ADC Theatre

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The ADC Theatre (Amateur Dramatic Club Theatre) is the main student theatre in Cambridge, a white and blue building near close to Jesus College. Officially the building is owned by CUADC and held under trust, but is managed as a department of the University itself. The auditorium has a capacity of 228 and usually hosts two shows a night during University Term, at 7.45pm (mainshow) and 11.00pm (lateshow). The Larkum Studio (capacity 40) and ADC Bar (capacity 50) can also be used for performances. Show Applications for student productions open about half-way through the term before. Hirers are charged on a box office split system, with the theatre taking 37% (+VAT) of gross income and an additional 9% (+VAT) as ticket commission.

The majority of technical info about the ADC can be found on the theatre's website, and it would be silly to duplicate it here (since that would just mean that one place or the other would be likely to become out of date the next time there is a change). But the theatre's website only contains "hard" specifications and so on, not hints and tips on how to achieve things.

General Information

  • The proscenium arch is 21'10" wide and 12'5" high.
  • The maximum stage depth is 36'5".
  • The load-in doors are 3'8" x 7'2" and are on the first floor
  • The auditorium seats 228, and has disabled access.
  • There is eduroam WiFi provided throughout the building.
  • There are two backstage dressing rooms:
    • Dressing Room 1 (DR1) which is used by the mainshow
    • Dressing Room 2 (DR2) which is used by the lateshow.

The access to stage from the dressing rooms is to Stage Left. Entrances can be made directly onto the main stage, or onto the forestage through a Juliet. Similar entrances can be made from Stage Right if a get-round is created behind the stage backdrop.

Load-in access is via a straight staircase from the theatre yard, with a 90-degree left turn at the top in order to pass into the front row of the auditorium. Particularly large items of set can be flown onto stage through the stage traps (11'7" x 3'4"). Access should be checked carefully if large items of set are being used.

The venue has a fly tower, with counterweight and hemp systems for flown set. The theatre owns a selection of flying equipment. There is a fully-equipped workshop for building set, which ADC Theatre and Corpus Playroom shows can use for free.


Much of the theatre is restricted access for safety and security reasons. If you wish to gain access to more areas—to attend an audition, for example—ask the box office assistant to help you unlock the door on the left of the box office and go through into the Management Office. You can authorize your University Card (often called a Camcard although this is a common misconception) by tapping it on a machine in the Management Office. If you are an alumnus working on a show or are not a student at the University of Cambridge then the Theatre's Management can issue guest or temporary cards. If unsure, ask someone around in the theatre and they should be happy to help you out!

In addition to regular card access, you can sign out keys to more of the building; contact the management office. The rooms below are marked with their access requirements.

Rooms and Spaces

Box Office


Where you buy tickets and collect pre-paid tickets before a performance. The box office may offer to re-sell tickets on behalf of the ticket-holder for sold-out shows.The Box Office opening hours are typically 1pm-7pm Monday-Saturday.



A great social place for Cambridge Theatre Community with relatively cheap drinks. Located on the first floor of the theatre. It is occasionally booked out for bar performances or society events. The bar is usually closed on a Saturday night and only opens to the company of a show after the get-out is finished around Sunday early a.m.. Offers show cocktails that are specially tailored for adc mainshows.

Upper Bar Store

No student access.

A small storage room and preperation area located behind the bar. Connected to the Lower Bar Store via a dumbwaiter.

Lower Bar Store

No student access.

Room located in the management corridoor immediately before the door into the Box Office. It contains the carbonation and drink mixing equipment for the bar and is connected to the upper bar store via a dumbwaiter.



The auditorium seats 228, and has disabled access. Often has 2 performances every night: an adc mainshow starting from 7:45pm and an adc lateshow starting from 11:00pm.

Larkum Studio

Card access. See main article: Larkum Studio.

A performance space which can also be used for rehearsal and audition. To access the studio, go upstairs from the box office to the first floor, go through the bar and turn left. Keep going forward and you'll see the entrance on your right hand side.

Management Office

No student access.

The office for the theatre management team. Office hours are generally 11am-6pm Monday-Sunday.


Card access.

Another social space for the theatre community with cozy sofas, a desk, some toys (including a stuffed lion!) and a collection of past show posters. Can be also used for production meetings, casual meetings, etc. There are two ways to access the clubroom:

  • Tap your card on the reader to open the door in the corner of the box office and go through the narrow corridor.
  • Enter the theatre through the back gate, go through the yard, and enter through the door with 'Student Clubroom'. Knock on the door or tap your card on the reader to enter.

There is also a gyp (small kitchen) next to the clubroom. Please write your name or the show name on any food stuff you leave in the fridge and please help keep it tidy! One part of the get-out is to clear up the gyp.

Production Office

Card access.

Located next to the Clubroom. Has four computers available for use by anyone putting on a show at the ADC Theatre. All have Adobe Photoshop and InDesign installed. A folder will be created for your show which you should use for storing all files related to your show. These files are accessible from any of the computers. Please do not store files anywhere else on the computers as they are liable to get deleted.

You can print documents from those computers using a "show code". Ask your producer if you need to print something show-related.

A space for production meetings and Paper Tech if it's hard to book a room.


Card access. See main article: ADC workshop.

Where all the sets are built. To access this room, enter through the back gate of the theatre or through the production office.


Card access.

The back stage area contains two dressing room:

  • Dressing Room 1 (DR1) which is used by the mainshow
  • Dressing Room 2 (DR2) which is used by the lateshow.

The Dressing Room are separated by a Green Room with some seating, an audiovisual stage relay, and three toilets. Each dressing room has a shower located off it, as well as two sinks with electric shaver sockets. DR1 also has a washing machine and tumble drier, which are available for use (although are primarily provided for laundering theatre-owned items). During the day, they can be used for auditions, rehearsals and meetings. You can access the backstage area through a door written "Stage Door" in the yard.


