Guide to Building

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Revision as of 17:47, 8 December 2008 by Blip2 (talk | contribs) (Outside of the Building)

This page is a quick guide to the different parts of the building we call our home theatre. It is worth noting that theb building has a Historic Scotland Listing, meaning we can't or rather are not allowed to destroy it.

Main Office


The Main Office is the responsibility of the President to keep tidy,

Stocking the desk the responsibility of the Secretary.

The phone on the desk is technically the responsibility of the Business Manager, but it is useful to know about the cables. The main cable coming in is actually 2 phone lines, with the office phone (225 9873) splitting to the tech box and FoH, it takes some work to get the lines working when you move the phone and the codes tend to stop working. The Other line feeds to the box office (225 9893) to a handset which will not allow outgoing calls.

Each Committee member is assigned a pigeon hole and should check them regularly.

The Gas Stopcock cupboard should never be locked or blocked by stuff.

It is not sensible to allow office furniture on stage (More hassle than it's worth) and apparently at some stage a motion was passed forbidding it although this motion seems to have fallen out of the constitution since.

There are two filing cabinets with who owns what drawer clearly marked, the Theatre Manager's drawer is a good place for keeping paperwork, gaffa, a pair of rubber gloves (don't ask) and a torch.

The committee pigeon holes are useful for keeping current information in.

The other cupboard contains the heating boiler and the works department have an annoying tendency to lock it. High up on the left hand wall of this cupboard is a door which gives access to a cold water tank which used to feed a toilet and sink in the cupboard before the boiler was installed. Now it just feeds the sink in the paint cupboard.

The FoH panic alarm makes a blue light flash in the office when activated. If this happens sprint to the box office with a bit of scaff or something similar.

The floor was sanded and varnished for fringe 2001.

Internet Connection

The Ogg Office

This office, formally known as the accountants office, is the responsibility of the Business Manager. It is almost always locked, and where the vital accounts and anything else that is vital is stored. The President, Business Manager, Technical Manager and Theatre Manager are the only people that hold keys to this office.

Paint Cupboard


The paint cupboard should contain matt black paint, matt white paint, varnish, paint brushes, rollers and trays, white spirit, meths, buckets, mop, dustpan and brush, soap, putty, polyfilla, glue, wallpaper paste and flamcheck. The important ones being matt black paint and flamcheck.


The paint cupboard falls under the responsibility of the Set Manager however they should not be expected to clean it except for a couple of major clear outs a year.

Each show is responsible for the condition of the paint cupboard during their run. They should keep it as clean and organised as possible and should also clean it at their maintenance session.


The door should be locked.

Shows obviously need access to it on a regular basis so the stage manager may be entrusted with a key by the Set Manager.


The sink in the paint cupboard was installed when the boiler was installed in Spring 1991 and the one in the office was torn out. The small cupboard on the left where the nasty paint in the red tins is kept used to contain the gas meter until it was moved during the boiler installation. This has a Coded Padlock the code to which is 123 and should allow the more dangerous items to kept from actors and the like.

Side Entrance and Entrance Hall

Side entrance.jpg

This is the primary entrance and exit to the building when the building is closed to the public.

People tend to leave it unlatched so that people can come and go without needing to ring the bell and drag someone down. This is fine during the day, but if you're working in the building in the evening or at night you should keep it locked and the light switched off so as not to attract tramps, drunks and so forth.

The doorbell on the side door feeds to a switch on the wall, the switch will swap the doorbell between the loud ringer in the auditorium and a quiet buzzer. Very few people know what the buzzer sounds like and often will sit by the door and not answer it. Normally the buzzer is only used for tech and dress rehearsals. There is an appendix which contains more information on the doorbell system. The doorbell can also be switched off from the tech box.

Fuse Cupboard

In the side entrance hall, to the right of the door as you come in is a cupboard that contains most of the fuses for the building.

On the left hand side (Facing the auditorium) are the trips for (Counting along from the left) (needs updated). On the right hand side are the trips for: (needs updated).

The important switches are covered by Perspex to prevent random people turning them off.

Always remind the production team of every show to remember to turn off the breakers as they leave the building. Remind them further that the upstairs lighting and Bertha are not controlled by the breakers and need to be turned off independently.


The system was rewired in 1992 to balance the power. Previously, the lighting rig ran off the red phase and the rest of the building ran off blue and yellow. This was hopelessly unbalanced and caused the mains cable to burn through twice (1988 & 1990) and it was lucky the place didn’t burn down. The power input to the building is three phases at 100A and 415V.


