Visiting Companies

Brighton Open Air Theatre is a real outdoor theatre and there is no cover for either the stage or the audience.
The stage is a 17m long 8m wide thrust. (Please see stage plan) with a moat that runs around the outside delineating it from the auditorium.  The stage (and auditorium) is constructed out of dense soil / sand, wooden sleepers and covered in Astro-Turf, companies are not permitted to ‘pin’ or ‘fix’ into the stage and are advised to use weights instead.

There are 3 x unpainted concrete walls that work as a sound baffle at the Up Stage end of the stage. They function to push the production sound forward to the audience and block the ambient sound from the road. Whilst they are very effective please note that as an outdoor venue there is often considerable ambient sound in the park from other park users and dogs and birds. The Walls are 2950mm high and have small eyelets for hanging set / backdrops from. BOAT has ladders for accessing the top of the walls. Visiting companies are welcome to use the ladders on the condition that they adhere to safe working practices and are properly footed throughout their use.

BOAT does not produce shows and is a receiving house only. Consequently we have limited equipment. Visiting shows are expected to be self contained with regards to staging and technical equipment and staffing.

BOAT will provide a Duty Manager at the point of Load In to induct you in the venue and oversee your installation, but once you are ‘in’ you must be self-sufficient. If your show uses sound and lights the visiting company must provide competent stage management / technicians to connect and operate all lighting and sound equipment and derig at the end.

There is no Wi-Fi available at the theatre (however the nearby café does have some)


There are power sockets provided at the Front of House, Stage Left and Stage Right facility panels. These are 32A weatherproof Ceeform sockets. Two 13A socket outlets are situated at the Backstage facility panel. All these outlets have isolation switches and double pole protection RCB’s situated in the Hut. B.O.A.T has two 32A to 6 x 13A breakouts available for company use.

**It should be noted that the TOTAL AVAILABLE ELECTRICAL SUPPLY IS 30A. You should ensure your show is designed to never exceed this.**


Visiting Companies are advised to check on the time of sunset during their residency at BOAT. In mid June the daylight remains up until about 9.30pm however in late September it gets dark as early as 7.30pm. Your show may or may not require lighting depending on your performance date. BOAT has no in house show lighting except for some very simple floodlights for washing the general area. If the incoming company require theatrical lighting they will need to tour everything required including dimmers and board. Any lighting used should be suitable for outside use or suitably protection must be provided. Any equipment used in the production must have a current P.A.T certificate. If lighting is not ‘weather proof’ the Duty Manager reserves the right to refuse permission for its use.


BOAT has a basic sound system available, designed for use for theatre playback, spoken word and stand up comedy. It is not appropriate for live bands. It consists of an amplifier, small six channel mixer, 1 x microphone with stand and two general purpose speakers. (see Technical Spec) There is a minijack line in which can be used for a Laptop / Ipod / Phone or similar. Please note we do not have a CD player. Companies using their own sound equipment must ensure it has a current P.A.T certificate and is fit for use in the outdoors.

Tie lines are available at the Front of House, Stage Left, Stage Right and Backstage positions. The tie lines are routed via a ‘patch’ situated in the Hut (see Technical Spec)


BOAT has a small 3m x 3m Gazebo which the companies can use either to cover FOH or backstage. The Gazebo is an easy 4 x person build and break down (one person on each leg and it concertina’s out!) it can take about 5 minutes to put up and break down, however if you borrow it you must return it packed down.


You and each member of your team must take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourselves and all other people who may be affected by the work you do at the Theatre during your occupancy.  You must comply with the Duty Manager’s instructions concerning health and safety.  In particular you must adhere to the Theatre’s procedures for the safe use of electricity and substances potentially hazardous to health.

Every Company will be required to provide a copy of their current PLI along with a complete a Production Risk Assessment for their production and return it to the Duty Manager before gaining access to the site.

For Pyro / Smoking / Fire / Lasers / Hypnotism etc BOAT requires at lease 28 working days notice for local authority permissions.

The BOAT Hut is there for the companies use and can provide you with shelter from the elements, however we would advise you that working in the outdoors we recommend that you come prepared for everything the British Summer Season can throw at you from Sun cream to Water-proofs, layers are your best friend, as are hot drinks when it’s cold and cold drinks when it’s hot. When completing your risk assessment please consider the following and make sure you address each item:

Inclement Weather, Hot Weather, Wind, Wet Surfaces, Uneven Surfaces.

Please consider the weather when designing your props, footwear and costumes.

The site also hosts lots of local wildlife, you are welcome to block your production around the site, however we would warn you that the grass is very slippery when wet, there are random rabbit holes everywhere, we occasionally get wasps, bees, foxs and hedgehogs. Please take care when moving around the site, do not leave and rubbish outside and watch out for the evil thieving seagulls if you have a picnic!

This document is a guide to help you prepare for your production at BOAT. It covers some of the questions we are frequently asked, however should you have any specific questions please do get in touch.


Installed Tie Lines & Facility Panels.

Front of House; 18 X Mic /Line (4 reversible) 2 x 5 pin DMX lines, 1 Cat5e.

Stage Left: 8 x Mic/Line (2 reversible); 2 x 5 pin DMX lines; 1 x Speaker line (Speakon); 1 x Cat5e.

Stage Right: 8 x Mic/Line (2 reversible); 2 X 5 pin DMX lines; 1 x Speaker line (Speakon); 1 x Cat5e.

Backstage: 4 x Mic Line (2 reversed) 1 x Speaker (Speakon). 1 x Cat5e.

Note: All Tielines are routed via the Patch in Hut

Sound Equipment.

  • Phonic Mixer. 6 Channels, (4 x Microphone plus 2 x Stereo)
  • Amplifier
  • Speakers
  • Microphone
  • Microphone stand
  • Long Microphone Lead
  • Minijack to Stereo-phono Lead


BOAT Site Electrical Cable Runs >

BOAT Patch Bay >

Site Plan >

BOAT facility panels >

Technical notes for visiting companies – B.O.A.T >