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 and cabling and accessories used must be complied with.

House lights (the lights for the audience focussed on the seating) must not be changed at all.  No regelling, refocusing or swapping out of lanterns will be permitted.  They are on channels 4, 18 (upper gantry) and 57 (stage level), and these channels must also not be changed.  If the house lights have been changed the duty manager will stop your show from starting until the change is rectified.  There are two multi pars rigged on one of the upstage bars on the upper gantry which provide 4 colours of backlight, and these mustn't be moved, but can be recoloured.


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.  

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                                Dave Wybrow, September 2016