters relating to stewarding, seating, crowd management, operation of the bar, technical arrangements and all other aspects of health and safety within the venue should be regarded  as final.  

Events in the auditorium can only commence once clearance has been given and must cease immediately if instruction is given to do so.

Get ins and Get outs

Our procedures are in line with current TMA/BECTU agreements:

Additionally, Instructions given by staff technicians for safe and proper conduct, use of equipment and procedures during get-in and get-out including the handback of equipment, cabling and accessories used must be complied with.

House Lights

House lights (the lights for the audience focussed on the seating) must not be changed.  No recolouring, replugging, refocusing or swapping out of lanterns will be permitted.  They are on channels 4, 18 (upper gantry).

There are also back row LED house lights, (lower gantry) these are on Universe 2, starting address: 513 - RED, 514 - GREEN, 515 - BLUE - and plugged up to 13amp extensions running into the control box.  These must be used at all times when auditience are entering and exiting the auditorium.  These must not be unplugged, replugged, refocussed or swapped out, but can be recoloured.

If the house lights have been changed from the standard setup the duty manager may stop your show from starting until it’s rectified.

We have two multi par battens rigged on the upstage bar of the upper gantry, these must not be moved, but can be replugged, recoloured and refocussed.


All signage in the building is up-to-date, current and there for a reason.

Fire hazards

Eating and drinking

Operating equipment

Visiting companies may not operate the theatre's power tools, cyclorama winch or stage trap.  The cyclorama must be operated by two people, one of which must be a Cockpit technician.  Special procedures apply to the operating of the stage-trap and this must only be opened with the minuted agreement of the Cockpit manager. The stage lift cannot be used. Set and scene painting must take place in the workshop or car park using water-based paint only, no gloss finish or spray paints allowed. Use the paint sink in the workshop to wash painting equipment - not the dressing room sinks.  

Working on the gantries

There are clear risks of serious injury resulting from falls and falling objects. There is an additional risk of head injury particularly on the upper gantry.  

In general, work on the gantries and work in the auditorium should not be carried out simultaneously.

Working on the Upper Gantry

Stage Effects

Standards of behaviour

We aim to engender a culture of respect, co-operation and industry.

Unsupervised students, young people and children

Separate risk assessments must be undertaken if young people under the age of 18 are working with you in any capacity.  Arrangements must be made with The Cockpit Manager for all unsupervised use of the building by anyone under 18.

Key Points – Summary

The Cockpit - House Rules                                                   Deb Jones, May 2019