Covid: 19

"We're here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is" (Kurt Vonnegut)

Cockpit Covid Rules - Please Read

Coming To See A Show    

Studio Hires / Film Shoots   

Covid Rules For Studio Users    

Bringing A Show



Adapt, survive,! (we hope)

Until  May 17 we continue without live on-stage shows  but with most  shows being live-streamed  or broadcast instead.  Existing ticket holders will be notified of the choices available.  All  other on-line events, talks, free content,  community  programmes, filming and broadcast activities, live and recorded,  continue and the building  remains open as  a professional facility and educational/training space. 

On May 17 we reopen for live shows onstage.   The changes from April 12th dont affect us.

Those visiting for essential professional  activities undertake to continue to work Covid safe, comply with all requests and house rules - and follow government guidelines via links below.

All the info on this page remains correct  

The show goes on...


As the rules changed, we were forced to adapt. 

First we filmed Jazz In The Round, for broadcast in our space, without an audience...



Then we hosted the first post lockdown opera performance in the UK with Tete A Tete Opera Company and a socially distanced audience as a Department for Culture, Media and Sport pilot event.


It went brilliantly, so we continued with in-house shows and events for as long as we could, as well as continuing with filming and broadcasts.

Want to see how we stay Covid Secure? Have a look at our IGTV reel for a personal tour! 

Here's more than you ever wanted to know about using the Covid-secure Cockpit: 

Our guiding Covid risk assessment in line with government guidance is here

We have:

  • Reduced the number of people using spaces in the building and established one-way routes
  • Introduced COVID safe cleaning regimes   
  • Installed bottles of hand sanitiser and wipes throughout the building
  • Made the toilets single occupancy
  • Opened all the doors and windows to aid air-flow and filled the place with potted plants that cheer us all up (and calm us all down).


Cockpit Covid rules for you, me, audiences, companies, staff, artists, contractors, drinkers - everyone

Please do not enter The Cockpit if:

  • You are at all ill. If you feel ill while you are here, let us know, pack up and go home.
  • Anyone you live with is displaying Covid-19 symptoms
  • You are waiting for Covid test results, or are within 10 days of a positive test
  • You have been asked to quarantine by NHS track and trace
  • You are required to quarantine after arriving from overseas


  • Please use hand sanitizer on entering.
  • Unless you are a ticket holder, please sign in and leave a contact phone number.
  • Please smile beguilingly instead of contact greetings. (Beguiling smiling demonstration available).
  • Masks are now a legal requirement in entertainment venues for everyone except venue staff (although we often wear them too) so please wear a mask moving around the building and in the auditorium unless you are eating/drinking etc.
  • Please stay two metres away from anyone not in your group (household/bubble) where you can and at least at least one metre away when you can’t.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Use hand sanitiser after you’ve touched anything in the building including yourself.
  • Chillax and be lovely. Slow down, give space, take space and please read and comply with signs. All signs are current, up to date and may change according to circumstances.
  • You've got this far, it’s great to see you. You are welcome here.





Coming to see a show

This describes how socially distanced admission to The Cockpit will usually work.

  • You may be asked to queue outside, so wear weather-relevant clothes and please let us know in advance if you or anyone you know has a mobility or standing difficulty boxoffice [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk
  • We will check you in on arrival. You may be asked for ID so please have some handy. If you are attending with others they must be members of your household/bubble.
  • We will show you straight into the auditorium - unless you need the toilet.
  • We use a backstage entrance to admit you to the auditorium.  Our gorgeous stewards will guide you.
  • In the auditorium, another gorgeous steward will check our seating plan and show you to your seat(s). Like in a restaurant.
  • Our bar staff will come to you in your seat to see if you'd like a drink. They will serve you in your seat. You don’t, in fact, can't, go to the bar.

When the show is about to start, there will be an announcement asking you to use the signed exit if you need to leave (rather than the door you entered through) and asking you also to remain seated at the end of the show (or at the interval) until invited to leave row by row by a steward. Like on a plane.

