Bringing a show to The Cockpit

How do I make a hire enquiry?

You should email the Cockpit Director, Dave Wybrow (dave [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk), with as much information as possible.  Have a read of the rest of this page and then drop Dave a line making sure you have addressed the following points:

  • Who you are (please provide full contact info including phone number)
  • What the show is (provide any online links that help show what you have in mind)
  • Scheduling information
    • When? What dates have you got in mind, approximately.
    • How many performances do you envisage at this stage?
    • Anticipated show running time
    • Interval or no interval
  • Technical needs
    • How long do you think you will you need for your get-in and rehearsals?
    • Will you have your own technical operator and technical crew - ore would you need us to help with this? (We provide a house technician to advise your crew when you get in in any event)
    • Anticipated layout and seating capacity required. We can go in the round with seats on all four sides - giving 220 capacity - or thrust, with seating on three sides, giving 170. We can also go traverse (120 capacity) black box with no seating at all or partial thrust/end on. Thrust/end on means  going in thrust but using seating for 130  downstage,  downstage left  and downstage right.  All seating is unnumbered, cushioned bench seating. The capacity numbers given reflect the number of tickets we can put on sale in any given configuration - not the number of individual seats - and leave room for comfort
  • The number of participants in the show/activity
  • Whether the show/activity involves people under the age of 18 as participants.
  • If the show is for adults or a family audience.

After an exchange of emails we'd usually arrange a meeting. Beth, Dave's PA, arranges these.  Email beth [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk.
Then  when we've found the right dates for you, we ask you to email a schedule of all the days showing get-in and get-out times, show times etc. Then we cost it. Once we have agreed the price Dave issues a confirmation email. You then upload details of you or your company and your event to our website. Then we issue a digital contract to sign online, you pay a deposit and we put the show on sale.

How much does it cost?

Straightforward average  rental price is around £550 a performance.  It  gets cheaper for longer runs (a six show week usually comes in around £2,900 - 3,500). Longer runs are all by negotiation but think in terms of £490 each performance. You will need to add a bit for get-in and technical work/dress rehearsal before the first show which makes  the total cost for a one day hire about £780,    while a two day event with get-in from mid-day on day one followed by two evening shows might be about £1200, 3 days £1600 and so on.   Dry hire for rehearsal and get-in time on days prior to opening is £20/hour up to £40/hour with technician. 

Final price depends on technical complexity, your marketing capabilities, the kind of show it is, running time etc.  But we are always a top value space and you get a lot of good theatre for your money. Also, rehearsed readings and  simple shows often have later get-ins and so one day hires can be a good option for straightforward shows with clear artistic/financial aims. Finally, we'd rather be open than closed on any night so if you've got a whacky idea for a short-notice cheap try-out, - try us.

Does The Cockpit offer box-office splits? Does it buy shows in?  Does it co-produce?

Yes we do all these things and more. There are many different ways of  sharing costs, getting shows on and  sharing proceeds and we do all of them.  But the outline prices above reflect our costs and we always need to cover these one way or another. Box Office splits may be possible for returning hirers, once we've got to know you. Splits against a guarantee can help avoid big upfront costs and we often collaborate and produce work with our ever-growing constituency of known collaborators.  If you have a project that's really ready to go with good marketing attached, talk to Dave. 

Whatever the deal......

We run to contract and the show goes on no matter what. We expect the same from you. We seat 170 in thrust layout and 220 in-the-round.  Its your choice what to charge for tickets. We also take 6.5% of box-office sales made via us to cover cc charges. But that's it! We avoid hidden charges and contra charges.  What you negotiate and agree in your contract is what you pay.
You need to make sure that you have secured the rights to use any copyrighted works such as plays and music.  You will also be responsible for your own insurance as you would be liable to any damage or injury caused by you or your company's actions. If there are extra costs such as additional time outside of the contract, photocopying/printing, etc, we'll tell you about them in advance.

What technical support do I get?

We provide a technician to help advise your technicians during your get-in as part of the standard hire (usually up to around 8 hours support is included). They are there to supervise your get-in, source Cockpit equipment and help problem-solve.  If you don't have any of your own crew then we can provide excellent technicians at a rate of £20/hour.
Full information about our technical facilities can be found at www.thecockpit.org.uk/tech

What are the ticketing options?

Option 1 – Advance sales via The Cockpit. We will organize online sales via our website and live telephone advance sales and co-ordinate these with door sales. We deduct 6.5% from all sales.  This is the prefferred option. Its cheaper for everyone and it works.  We can run offers, promos, two for one deals, earlybird sales and anything else to encourage people to come see your show. We also arrange daily sales reports emailed to you. All you need do is tell us what info you need and how often.  If you choose this option you must agree any sales or ticket distribution elsewhere with us BEFORE you place any ticket allocations with other agencies. (We never unreasonably withold aggreement). Most people go for this option which really gives the best of all worlds.

Option 2 - You deal with all ticketing independently. You can set up and run your own ticket sales (ticketmaster, eventbrite, etc) and we will link to it from our website. If you do this we generally require full payment of rental in advance. It also means we can’t take bookings over the phone or on the door or answer audience queries about tickets/make refunds etc. Its also more difficult to run offers, discounts, earlybird schemes etc If you choose this option, you must also run your own box office on the night from a desk in the foyer before and during the show (latecomers!), provide your own tickets, and handle all money yourself, including  any cash sales on the night.    Smaller, one off events sometimes choose this option because it fits with their previous practice elsewhere.

What about publicity?

Companies are expected to market their own shows, but we energetically back up your efforts and help wherever we can.  You tweet, we re-tweet. You FB, we FB.  We will list your show on our website and send details out to listings publications and websites.  We also publicise most proffessional, public shows via our email newsletter to around 10,000 subscribers.  Inclusion is not guaranteed but If you want to check if your show would be included just ask.  If we say it will be it will be. We do need full info and sight of all marketing materiels though BEFORE we start telling people your show is coming here..

We'll display your approved posters and flyers around the venue. 
All posters and flyers need to be checked by our designer, Chris (chris [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk), before going to print.  He will provide logos, a footer and venue information, or do your design for you. 
We can't print flyers, but we use and recommend alocalprinter.com
We can have A3 colour photocopies of posters for around the venue printed up at around £1/copy.

All posters and Flyers must adhere to the following:

  • All images and designs must be his-res and of a professional standard.
  • All posters and flyers must contain our logo. This logo must not be mishapen or edited in anyway.

It must be used in its transparent form, must be displayed clearly with at least  3 cm surrounding space from any text and be on as plain a background as possible.  

  • All poster footers must be EITHER our standard footer which can be sent to you or added by Chris OR must contain all of the information that out standard footer contains. This includes.
  • Cockpit address - Gateforth Street, London, NW8 8EH
  • Box office contact number - 020 7258 2925
  • Cockpit website - thecockpit.org.uk (home page address with no additional links or http// leads)
  • Dates of the performance(s)
  • Time(s) of the performance(s)
  • Ticket prices.

A map showing our location can be downloaded here (0.77Mb).  Include it where you can. It cant hurt.

Soshul Meeja

In addition to print publicity we will also strive to promote your show via our social media channels, newsletters and press mailouts. For us to be able to do this with maximum effect we ask that companies do the following.

  • Send all press releases and TEXT FREE images (Jpeg) to Kat at kat [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk. If you do not have a press release or would like some help creating one do get in touch with Kat as she has templates and guides that can help you.
  • Follow us on twitter and include us in your tweets. @cockpittheatre   
  • Like the Cockpit Facebook page and add us as a host of your event if you have one (Please note this is only possible if your event is created by a page rather than a person) Please contact Kat (kat [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk) if you need more help doing this. 

Posting a show on our website

You register for an account, we approve it and then you log in and submit your listing.  We then check it through, make sure all contract details are sorted, configure the web sales, and publish it once you have signed your contract and paid the deposit. 
In fact, creating an account and uploading your show info is one of the first steps after agreeing a deal with Dave.  We use that info to draw up the contract.
To create an account, and to login, use the link at the foot of every page of this site.

When uploading information please make sure you have the following:

  • The name, address and full contact details for whoever is signing the contract with us, taking financial and legal responsibility and is in overall charge of your event.
  • A title for the show.
  • A strapline for the show (saying in one or two sentences what it is).
  • Some blurb that explains your event in more detail and helps sell it to your intended audience.
  • A production image that has NO logos or text of any kind. This image is for your shows page and our home page. Please be aware that the image that appears on the home page will be slightly cropped foreach page it appears on.

  • Clear information about your show including a show title, a sub header and information about the show.
  • Prices
  • Times and Dates

We reserve the right to edit your uploaded information to ensure it is in keeping with the company policies.. These amendment are minor and rare. 

What about a contract?

All shows at The Cockpit must be done under contract.  It's a standard hire agreement with no hidden surprises and basically is your promise to us that you'll do the show and our promise to you that we'll host it.
We'll draw up the contract based on the details you upload to our site and your discussions with Dave.  Then, Beth, Dave's PA, will email you a copy for your reference and post out two copies signed by us.  You then check them over, sign them, and return one to us along with your deposit (the other is your copy to keep).
Once we've got your signed contract back - and your deposit if we've agreed one - we'll publish your listing on our website and open online and phone sales so long as you are happy for us to do so.

How do finances get settled up?

You will probably need to pay us a  30% deposit when you return your contract.  If we are selling ticekets for you we generally settle up after the end of the show/run.  If we are not selling tickets for you then you will probably need to pay the full fee up front.

Ways to pay:
In person: Cash, card or cheque  (payable to "CWC Enterprises Ltd")
Over the phone: By card on 020 7258 2925 (12-6, Mon-Sat)
Electronically: By PayPal or by BACS 
By post: cheques payable to "CWC Enterprises Ltd"

We pay you any money we owe you up to 30 days in arrears (I.E. We'll settle up within a month of the last day of your show).
We usually take the rest of your hire fee out of your Box Office money (after 6.5% admin charge) and either send you the rest or invoice you for the balance.
Akilah in our finance dept will handle settling up (finance [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk) so please let her know how you'd like to receive your money.  By far the fastest way is Paypal so do let us know if you have an account.  Note that the slowest method (for us) is actually BACS, and we can't pay in cash.

Easy aint it? Now all you need are Ideas and disruptive panache! x