Robe & Sennheiser head ABTT annual awards
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
abtttheatre-awardslightingdave-whitehouseRobin Townley, ABTT CEO, with Dave Whitehouse, theatre products manager at Robe, and Richard Bunn, ABTT chairman. Photo: origin8photography.com
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians’ Annual Theatre Awards took place after the first day of the 2019 ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, London.
The five awards for lighting, sound and engineering products of the year, widget and stand of the year, were complemented by the announcement of the ABTT’s technician of the year for 2019.
The lighting product of the year went to the Robe T1 Profile. The judges said: “This is a new moving light that has clearly had a great deal of thought put into its development. Robe’s new T1 fixture delivers an immensely useable theatre lantern. It is light weight, quiet and extremely well featured. Of particular note, the scrim function and the brown/blue focus tweak on the hard edge on the PC lens version is a welcome addition to the lighting designer’s pallet.”
Mick Hannaford, managing director, Robe UK, comments: “We are so pleased to win this award, especially as it is from the very people that influenced its conception and who really know their craft. Once again, the ABTT Theatre Show presents us with the best opportunity to address the technical theatre market.”
Sound product of the year went to Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 SK 6212 (see an in-depth technical review of the whole wireless system in LSi June).
The judges said: “Having a discreet belt pack transmitter for radio microphone systems is a goal of costume designers and sound designers, this product caters for both! The Sennheiser SK6212 belt pack for the Digital 6000 series at just 63 × 47 × 20 mm and a weight of 112g including battery and clip, has already been successfully deployed on a number of West End shows where high quality is demanded, and small size is desired. Long battery life of up to 12 hours becomes an attractive option for commercial and corporate use.”
The ABTT engineering product of the year was awarded to the AED Group/ Showlift AED-SL18. The judges described this as “a piece of engineering equipment with the lighting designer in mind. With a small lifting platform that can take the weight of a moving light and controlled from the same DMX system as the moving light, the Showlift allows all the programming to sit in one place”.
The widget of the year award went to Mantracourt Electronics/BroadWeigh. The judges said: “As a quick way to provide monitoring of small rigs, the BroadWeigh load cell shackle - in conjunction with a Bluetooth connected device running the Broadweigh app - is exceptionally useful for those touring shows that require up to 12 points of rigging. The App also sums selected load cells to enable a maximum load to be identified. Use of this product will greatly speed up prep days.”
First-time exhibitors Theatreplan took the stand of the year award. “The Theatre Show was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase how we collaborate with clients and partners, to provide innovative technical solutions to complex design challenges,” the company said. “We're planning next year's stand already.”
Meanwhile, Martin Chisnall was named technician of the year. He was described as “a production electrician at the top of his industry, known for a dry sense of humour mixed with sharp technical knowledge and attention to detail. He nurtures new talent, spotting promising people and giving them freelance work to encourage their careers. He has worked on the largest of musicals and spectaculars and brings that level of knowledge, attention to detail and professionalism to the smallest of plays. Going into a production week with Martin by your side is to know that you have chosen the best.”
(Jim Evans)

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