ADVICE FOR HYPOTHETICAL HIRES
We often get contacted by students who have been set tasks to hypothetically hire props for shows as part of their course. We don't mind that at all. Its good that you students get the chance to think about how a show works. However, there are some basic courtesies that make this a better process for all involved.
1. Please let us know when this an exercise not a real hire. We don't mind responding but its good to know.
2. Please get our name right. "To whom it may concern", or even the wrong name, does not make us want to help you. Our main contact's name is easily accessible on this website.
3. Our charges are generally by the week. You need to let us know how many weeks you would want to hire items for us to give a reasonably accurate hypothetical quote.
4. Be specific. Asking "I was wondering if you could give me a quote on the prices you charge for hiring out props", (a true request), doesn't help us much. We have thousands of items and different props have different hire prices (for instance a working period horned gramophone will cost more than a pewter tankard!) So check your script, talk to your director, and have an idea about what props you are after. Any information you have helps. eg. Do you need to use the sword for stage combat or is it just for show? Will you be using the tin bath to actually put water in? Does the flintlock pistol need to fire? etc.
5. You also need to bear in mind the cost of getting your props. Propit doesn't generally deliver so you would need to factor in postage if the items aren't too large, or fuel to pick up and return them.
These all pretty much come down to you doing your homework before taking up our time. We hope this helps and look forward to hearing from you.