Restricted access, and often hazardous. Consult management before entering a void.

The theatre contains an assortment of voids: these are rooms that are too small, oddly shaped, or hazardous to be called a room. They include:

Rake void

The space under the seating of the auditorium. It's high enough to stand in at the rear end, but too low even to crawl in by the front. It contains the step bins. Formerly—before the 2018 renovation—used as an informal instrument store, the area is now kept locked as it is the plenum of the air-conditioning system.

PS roof void

The space above the PS wing. As of late 2018, used to store trunking, confetti drops, and some lighting equipment. Accessed from half-way hemps. Mostly lacking a floor; walking on anything other than the proper areas might result in you crashing to through the ceiling of the PS wing onto the floor below!

PS floor void

Below the PS wing, and accessed through a small trapdoor over which the Genie is sometimes parked. Mainly used to store spare flooring tiles for the Clubroom but can also be useful for accessing the PS stage multicore dip for people with large hands. There is an adjacent diagonally-slanted stage dip which contains the safety hand rails used when Trap flying.

OP quad roof void

Notoriously cramped and somewhat purposeless, it's mainly used for service access when carrying out maintenance.

Bar roof void

Above the bar, and accessed from the Control Boxes. Used to store the multicores for the sound system and SM Desk when not in use. Also partially lacking a floor.

Workshop compressor void

Above the workshop extractor cupboard, and accessed via the small padlocked door near the ceiling.

Safety curtain void

A small void formed in the workshop behind some brickwork when the safety curtain is wound out.

Management garden

A tiny triangular area that's located on the other side of the door in the room with the laminator. It serves no useful purpose but is the source of frequent jokes.


Inaccessible for mobility impaired persons.

These are believed to be among the oldest rooms in the theatre. Unfortunately they are accessible by ladder only.

The vault

Storage area underneath the Production Office that's accessed from a trapdoor in the Tech Office. Used by management to store theatre manintenence spares.

The museum

A small dungeon-like area located just off the scene pit underneath the workshop floor. Used to store old parts of sets that are thought to be worth keeping, most notably a double-ring stage revolve and CO2 machines. There is also a selection of usually fire-retardent fabrics that have been purchased, a spiral staircase, staircase bannister spindles, a sink and the necessary plumbing, and more.

Fly-tower roof

No student access.

Inaccessible to students but included for full completeness, the roof of the fly tower can be accessed via a trapdoor above the counterweight loading gallery.

Room Booking

The Larkum Studio, bar, dressing rooms and stage area may be used for rehearsals or meetings dependent upon availability. There is an online booking diary at [1] which can be used to check availability and book rooms for your show. You will need to have created an entry on Camdram before you can log in to book rooms. This facility is only available for productions taking place at the ADC Theatre.

Productions are allocated 12 hours per week for rehearsals. If you require extra time you should contact the Theatre's Production Manager.

Theatre Management

Technical Details


The ADC Theatre has over 200 lanterns of various description, being of both the LED and conventional tungsten type. Control for these provided through an ETC Gio @5 console with a Nomad Puck running tracking backup. A two port ETC Net3 gateway is situated in the patchbay and provides two universes of DMX connectivity from the lighting control network. There are 114 permanently-installed dimmer circuits and 4 switch circuits which all terminate on a PowerCON patch panel in the patchbay, allowing them to be routed anywhere on or around stage. An additional 6 Strand Act 6 dimmer packs are available from the Technical Manager, making a total of 150 available channels using in-house equipment. Additional dimmers can be added using DMX or network-based control.


The main auditorium has a fixed FoH sound rig of paired D&B Ci90 Tops and C7 Sub-bass speakers, mounted either side of the proscenium arch. The mixing position is a control box at the rear of the auditorium, and control is given though a Yamaha CL3. Tie lines are installed to all areas of the stage and auditorium, as well as dressing rooms, FoH and the bar. These terminate in a Bantam patch pannel, along with the mixing desk, in the control box. Amplifiers are located above the auditorium, in the patchbay, and can be patched to various Speakon outlets around the stage. The theatre also owns a selection of microphones for instrument and vocal use, several DI boxes and a stage piano. There are 16 Sennheiser EW300 G3 Radio Microphone recievers (with 16 wireless beltpacks, and 2 handheld wireless mics).

Production Resources

The Theatre has a sundries store that keeps a stock of useful consumable items that can be purchased by productions. A full stock list and price list can be found on their website.

The ADC has four Computers available for use by anyone putting on a show at the ADC Theatre. All have Adobe Photoshop and InDesign installed. A folder will be created for your show which you should use for storing all files related to your show. These files are accessible from any of the computers. Please do not store files anywhere else on the computers as they are liable to get deleted.

The Theatre has a photocopier that productions are welcome to use. You should have received a four-digit photocopier code, which will allow you to photocopy, print and scan documents as necessary. The printer can produce A5 and A4 booklets as well as A4 and A3 sheets. The user code tracks how many sheets have been printed and we will charge the cost through to the show settlement. We also have a large format printer that produces the A1 posters we use around our Front of House. Productions are welcome to make use of it if needed.

There is a laminator that can be used to laminate posters to be put up around town. It will laminate from anything up to A3. Cable ties for attaching posters to railings can be purchased from Sundries.

The Theatre has a credit account with a number of different companies, including timber merchants and print houses. You can order goods on account by getting an order number from us and inform one of the management team. The Theatre will then pay the company from which you have purchased and deduct the relevant amount from your settlement. Deliveries to the theatre should be made between 11am and 7pm any day.