When designing and creating a performance space, it’s all too easy to become wrapped up in sophisticated lighting systems, complex control panels and flowing stage curtains, and leave the most important element of the audience experience neglected. Because while the installation is usually solely focused on creating a spectacular viewing platform for the audience (and the actors of course), comfortable and practical seating is usually a very rushed afterthought.

Whether your organisation stages primary school plays, conferences or elaborate nationwide shows, sitting in a hard chair with limited views for over an hour will test the patience of even the most engaged audience members. Although premier seating may be ideal, in reality demands on your space can limit your options to the point where a ‘make-do’ solution prevails. Cleverly designed seating to reflect your needs doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate and expensive however and numerous modern, bespoke and traditionally-inspired choices can be utilised for your requirements.

Of course, if you’re going authentically Shakespearian, you could always insist your guests stand up, but we can’t guarantee that’ll be popular at the school nativity!

Orchestra (floor level seating)

Floor-level or orchestra seating is the most basic form of seating and although this is the cheapest and simplest method when foldable chairs are used, if your budget stretches to a more sophisticated seating system it’s well worth investing in a tiered structure so everyone has the best view possible.


Tiering is basically like a scaffolding structure which can be as permanent or temporary as you choose. Obviously most stage seating at major theatres works on a tiering structure, but relatively simple temporary constructions can be used to create an impressive seating arrangement in multi-purpose venues. Tiering has the major benefit of offering everyone in the audience a good sight-range too, making tiering an advisable choice for any performance.


Bench seating is a great choice for educational use if you want your space to double up as a lecture theatre as this form of seating is usually accompanied by work surfaces running the length of the bench. Tiered bench seating also has the additional benefit of allowing for an unspecified number of seating spaces, so if your audience becomes especially large one day, the ‘squeeze-on’ principle can apply! Bench seating isn’t always the best choice for long performances though as although the seats may be padded, the backrests can be rigid.

Flip Seats

Flip seats really need to be built in so this is best for a permanent lecture theatre or stage area, but the advantage is they offer considerable comfort in a compact manner. Flip-seat auditoriums can be great for sixth form colleges offering drama alongside other subjects as the space can double up as a performance space and parents presentation room/lecture space.

Spanish Steps

Block tiering in a ‘Spanish Steps’ formation can mitigate the need for additional seating as the tiers essentially act as multi-platform seats! Although this isn’t always comfortable for long periods of time, gym mats can be used as padding, making this a good choice for primary school children (who tend to sit crossed legged anyway!) Spanish steps also make great weather-proof tiered seating for outdoor performances.

Demountable Staging

Technically demountable staging can be used to create easily assembled stages and seating for primary school spaces that may not have the space or need for a full time stage. Demountable staging is incredibly child friendly and to the untrained eye simply looks like a series of small tables and stools (for creating steps and varied seating levels) that can be easily stored away.

The individual components of demountable staging slot together quickly and securely while offering some creativity with the set-up of the stage and seating. If you have a main multi-purpose hall, then demountable seating is the perfect choice for transforming the space into a professional looking performance area with minimal hassle.

We hope this has given you some further inspiration for turning your space into a professional and practical performance area. If you’re looking to install a stage, lighting or sound system get in touch with PG Stage. Our highly qualified team can adapt to bespoke projects so feel free to contact us with all of your stage requirements.

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