The kitchen contains two large sinks which are a nightmare to unblock, lots of pans and stuff, a large fridge, a small hand sink and a cooker. The kitchen doesn't get much use through the year but in the fringe gets used lots. It is important to keep it clean because environmental health naturally get quite aggravated if you don't. Just get it cleaned at every work-in and you should be fine.

The wall of the kitchen was rebuilt for fringe 2000 and even though people keep bouncing off it warming up it seems to be surviving ok.

It's also a really good idea to keep a supply of bin bags actually in the kitchen. The bins get incredibly foul very quickly without bags, and as noted above, cleanliness in the kitchen is super important.


New cooker bought in Fringe '06. Has 4 ring hob, full size oven with grill section that doubles as an oven. Lower oven is very temperamental and should not be used to cook anything specified as needing lower than 300C. At any time when cooking something in this oven be prepared to watch it constantly. Baking should always be done in the potato oven in the cafe to avoid a charred mess.

Cleaning the oven is not particularly pleasant so try to find someone else to do it. You'll probably find that you need to keep checking on them cos they’ll get bored before they finish.



see stage



Prior to the replacement of the seating in May-June 2008, it consisted of 90 ex-cinema chairs which were bought from the ABC in Spring 2001. They were installed a couple of weeks prior to fringe 2001 and it took six people who knew what they were doing three long days to do it.

The trick to putting them in was to assemble them a chair at a time and get the backs to line up properly. They didn't quite fit because they were designed to be on a curve but it worked; up to a point.

When removing them you need to make sure you don't lose any of the springs because if you don’t have the spring in the seats have a tendency to fall out.

The seats were depreciated over five years and were due for renewal in 2006 but we didn't have the money.



The rake was installed just before fresher's week 1989 and was completed at 8:55 on the Monday of fresher’s week. Trap doors to get under the rake are located beside the door to the toilets under a lift up flap and in the little alcove through the cupboard, by the cafe entrance. The space under the rake is the only part of the building that is always warm but it's so dark, full of dust and its where the sub lives, so you’ll not want to spend much time down there. Spare parts for the old chairs were also kept there in black plastic bags but have been sold/thrown out in Mid-2008.

Renovation Work 2008

Because the seats were finally being replaced the opportunity was taken to refurbish the rake. This was for 2 reasons:

1. The seating company said that they would prefer that the rake were resurfaced prior to the new seats being installed to ensure a problem free fit out. The original ply had been compromised to some degree by the hundreds of nail, screw and bolt holes that had been sunk into it over the years.

2. EUSA were willing to pay for the £850 worth of ply and £800 worth of carpet tiles in addition to the seats themselves. It was all put on depreciation over 10 years.

The refurbishment itself consisted off:

1. Removing the old carpet 2. Removing the old plywood 3. Repairing the rake's structure 4. Laying new plywood 5. Painting the new risers 5. Laying the new carpet

In total, the project took around a week and a half to complete and involved:

Alex 'Mal' Mead (Set Manager 2007-9, 2008-9, Fringe Theatre Manager 2008), Kerry O'Herlihy (Theatre Manager 2007-8), Dave Larking (Theatre Manager 2006-7), Alex Engel (Theatre Manager 2005-6, Fringe Theatre Manager 2006), Alistair Marshall, Felic Trench (Librarian 2007-?), Cat Hobart (Theatre Manager 2008-9, Fringe Cafe Manager 2008), Neale Dutton (Fringe Technical Manager 2007, Technical Manager 2007-8) Becs Kamp (Fringe Sponsorship Manager 2007, Fringe Press & Publicity 2008), Sam Hansford (Fringe Technical Manager 2008, Entertainments Manager 2008-9, Imps Tech Manager (2008-9), Gordon Nimo-Smith.

Notes on the repairing of the rake

The rake was 19 years old and had been subjected to significant changes in temperature. Consequently, some of the beams had warped and twisted. Where necessary these were replaced though this was the exception rather than the rule.

Additionally, because power tools weren't an option in 1989 the rake was glued and nailed together. Wood will shrink over time and in many instance the nails had failed to function. The glue had also failed in some areas. This was remedied by the use of over 200 3x10 quicksilver screws. In particular the front joints that connect to the risers were reinforced.

Though the structure of the rake itself in terms of it's design was often perfectly sound, in places however, it was necessary to slightly re-engineered the framework so as to better support the weight. Notably, the area stage right adjacent to the rear of the cupboard required a denser structure than was originally present.

Amongst the more unpleasant things encountered during the project were a mouse skeleton and a considerable quantity of mouse and possibly rat droppings. Some of the programmes and ticket stubs dating back to the early 1980s can be found in the archive.