After the show (or at the interval if there is one) the bar is open with table service.   You can use numbered bar tables in the foyer or in the street, scan a menu on your phone and order drinks using WhatsApp.  Our bar staff will deliver the drinks and take contactless payment at the tables. 


Or staying at home

Don’t forget everything we have put on online as a result of COVID will continue.

We continue to develop online shows, events, classes, scratch nights, readings, meet-ups as well as live-mix filming and streaming opportunities. And we offer a growing range of ways to get things online - whether or not you want to use The Cockpit as a live venue. 

Find all the information on Broadcast/streaming here.    

Find information on using our space for film shoots here

All the shows, classes, scratch nights, readings, meet ups, films and events we are broadcasting are all here. Click on the event to find out more and how you can get involved.





Studio Hires, film shoots, meetings, auditions, rehearsals, classes etc

If you can do it COVID secure you can do it at The Cockpit, subject to current regulations and guidelines.

● Film shoots

● Auditions

● Read-throughs

● Rehearsals where distance can be maintained in line with DCMS guidance

● Workshop/devising sessions where distance can be maintained in line with DCMS guidance

● Classes - where distance can be maintained in line with DCMS guidance


 We  also host:

● Dance

● Yoga

● Improvisation

Please note we have  again  had to suspend  yoga, non-proffesional dance classes and other non-essential activities. 
For all activities you will need to conduct a professional risk assessment and conduct your activities in line with current DCMS guidance:

Government performing arts guidance


Maximum occupancy

We have to manage this according to the kind of activity in the room and the mix of activities in the building.

We have set numbers to cater comfortably for social distancing at 2m- so check your activity can deal with that.

● Studio 1 - Maximum 10

● Studio 2 - Maximum 6 (currently in use as broadcast studio)

● Studio 3 - Maximum 8



● Maximum up to 20 (with seats out.) according to activity

● 10 (with seats in.)


Dressing rooms

● Maximum 6 each


COVID House Rules for everyone booking space at The Cockpit. (These rules also form part of our terms and conditions and studio user’s guide)

·        You must undertake a Risk Assessment and follow current guidance for your particular activity

·        Do not enter The Cockpit if you are at all ill. If you feel ill while you are here, let us know, pack up and go home.

·        Use hand sanitizer on entering The Cockpit.

·        No contact greetings. Smile beguilingly instead... 

·        Stay 2m away from others if you can and at least 1 m apart, minimum and ensure others in your group do the same. 

·        Please follow all signage. It is current and up to date.

·        Wash your hands frequently. Use hand sanitiser after you’ve touched anything in the building including yourself

·        Wear your mask in line with government regulations and DCMS guidance.

·        BEFORE YOU LEAVE Please wipe down all surfaces you and your group have touched by hand before you leave, using the cleaning materials in each space.


To confirm your booking:

·        Please make sure you have undertaken a risk assessment for your activity in the light of the pandemic. This must include provision for social distancing in line with current guidelines.

·        Please make sure you have completed your booking form with the names and contact numbers for you and everyone in your group. This is for track and trace use only. We will keep this information for 21 days. 

·        Please pay for your booking in advance by the date agreed with you - we cannot take payments on site. All bookings remain unconfirmed until paid for and will lapse once the due by date is passed unless paid up..

·        Please come prepared to slow down. Social distancing, hand washing and cleaning take time.

·        Please bring drinking water with you. We cannot supply free water just now although we will try to have bottled water on sale.


Prior to arrival:

You and your group must not have tested positive or be showing symptoms of Covid-19, nor have come into contact with someone who has tested positive within 14 days prior to arrival.

If you or someone in your group starts to show symptoms of Covid-19 while you are at The Cockpit you are to tell a member of staff present and pack up and leave immediately.



Please make sure you have all the info you need before you arrive. (We are really sorry but we are not able to assist with photocopying or any other admin work just now, or offer reception services for you or people in your group or working with you.)

