Student Productions in Central Hall

The Audio Visual centre is responsible for the permanently installed equipment in Central Hall.  We’ve produced this guide to help you ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible, however please get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss your requirements.

Useful Files

Useful Plans


We will provide you with up to 12 hours of technician time, by prior arrangement, free of charge, during the normal working day (0900-1700 Monday to Friday). This is enough to rig and focus the standard lighting rig. These hours will be at times arranged in advance, subject to our other commitments. It will normally be 2 people for 6 hours. Any extra hours will be charged at £35/hour/technician plus VAT. You should book time for all your rigging, show & derigging needs.

AV Technicians need to be present whilst any access to the technical balcony, gantry and stage canopy is required. These areas are out of bounds without a technician in attendance.

Key Timings

We’d suggest you arrange a production meeting with us at least 2 months in advance, well before you intend to submit your events form.  Please let us have the following documents by the Monday of the week before your show starts…

  • A timetable showing rigging, plotting, rehearsal, show, & derigging time
  • A lighting plan
  • A sound plan
  • A stage plan
  • Your risk assessments for the event

The earlier we have these documents, the more efficiencies we may be able to make by sharing arrangements with other groups.


Seating/Staging/Orchestra Pit

The seating, staging & orchestra pit are looked after by the receptionists. See plans above for some possible layouts. Please let the Room Setup Team (x3230, have details of your setup requirements, and book suitable timing into your schedule as soon as possible. The maximum seating capacity for blocks 1-5 is approx 1000. It is not necessary to have the handrails attached to the steps to the stage when in use for dramatic purposes but this should be marked in your Risk Assessment. It is advisable to highlight the edge of the stage with white tape, and to cover the holes where the stage is worn. There is a ramp than can be fitted by the Room Setup Team (x3230, to the front edge of the stage, the top of which is at stage left.

If you are planning on using the orchestra pit, then you should be aware of the following

  • The handrail must be inspected by estates in advance of the show
  • The front row of block 3 must not be used by the audience
  • The stewards and duty manager(s) / responsible person(s) should be aware of the pit

There are 32 legs for steeldeck available, cut to the same height as the fixed staging. Ther are 8 stage weights and 8 set braces in our storeroom available for use.Beware that large staging will not fit in the lift.

Control Area

You may wish to create a technical area behind block 3 – this must remain clear of the fire doors at all times and we would advise you not to use the back row of seating if you do set up here. It is also possible to retract the top section of seating of block three and use that area.

Set construction

Construction of your set within the hall should be kept to a minimum, and all painting must be carried out outside. All set pieces should be free standing; nothing is to be screwed to the stage or pillars. Nothing should be stuck to painted walls.

There is one banner bar on each side of the stage – max SWL 125kg each. See the plan for dimensions. We will operate if rigging is required.

Lift/Rehearsal Room

The lift internal dimensions are 2.2m high, 1.8m deep and 1.5m wide. The lift doors are 1.1m wide, 2.0m high and there is a handrail at waist height and fold up seat on the rear wall of the lift.

The wheelchair access to the auditorium is via the lift and rehearsal room, and a clear access to the corridors at either side of the rehearsal room must be maintained at all times.

Access Equipment

We have use of a set of Zarges ladders within the hall. There is no access equipment provided for your use.
If you need heavy items rigged from the canopy (e.g. MACs) we will hire a scaffold tower, and the cost for this will be passed on to you. Alternatively your hire company may be competent to provide this service for you.


The canopy has a weight limit of 450kg static load. The acoustic baffles are already taken into account. We estimate that the existing loading is 300kg (4 speakers @ 25kg, 12 pole-ops @ 15kg & 4 floods @ 5kg). The load must be distributed evenly across the canopy. A copy of the structural engineer’s report is available as pdf. If it is intended that the weight limit is approached, then the exact weight of the existing items should be confirmed first.

Access to the canopy is via appropriate access equipment. This may not be possible once set pieces/staging are in place, and should be borne in mind.

The Canopy is 6.2m high above the stage and the stage is approx 0.75m high.

Health and Safety

All set items that may come into contact with ignition sources (heat/lighting) should be suitably fire retardant. There should be a clear walkway kept backstage between the fire exits at each end.

The partition wall between stage & backstage is a fire break and must be closed during performances.

The Facilities Manager will provide you with a fire safety briefing before the start of your rehearsals.

Clearing up

After your show, all items must be removed from all areas of the building (including the outside walkways) by the end of your booked time. Any items left after this time may be disposed of and any costs involved will be billed to your group.


There are 96 channels of Zero88 chilli dimming, and there is an ETC Congo Jnr desk available subject to (conditions of hire)- basic training can be provided in advance of your production. Control of the permanently installed house lights is available from the control room or backstage; alternatively there are floods rigged as house lights which can be controlled from the lighting desk.
All lighting outlets are on 15A connectors; the stage balcony, and stage level outlets are also duplicated on Socapex connectors. A DMX splitter is provided for the listed outputs, which are all on the same universe.

See circuit plan and channel list for our standard setup.

See list of lanterns available.

We have no followspots available.

Battery backed emergency lighting is provided. The exit signs should be illuminated whilst the building is open to the public – these are controlled by a switch in the reception.


Extra power supplies are available – 32A single phase in the projection box, 63A 3 phase & 32A single phase on the stage right wall, and 2x16A on the outside balcony.

All electrical items brought into the hall should have a current PAT certificate.

Comms System

A tecpro comms system is available, with 6 beltpacks/headsets. There are outlets at varous locations around the building, including the projection box, stage balcony, backstage, and stage "wings" (between the pillars and the doors to backstage).

Due to losses in the past, you will need to supply your own 3pin XLR cables for use with the Comms system.

Smoke/Strobe/Pyro/Other special effects (Awaiting Update)

Revision of this section is in progress.


There is an installed d and b xA-Series PA system - we can either provide a stereo feed for your sound provider to connect into, or we can provide a sound desk – either a Spirit Live 16:4:2, or a Spirit LX7 (24 channel). Feeds are available to backstage, dressing rooms and the concourse, and from our radio microphones. The bottom two boxes of the array can be disabled when you are using block 6 as a performance area, and monitor speakers are available on the stage canopy.
There are two stage monitor mixes available & 4 monitor wedges.
There are 8 radio microphones available for use, with 4 handheld & 4 beltpack transmitters (for lapel or headset mics). Capsules are not provided with the beltpacks, but can be obtained easily from CPC etc. Each microphone requires 2 AA batteries. The frequencies proposed for any other radio microphones should be checked with us in advance to prevent interference with other rooms on campus. The UHF Channel 38 & 70 frequency ranges are available for use.
A hearing loop is available covering the whole hall.
Due to losses in the past there are no mic stands, other microphones or XLR cables available for your use.


There are 3 Christie HD-10k projectors available in fixed positions within the hall - one centrally between the columns, and the others project on to the walls either side of the stage.
We can provide a control panel and 1 VGA and/or 2 HDMI inputs at the back of block 3. Each projector can have an independent source, or they can share the same inputs.

Backstage relay

There is an installed camera cable from the projection box to backstage. If you wish to use this, you will need to provide a camera, BNC cables for both ends & a monitor.
There are speakers throughout the dressing rooms and concourse with dedicated amps, which can be fed the same as the main feed, or a separate mix.


Wifi access is available throughout most of the hall.

Equipment damage

We do not make any charge for reasonable use of equipment that is permanently located within the hall, however all damage, breakages and loss will be charged for, including our administrative time.

Concurrent Events

Quite often there may be teaching, or other events scheduled during your show week. For these you must leave access to lower the central projection screen, and to the floor boxes located stage left.