Stage Cupboard

The stage cupboard wall can be easily removed to give additional entrances and it has been used to give an orchestra pit in the past. A 10' x 8' black serge cloth was purchased to cover the hole for shows which didn't want a pit. The piano was bought in 1988 and legend has it that it looked quite good when new. The candle holders were removed for use in a show and never reattached. How the top was damaged is unknown. The varnish was stripped off the top and sides for a lunchtime in 2001 and then re-stained a reddish colour but never re-varnished. It was last retuned for fringe 1994. Since then the insides were removed fringe 2002 to make it into a piece of set only. The stage cupboard is the only place which we’re technically allowed to store untreated wood because it is fully enclosed by solid walls which would supposedly take a while to burn through.

Scene Dock

This is basically an additional storage area for set, you need to be careful that the doors will still close and nothing can fall and block the fire exit. The walls are just plaster board and as such are quite brittle as can be seen by the holes in them. Apparently on the inside of the SL wall there are messages from the people who built the auditorium. The doors were built two days before fringe 1997 when the fire officer requested them, he was not popular that day. The water stopcocks can also be found here, one feeds to the main FoH water supplies and the other feeds the boiler. I don't know which is which. The floor of the scene dock is also home to a few sheets of metal used when trying to make the seats in the auditorium moveable... it didn't work.

Cafe Entrance Corridor

Formally known as the disabled access corridor, this is really just a passageway that runs from the cafe to the front of the seating rake. It is now the main entrance to the auditorium after the small steps were boarded up for fridge 2007.

There is an alcove behind the door to the cupboard in which lives the vacuum cleaners. Also in the cupboard is a small hole that leads under the seating rig. It is quite a small hole and access is easier from the other side of the auditorium. The walls are plasterboard and tend to have people kick holes in them. The Auditorium side of this wall has been patched with hardboard to cover hold in the plaster board.

Dressing Room

This is the area immediately behind the stage where actors go when they're not on stage


The dressing room is the responsibility of each cast to keep clean. This is not the job of the costume manager who is merely responsible for taking away the props and costumes which should also be sorted and cleaned by the cast too.

It is the responsibility of the shows Producer to ensure that the cast do this.

Actors will often leave their belongings in the dressing rooms. Recent Costume Managers have generally thrown it in a pile and given everyone a week to get rid of it before throwing it in the costume cupboard.

Smoking and drinking are not allowed back stage.


Quotes to install a sink have been got in the past but they came in at about £1000 so it was given up.

One of the fancy windows was ripped out during a break in pre fringe 2001 (discovered it at 7:30 on the Monday morning of week 1, and I had slept in the building that night {for the 4 hours between ins} so was slightly annoyed). This window was replaced by security glass which is easier to clean and a lot more secure However it may be in violation of the B grade listed building regulations. A second window was replaced with security glass at some point as well, leaving only one of the original windows.

There is no emergency exit light back stage and the Council are aware of this and as of May 2008 the Works Department has agreed to install one. As it isn't a public area of the building we should be able to gel it as dark as we like but a call to the Public Safety Department of the Council.

CCTV system

Props Cupboard

The Props Cupboard is called that because it used to actually store props. It has nice shelves and everything. Now people think it's called the Props Cupboard because that is where all the stage weights and braces (things that 'prop up' the flats) are stored. It is lockable and so can be used to store valuable props. But is mainly used to store crap during runs. The light fitting in there was ripped out by the tech manager fringe 2002 during the installation of a flood light for the back passage and never replaced.

Costume Cupboard

See Costuming


The crypt is a dark smelly hole which can be reached down the stairs in the stage right exit. There are three rooms and they are partially full of sand, slabs and other building materials which can be useful. The stains on the walls are urine thanks to our resident tramps. The area under the stage can be reached through the hole in the wall which is useful for putting in cable runs. There is even more sand down here thanks to a mainterm which covered the stage in it then just swept it down the trap door. There is also 2 tonnes of construction sand living down there currently from Electra, 2005. It is all in double bin bags, and thus far more usable that the stuff that just gets swept down the trap door. It is possible to climb through the building's foundations to the men' toilet, but you need to be pretty skinny to manage it as Theatre managers have got stuck in the past.

Tech Box

see Techbox


See Balconies



The toilets are technically the responsibility of the Front of House Manager.

Each show is responsible for cleaning the toilets and refilling the toilet paper and hand towel dispensers.

Additionally, the hall keepers for each performance should check the condition of the toilets at before and after the show.


Apart from the obvious refilling of the dispensers the floors, sinks and toilets should be cleaned regularly and bleached a couple of times a month.

The floor needs painted every year or so, just get black floor paint from Ian Russell, you’ll probably find that you use about 7L, so make sure to order it in advance because they only tend to keep 5L in stock.

Take Special Note

Cleaning the toilets tends to be very unpopular. It is recommended that directors do it.

The hot water heaters in the toilets should be left turned on and turned off only at the breakers. This way they start making hot water the minute you arrive in the building and throw the breakers.

Toilet Corridor

Toilet corridor.jpg


This is just a corridor which links the box office and the auditorium.

In here is stored the mainterm banner.

The double doors to the auditorium are quite hefty and make noise if you opened too quickly. Avoid opening them if at all possible during shows. The stoppers on the floor need regular oiling too keep them running.


The Toilet Corridor is the responsibility of the Front of House Manager.

If shows make a mess in it (for painting and so forth) they must clear it up.

The hall keepers should keep it clean during a shows run.


At fringe 2007 the coffee machine in the kitchen was move and the waste line (which runs under the Toilet Corridor) ruptured. During Fringe 2007 it leaked a lot because of the high volume of coffee served. This is not a problem during term time as we hardly serve any coffee however it must be fixed. This ought to be addressed pre-Fringe 2008.

The banners were once secured to the wall but the attachments have since been lost.

A pane of glass was removed from the window to vent the cafe during the fringe 2003 but an electric extractor fan was never fitted.

Box Office

See Box Office


see Café

Outside of the Building

Probably the nastiest part, it needs tidied a couple of times a week, especially Saturday and Sunday mornings after lots of people drop rubbish through the night. The regular tramps tend to be fine and if you give them a black bag will sometimes help pick up rubbish but you need to make it obvious to them from the start that they’ll not get any money. Talk to the tramps and be nice to them because the ones you get to know will often help you to move on the awkward ones and the ones that have passed out. Of note: Currently, the metal key to take off the top of the Front of House bins is on the FoH Manager's keys. Coincidence? I think not.

The roof at the front of the building can be accessed with a ladder to put up the banners. Bedlam has two banners one of which is a long thin one which Mainterms can put their logo on for advertising. The other is a large fat cat with venue 49 on it which is used for the fringe. To put the banners up you need to haul them up to the roof and tie them securely onto the eyelets on the roof, the head of the fat cat then ties onto the archway.

The 1k floods were replaced for fringe 2001 and use K4 lamps. They burn through gel really quickly so you need to come up with an alternative if you want to colour them. To switch them on you need to turn on the breaker and the switch in the fuse cupboard in the side entrance.

The Claymore (large wheelie bin) gets emptied once a week, but you need more than that during the fringe. It is very difficult to get one off uplifts because trade waste are disorganised but it is sensible to book them if you’re planning on throwing lots out or during a mainterm week.

The gate to the back stage exit is best kept locked to keep tramps from using it as a toilet. As it is they will still piss there but at least you’re not cleaning up rather liquid shit. A good idea is to pour bleach over it every time you remember and make sure it happens at work-ins.

The disabled access ramp is only of limited use because people can’t use it when a show is on. This has caused problems in the past with people having to sit in the rain for half an hour. Make sure that disabled people are told to turn up 20 mins before a show not half an hour and get the seats out as soon as you can. The seats need to be removed so that the fire escapes are clear which is a condition of out license.

The fire escape must be kept clear if the building is open so make sure the duty manger knows this and do realise that you deal with the tramps regularly and probably have got to know some of them so be willing to help out. The tramps have a tendency to piss on random parts of the building, especially outside Mrs O’s window and she really hates it. There’s not a lot you can do to stop them but make sure you clean up as soon as you can so it doesn’t smell too much.

Apparently the red gravel outside the building looks a lot better than the tarmac that used to be there but it does make cleaning up harder the easiest way is just to rake the fag ends in and hope for the best.

Linford’s bench was given to the Bedlam by the parents of an ex-member, who died in a car crash. Mrs O is very attached to the bench so please treat it with care a lick of varnish once or twice a year doesn't hurt. The bins out here are pretty disgusting so I always make sure that someone else has to clean them out when there is more than an inch of crap in the bottom.

The only way you can get round the back of the building is to climb over into the grounds of the building behind us which is dangerous (The first entry in the accident book is from me falling off the fence) and illegal (So don’t get caught).

On the Forest Road side of the building are three overflow pipes for the water tanks. If there is water coming out of these it means that one of the tanks is overflowing. Having water coming out of these is bad for two reasons, one it wastes water and two it empties straight into the foundations which will cause the building to fall down quicker. The easiest way to get them fixed is by reporting it to the Works Department who will send someone to do it.