The Cockpit


The Cockpit, the home of Voila! since the festival’s beginning in 2012, is a “theatre of ideas and disruptive panache.” Dysfunctional times need a fully-functioning theatre with things to say. A theatre for London of useful, progressive ideas for the future.


The Cockpit is an ideal venue for performances in thrust or in the round, shows with large casts, and shows requiring high headroom. This might be dance, music, new writing, a play in translation, puppetry, comedy, or performance art.  The Cockpit is a purpose-built, well designed, intimate venue – in a big way. 

Overview of the auditorium

360 degree photos of the auditorium

Technical specifications of the auditorium

The Cockpit has a bar and cosy lounge area, as well as rehearsal studios available to hire. The venue is central, a 7-minute walk from Marylebone, in a quiet neighbourhood.

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The Cockpit will programme Voila! Festival performances from 4-11 November, 2024.


We generally programme Voila! Festival shows for 1-2 performances at The Cockpit. 


Festival shows should ideally be between 50 and 60 minutes long. In exceptional circumstances, we may programme some shows up to 75 minutes. We cannot programme shows shorter than 45 minutes, collections of short pieces within one 60-minute performance slot, or shows longer than 75 minutes.


Usually you will be offered a 3-hour tech slot on the day of your first performance. In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to stretch to a 4 or 5 hour tech slot.


We programme double bills, with two shows per evening and up to three shows per day on weekends. The standard schedule is 10 minutes stage access to get in before your performance, 60 minutes performance, and 10 minutes stage access to get out after your performance. (Separate from your tech rehearsal time.) 

You will need to plan how to get your set, costumes, and props on and off stage within these 10-minute turnaround times.

Companies will have access to the dressing rooms 60 minutes before performance start times and 30 minutes after.


The Cockpit provides a technician for your tech rehearsal and to operate performances. If your show requires more than one technical operator (lights, sound, video, surtitles, etc), then your company will need to provide any additional tech staff needed.


Please note, the venue’s financial deal is separate from the £150 festival registration fee.

Box Office Split:  50/50 box office split of net box office between the company and the venue. The company does not pay the venue a hire fee, and the venue does not pay the company a performance fee.

Deposit: We ask for a £200 deposit upon signing the contract, which will be refunded to you after you have performed your show, together with your share of box-office.

Capacity: 220 (in the round) or 170 (thrust) or 120 (end-on or traverse, achieved by seating a restricted number of audience in thrust layout)

Ticket price & booking fees: £15, plus a booking fee of £1 + 3% per ticket paid by the ticket buyer. 

VAT: VAT is not applicable. 


Since 2020, we have run a number of successful “Watch Party” events at Voila, with artists and audiences watching a pre-recorded performance together, followed by a live conversation. 

We are also open to proposals for other kinds of digital theatre projects, to be discussed on a case by case basis. This could be an on-demand audio project, live online interactive performance, durational digital work, or something else.

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Logistical details:

  • 1 live “Watch Party” event on Zoom, with a screening of the show and a live Q&A.
  • Ideal running time 50-60 minutes + 30 minute discussion.
  • Pre-recorded shows will remain available on demand during the festival.
  • Each company will be supported by the broadcast team at The Cockpit in advance by email, with a 30-minute tech rehearsal on the day of the watch party event.
  • The on-demand video will be hosted on The Cockpit’s Vimeo platform. Pre-recorded content must be delivered to The Cockpit at least 2 weeks before the festival starts. 
  • The watch party event will be hosted on The Cockpit’s Zoom account.
  • Artists participating in the post-show discussion must have a phone or laptop to connect to the call, and a high-speed internet connection.

Financial details:

  • The capacity of the Watch Party is 95 audience members as standard; as ticket sales increase, it is possible to upgrade the Zoom account to accommodate up to 500 audience members.
  • Tickets will be free, with audiences encouraged to make a donation of £5.
  • There is no VAT applicable on donations.
  • The venue and the performing company will split the donations 70/30 in favour of the company. 
  • We ask for a £200 deposit upon signing the contract, which will be refunded to you after you have performed your show, together with your share of donations.