Frequently Asked Questions for Hirers

Answers to common questions from people who stage productions in the main auditorium, relating to technical matters.

Age for amateur crew is minimum 14 years old where directly supervised (stage hands etc), 16 years old for crew in areas not directly supervised (followspot, lighting/sound control) or flying under direction, or 18 years old for those in charge of flying.

The Auditorium capacity is 450 at normal stage, 432 with the orchestra pit or 396 with the forestage. The main block of seating holds 366 at normal stage, 348 for pit or 312 for forestage.

Backdrop size : 10m (35ft) wide, 5.5m (18ft) high. The stage is backed by a white cyc as standard

We have 70 chairs for stage use.

Dressing rooms are all stage right. 2 downstairs hold 20 people each, 3 upstairs hold 8, 8 and 30 people. Total capacity 86.

Fly crew are required in proportion to weight of items flying! A gauze or cloth will need 2 people to fly it out (up). A starcloth will require 4 people. Solid scenic items will usually require at least 4 people, sometimes up to 6, depending on the exact nature of the item. If more than one item has to move at the same time, more people are required.

The basic technical charge, levied per rehearsal or performance, covers use of all the technical infrastructure and most of the techncial equipment of the venue. Items which will incur extra charges are listed in a document for download from the navigation bar to the right of this page.

Lighting control is an ETC Element memory desk, with 40 subs or Go-button operation. We have 182 dimmers.

There is a standard lighting rig that gives 4 colour washes overhead plus booms to give 4 colour sidelight washes, with the facility for some specials too.

We have cable mics for voice and instruments, plus 6 body worn or 4 hand held radio mics.

We do not have general music stands for bands or orchestras, but do have 13 lit ones for use in the pit, or by small bands on stage.

The orchestra pit will hold a max of 20 players, depending on percussion etc. We only have 13 lit music stands, though.

Parking at the theatre is very limited. One commercial vehicle can be parked by prior arrangement. All other vehicles must be parked in the adjacent Ashley Centre multi-storey car park, or off-site.

We have rostra to make choir or orchestra tiering in 8x4ft sections. 4 pieces of each height : 6", 12",18".

Stage Size : Acting area is 10m (35ft) wide, 9.3m (30ft) deep in normal stage shape (including the apron in front of the main house curtains), 11.8m (38ft) deep with additional forestage. Limited wing space each side. A basic plan of the stage dimensions can be downloaded from the navigation bar on the right of this page..

The stage masking is hard black flats, 3 per side, with black soft borders above.

The sound control is an Allen & Heath 24 channel analogue desk, with a fixed front of house rig of amps/speakers, plus onstage monitors as required.

Sound playback is available for CD, MiniDisc and computer.

Sound recording is possible on MiniDisc or USB stick / SD card. We do not have the facility to burn CDs.