What does a Theatre Armourer do?

An Armourer is in charge of the firearms and blades used in a theatre production. They can also be responsible for pyrotechnics (any special effects using heat, light, gas, smoke or sound) and theatrical trickery. There is a strict policy on firearms being used in the UK, however there is an Act which allows productions to use them but only during a performance as part of the show. 

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What are the main responsibilities of an Armourer?

  • Liaising with Directors and ensuring their vision comes to life through the use of pyrotechnics, firearms and blades
  • Ensure any firearms and blades are safe to use for theatre productions
  • Ensure any Performers or staff members handling any firearms or blades know how to use them without causing risk to themselves or others
  • Handing Performers a firearm at the beginning of a scene and retrieving it when the scene is over 
  • Storing any firearms and blades safely to ensure there is no risk to Performers, staff members or audience members
  • Responsible for the safety and well being of all staff members and audience members 

What qualifications do I need to be an Armourer?

  • Engineering
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Mechanics
  • Blacksmithing
  • Carpentry
  • Licensed firearms handler

See our training opportunities that are available to you here. 

What skills do I need to be an Armourer?

  • Knowledge of firearms
  • Follow health and safety regulations regarding firearms and blades 
  • Communication
  • Ability to lead a team
  • Safety cautious

What does a career as an Armourer look like?

There are many different elements of being an Armourer and many different skills needed. To pursue a career as an Armourer to must learn the necessary skills and gain more experience. Paul Wanklin is the Senior Armourer at the National Theatre. He began his career in the army before seeing a job advertised for an Armourer that showed he had many transferable skills for the position. You can also work in TV and Film as well as Theatre. 

How much does an Armourer earn?

Around £150-£300 per day

You can also search vacancies using The Stage Jobs here.


Photo: Shutterstock

Published: 5 December 2019

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