Remember to sign in using the book on the right in the entrance lobby - (bring a pen)

Toilets: these are now single occupancy, one out, one in. Please use the vacant/engaged locks on the outer doors.

Please respect our staff when they are cleaning, when the cleaning sign is up please give them space to do their job to ensure your and their safety.

Hand washing & social distancing: there are soap dispensers in the toilets and various sanitiser pumps located on site, please use them! It's easy to forget but please remember social distancing still applies to luvvies! please respect others and keep the 1m+ rule!


Key points:

● Slow down - and please comply with signs.

● Leave time for cleaning. And wash your hands frequently. Use the sanitiser.

● Pay for your booking and get your admin sorted before you arrive. Bring everything with you and take it away

● Know your group, make certain they are not unwell and make sure we have correct contact info. We might need to contact you for track and trace.

● Risk assess your activity with regard to social distancing. Ensure your group members comply. Wear masks in line with current guidance

● Use the street outside for breaks

● Give space - take space. Stay apart. If you feel ill - let us know and leave immediately.




We are connecting with and supporting everyone however we can.

Please stay in touch by joining the Mailing list at the bottom of the page. Also don't hesitate to get in touch with us via reception [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk if you think there is something we can help with.

We are working on ways to help our local communities as well as our broader arts community and will love to hear from you.



Bringing A Show to The Cockpit

We are broadcasting shows and series online, screening films, putting things on our social media. We also film and/or broadcast shows from the main space. Visit our Broadcasting page for more information

For live shows with live audiences, to ease things along for everyone, we are happy to schedule many events on a loss-free To Be Confirmed basis: we do all the creating, talking and contracting in advance but only put tickets on sale once we know the show can happen. Until then all deposits remain fully refundable, and it's easy to postpone things to a later date further down the road if we need to do that.

The clause we are using is here:

Covid 19:  Provision for postponement. 

Confirmation clause.

This clause provides a means whereby business can be conducted, agreements made and shows planned and prepared while providing for postponement on a 'no loss' basis.

This contract shall stand to enable both parties to progress preparations for the show. This includes preparing tickets for sale and publishing the show dates in the normal way marked ' show to be confirmed'. No tickets to be placed on sale at this stage.

The contract shall become fully operational when and only when both parties have agreed by email to proceed on a confirmed basis and place tickets on sale.

This confirmation can take place at any time with respect to prevailing circumstances. Both parties understand that, depending on circumstances, it may not be possible for it to take place at all. 

Up until confirmation takes place, the show and contract can be cancelled by either party by written request at any time.

Otherwise the assumption remains that the show go ahead on the agreed dates below or on deferred dates later, as a postponement,  to be agreed by both parties, if mutual confirmation of original dates turns out not to be possible.


Meanwhile and until such mutual confirmation, all deposits paid remain fully refundable and no cancellation conditions apply to either party.

Once mutual confirmation of the show going ahead is made by exchange of emails. All cancellation conditions apply as usual on both sides.

Of course, with social distancing, ultimate audience capacity for a single show is reduced but the Cockpit is a big space and many shows are still  viable and able to attract good audiences, insentivised to book in household/bubble group tickets. Take a look at some of our shows online to see how we are pricing things. 

We are particularly keen to mount two houses of shorter shows over an evening rather than just a single house of a two act show. This costs little more to do than pre-covid times and generally achieves even better financial viability than pre-covid times. Email Dave [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk if you'd like to discuss this and include a phone number.




Studios & Box Office - reception [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

Tech, location hire, film shoots, auditorium rehearsal dry-hire - deb [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

Theatre hires and collaborations - //dave [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk">dave [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

Contracts, Conference events/ seminars - beth [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

Finance - //finance [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk">finance [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

Broadcast - //tom [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk">tom [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

​Marketing - kat [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

Theatre Maker Classes - //theatremaker [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk">theatremaker [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk

New Stuff - involved [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk