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, Daves' 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?
Average price is around £550 a performance - and it can get cheaper for longer runs (a six show week usually comes in around £3,000 - 3,500)  but you will need to add a bit for get-in and technical work/dress rehearsal before the first show which makes one day hires a bit more than that. Maybe closer to £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 £30/hour up to £50/hour with technician. Final price depends on technical complexity, your marketing capabilities, the kind of show it is, running time etc. Box Office splits may be possible for returning hirers, once we've got to know you. 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. Also, 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.

Longer runs are all by negotiation but think in terms of £490 each performance. 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

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.

Option 2 - You deal with all ticketing independently. You can set up and run your own ticket sales (ticketmaster, wegottickets, 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.

If you choose this option, you must also run your 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.

What about publicity?
Companies are expected to market their own shows, however we will help wherever we can.  We will list your show on our website and send details out to listings publications and websites.  We will publicise shows via our email newsletter (not guaranteed, and generally only for shows with more than 5 performances and/or are likely to appeal to our subscribers).

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
We can have A3 colour photocopies of posters 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 - (home page address with no additional links or http// leads)
Dates of the performance(s)
Time(s) of the performance(s)
Ticket prices.

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. 

A map showing our location can be downloaded here (0.77Mb).

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.
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.

How do finances get settled up?
You will probably need to pay us a  30% deposit when you return your contract.  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