Association of Community Theatre (ACT) www.actuk.org
Lighting and Sound - Advice and Hire
VME, Unit 11 Longridge Trading Estate, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8PR
01565 652202 www.vme-uk.com
Lancelyn Theatre Supplies www.lancelynhire.co.uk Hotline: 0151 555 3510
Royal Exchange Costume Hire, 47-53 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JY
0161 819 6660 www.royalexchange.co.uk
Birmingham Costume Hire, Suite 209, Jubilee Centre, 130 Pershore Street, Birmingham B5 6ND 0121 622 3158
Wilmslow Guild Costume Hire, 1 Bourne Street, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5HD www.wgp.org.uk/wardrobe
Wilmslow Green Room (Tuesday evening from 7 to 9pm)
Bromiley Limited, Crewe. 01270 255726
Properties and Furniture Hire
Northern Prop Hire Centre (Howorth Wrightson) www.prophire4u.co.uk
Guns and Weapons - Advice and Hire
Loan of Scripts
Consider joining the Drama Association of Wales for access to their extensive script library. www.dramawales.org.uk
Licences for Recorded Music Played in Public.
You will probably need both a PRS and a PPL licence - check out www.prsformusic.com and www.ppluk.com
On-line Booking Management
Ticketmaster UK. www.ticketmastersystems.co.uk
Owners of Theatre Buildings
Consider joining the Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain. www.littletheatreguild.org
Hire of your Theatre Building
If you hire out your venue to others, consider a written hire agreement, signed in advance by both parties, to cover 'house rules' and areas of responsibility etc...for example if the building is damaged by those hiring then do they have insurance cover? who takes the bar profits? are their youth leaders DBS/CRB checked? where in the building is out-of-bounds?
Every theatre building is different of course and so there is no definitive hire agreement. However, the Nantwich Players have drafted one that you could adapt - ask for a copy by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and Safety
The Cheshire Theatre Guild are not experts in the fields of Health and Safety and Child Protection and therefore cannot give individual advice, nor be liable for any of the information given below. However, from the committee's collective experience we can provide the following, as a guidance only, which you may find useful....
FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT - If you are the owner or occupier of a theatre building, then you must carry out a Fire Risk Assessment and keep it under regular review. A comprehensive guide to fire risk management in theatres can be downloaded from www.communities.gov.uk/publications/fire/firesafetyrisk8
HEALTH AND SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT - if you are the owner or occupier of a theatre building, then you must conduct regular, overall H&S risk assessment checks. A general guide to health and safety risk management can be downloaded from www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/manage.htm
You should also conduct a specific risk assessment for each of your productions, whether you own or hire the venue. The above link will assist, but consider such potential hazards as fixings of flats, lights etc; risk of trips, slips, falls and injury from rostra, carpets, furniture, props etc; foodstuffs hygiene; designated backstage crew or actors to assist the public in the event of a fire; first aid box available; fire-fighting equipment and escape routes kept clear of obstructions at all times; safety of scene changes in low light; warning notices to the public for any tobacco smoke, smoke machine, strobe lighting, loud noises etc used; fire risk from any fabrics used on stage or use of lighted candles etc.
If you search under 'fire risk assessment' or 'health and safety risk assessment' on the internet, there are several check-lists to use/adapt from other theatres and local authorities.
NOTE - keep a written copy of all risk assessments conducted - just in case of any future insurance claims.
The Children's and Young Person's Act 1963 and the Children's Performance Regulations 1968 govern actions to be taken when any child of compulsory school age is involved in theatrical productions - amateur or professional.
All children involved in an amateur theatrical production must be registered with Cheshire East or Cheshire West Council using the Licence Exemption/Body of Persons Application Form. This can be found on their websites - http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/schools/parents/education_welfare_service/children_in_entertainment.aspx
Their concern is the physical safety of the child, any effect their involvement may have on the child's schoolwork etc and the safeguards in place for the inappropriate treatment of the child by other persons involved during the production process. Both Councils will help with any Child Protection query you may have.
For any production involving a child, or for any Youth Theatre group, workshops etc, you should have a Child Protection Policy in place and a designated person assigned to oversee the application of that policy.
Local Authority approved Chaperones/Matrons should be available during rehearsals and performances to oversee the safety and welfare of the child/children.
Separate changing room facilities are required for children and adults, boys and girls and those under/over 16 years-old.
Any adult, male or female, having any dealings with a child/children or any vulnerable adult should be considered to be covered by a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) - formerly the Criminal Records Bureau check (CRB)
The Charity Commission has guidelines on Child Protection and forms to download on their website - www.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity_requirements_guidance/charity_governance/managing