Performance spaces

Our performance spaces are in constant use for teaching on our technical courses, as well as rehearsals and performances from students studying performance-based subjects, and masterclasses. Each year over 50 performances take place from dance theatre to musicals, from costume dramas to music festivals.

Paul McCartney Auditorium

Location: The Institute
Seats: 400+ people
A traditional proscenium arch theatre and our largest performance space, equipped with counterweight flying facilities.

Sennheiser Studio Theatre

Location: The Institute
Seats: up to 96 people
A flexible studio theatre with retractable seating, allowing us to stage smaller-scale productions.

The Art Studio Theatre

Location: The Art School
Seats: 120 people
We plan to build another flexible studio theatre in this building too.

Other licensed performance spaces:

Room 4.24 (rehearsal room)

Teaching and practice rooms

Rehearsal rooms

Spacious and light rehearsal spaces are used for workshop-style teaching for Acting and Applied Theatre & Community Drama. Some are equipped with their own sound and lighting facilities for technical training and internal performances.

Dance studios

Our Art School building houses four impressive dance studios with top quality sprung floors and the latest sound systems. One studio is equipped for aerial work. We also have a treatment room for physiotherapy and massage therapy appointments. Our Pilates room has two Pilates Reformers as well as cardio and weight-training equipment.

Music practice rooms

We have extended the number of music rehearsal and practice rooms so that we now provide:

  • 3 large music rehearsal spaces
  • 3 medium music rehearsal spaces
  • 6 small music teaching rooms
  • 8 small band rooms
  • 10 piano rooms

Some sponsors and manufacturers provide us with generous donations. Equipment available for students to use includes amplification by Soundcraft, Mackie and Orange; keyboards by Roland, Yamaha and Nord; guitars by Fret-king; drumkits by Yamaha and cymbals by Zildjian.

Management suite

If you are a Management student, you have access to a dedicated workspace equipped with PCs and workstations to hold meetings and work on course work and external projects.

Seminar rooms and lecture theatre

We have a number of seminar rooms, all equipped with state-of-the-art presentation equipment. We have also recently refurbished a lecture theatre which seats up to 120 people and is used for lectures, masterclasses and seminars. Based in the Art School, this is called the John Lennon Lecture theatre.

Design & technology facilities

Scenic workshop

The workshop is equipped with metalworking and woodworking machinery and used for set and prop construction and painting for productions. It is also a practical teaching area for our Theatre and Performance Design and Technology students.

Costume and wardrobe

Our wardrobe department has an extensive costume store and airy new workshops providing increased making space. This is where design students plan, design and create costumes for around 15 separate productions throughout the year.


Our venues and teaching spaces hold up-to-date professional lighting equipment, allowing students to experiment and practise using tungsten, discharge and LED source generic and intelligent fixtures.

We also have a range of industry standard lighting desks which includes ETC Eos, Gio and Ion, Avolites Pearl, Wholehog, Strand and Jands Vista consoles.

Our new lighting programming suite has three-dimensional computer visualisation software, such as AutoCAD, Vectorworks and Cast WYSIWYG. This dedicated suite provides students the freedom to practise and perfect their lighting programming and operation skills for theatre and performance.

Additional design and technology facilities include:

  • Model making rooms
  • Prop workshop
  • Stage management and production

Audio facilities

Recording studios

During term-time, if you are a Sound Technology student, you have 24/7 access to our six professionally designed studios.

These are built around a 48 channel SSL Duality, Neve Genesys G32, Yamaha DM2000, Avid S6 and two Audient ASP8024 consoles, with multitrack recording via Pro Tools HDX & Native, iZ Radar and Otari 2" analogue tape.

All studios support music tracking and mixing to a high standard and two have additional facilities for sound to picture production, surround mixing, mastering and editing including Dolby Atmos capability. The studios are linked to each other and to other performance spaces using a flexible Dante AoIP network, and a fully flight-cased mobile Pro Tools HDX system is also available for location recording.

Music students have exclusive access to a demo recording studio and those who are studying production can use all of our studios in their final year.


In the studios, you have access to an expansive stock of equipment from leading manufacturers. Outboard includes items from:

Lexicon, Tc electronic, Drawmer, BSS, Focusrite, Eventide, dbx, Yamaha, Neve, Millennia, Manley, Universal Audio, Empirical Labs, Thermionic Culture, Bricasti.

Microphones include items from: Sennheiser, Neumann, Sony, Schoeps, AKG, beyerdynamic,Shure, ElectroVoice, Crown, Audio Technica, DPA, Audix, Earthworks, Brauner, Royer, AEA, sE, Violet Designs, Soundfield. Monitoring equipment includes Boxer, PMC, Genelec, Focal, Auratone, Dynaudio, Neumann, ATC and Yamaha speakers.

