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Oxford University Theatre Technicians and Designers


Theatre Freud's Cocktail Bar
Location Walton Street Oxford
Capacity 250-300 ( check with venue)


Freud’s is a converted Greek Orthodox church located on Walton Street in Jericho, near the Oxford University Press building. The venue is now deconsecrated and is run as a cocktail bar and amateur music venue, but theatre productions are occasionally staged there. This venue is close to the O'Reilly in scale and audience capacity, but is technically quite archaic.


The stage area is the sanctuary of the old church and is raised slightly from the floor of the nave, with steps protruding slightly into the nave. The back half of the stage area is slightly higher with a step again. The space has a fixed catwalk grid system which, although filthy and somewhat hair-raising to walk on, is structurally sound. There are no grid positions above the sanctuary, only over the nave. There are curtain tracks down both walls of the nave, with travellers which appear to be in working order. The drop from the tracks is substantial (perhaps 6-8m). It would be possible to hang the drapes from the balcony and move them out over the floor from there, but it would be sensible to clean the tab tracks before use with a suitable scaffolding tower, as it does not appear they have been used for many years.


There are over 100 15A sockets around the grid on IWBs (Internally Wired Bars) and at floor level on either side of the stage. The sockets come back to a 15A plug patchbay at the west end of the space on the balcony, where the FOH positions would be located. Access to the balcony is via an external doorway and spiral staircase. The house lighting stock is small, mismatching, and in a generally poor state of repair. The best-condition units are 4× Source4 PARs, and some hanging incandescent bulbs which serve as house lights. There are also some old fresnels and a profile, but these should not be assumed to be working. Visiting companies would be strongly advised to hire in their own lantern stock. A pulley and hauling line to raise the lights to the catwalk would also be advisable, as carrying lights up the catwalk would be slow and risky. Dimming is provided by 6× Strand Tempus 6-way analogue dimmers, which appear to be in good condition. Many of the fuses are blown but could easily be replaced (with 10A ceramic fuses) to provide 36 channels of dimming. If additional power is required (or more reliable dimming equipment wanted) a 63A 3Φ supply is available at the dimmer position. Lighting control is provided by a Strand Tempus 12/24 two-preset analogue desk, allowing control of two of the dimmer banks (in other words, 12 dimmers.) Several of the channels flicker at high intensity and this seems to be a fault in the desk. For all but the simplest productions visiting companies should hire a digital desk and DMX demux unit.


The venue has a pair of unpowered subs with amps and powered tops, with a DSP unit to mix (taking XLR input). This equipment seems to be of good quality, but the DJ mixing desk is very poor and introduces a depressing amount of noise. Visiting companies wanting to use this system should consider bypassing the DJ mixer by outputting XLR from their audio sources. There does not appear to be much audio hardwiring in the venue.

SP 16/07/14