Offline suites

We have 22 offline workstations to complement the HDX systems in the studios. These are based around high spec iMacs and run Logic Studio, Pro Tools, Reason, Ableton Live and Native Instruments Komplete.

Broadcast audio

We have equipment which can be configured for a variety of location broadcast applications.

This is based around a Soundcraft RM1-D digital broadcast mixer, communications and cue systems and a range of playback sources.

Live sound

Equipment includes consoles from Yamaha (M7CL-48, PM5D, DM1000), Soundcraft (GB8) and DigiCo (D5T and SD12). Loudspeaker systems include d&b (C-series, T-series and Y-Series) and Meyer, with system processing and routing in the main theatre provided by a Peavey Nion system. Those working on live sound increasingly make use of sophisticated networked audio systems, primarily using Audinate's Dante protocol. 

Learning Resources Centre (LRC)

Our Learning Resources Centre (LRC) is a specialist creative and performing arts library with an extensive collection of books, e-books, scores, CDs, DVDs, e-resources, print and electronic journals. Whether you are looking for individual songs or scripts, background research or creative inspiration, our professional and friendly LRC staff are here to help you. We offer support sessions in ICT and study skills through subject specific lectures, as well as one-to-one and drop-in sessions, ensuring you get the most out of your study.

The LRC website provides the gateway to our online catalogue and electronic resources and includes links to a wide selection of help sheets and video guides. In addition, our virtual learning environment, Moodle, holds a variety of subject-specific learning materials, such as lecture notes, useful web links and module information. The majority of these services are available off-campus.

Our integrated learning environment has a variety of study spaces, including individual and group work areas, and an open-access computer suite. Facilities include printing, copying and scanning, plus binding and laminating equipment. A range of stationery is available for purchase to support your studies.

Opening hours during term time are Monday and Wednesday 9.00am to 6.00pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9.00am to 8.00pm, Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm​.
Location: The Institute

Technical Services

Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you with general technical queries and booking out equipment for short-term loan. Loan equipment includes musical instruments, assorted percussion, various recording and playback equipment, digital video and stills cameras and AV equipment.

Microphone kits, connecting leads and other accessories are also available. Here you can reserve high demand resources like microphones and drum kits.

Access to a Rimage Producer bulk CD duplicator with artwork printing facility is also available.

Technical Services repair and maintain all equipment in stock.

Term time opening hours are extensive, allowing you access to Technical Services from 9am until 11pm every weekday and 9am until 5pm on Saturday and 11am until 5pm on Sunday. Outside of term time is open on weekdays from 9am-5pm.
Location: The Institute

ICT Services

LIPA's Information, Communications and Technology Department provides the infrastructure and services framework that enable our students to exploit state-of-the-art information and communication developments.

Our industry-standard computer resources are running the latest productivity software on high specification workstations. Much of our resources are based in the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) and there is also a separate ICT suite with a colour A0 plotter.

All PCs are installed with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office & Project as standard. There is also access to a range of additional specialist software installed on selected workstations. These include AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Cloud applications, Sibelius, MindManager, WYSIWYG and QuarkXpress.

All workstations provide free access to the Internet, email and other electronic resources. There is free WiFi access throughout our buildings for students and staff members via the Eduroam network which provides a world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community.

Specialist ICT staff are available to answer questions, give assistance and advise on ICT issues.

Location: The Institute

LIPA Bar and Canteen

Not just for drinking and eating, the bar and canteen are the hub of social activity within LIPA. Both spaces are licensed for performances too.

Make the most of being part of the LIPA collective with our popular event, 'The 2ube', which is on every Friday from 5-7pm. It's an unparalleled showcase platform for our musicians and a prime example of collaboration in practice. Sound Technology and Theatre and Performance Technology students get involved in the live sound engineering and other technical roles and management students work hard to promote it, undertaking artist liaison and representation and project manage key aspects of it in close conjunction with the Music department. The 2ube is regularly visited by industry professionals, and the show presents some of the best new music from the institution and the local scene.

The bar also hosts stand-up comedy nights and quiz nights, screenings of Champions League football and Student Event Board parties and discos.

With so many creative students at LIPA, very often the bar and canteen area are completely transformed with imaginative props and decorations to lend that extra element of flair to any themed events.

The bar is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 3pm - 11pm, and Tuesday and Wednesday from 3pm - 10pm, with extended hours for special events.
Location: The Institute

The canteen is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 3pm, serving a wide range of food and drink options at student-friendly prices. Our canteen is Meat Free on Mondays, visit the Meat free Mondays website to find out more about how to take part   

Location: The Institute