UK - Italia Conti Academy is one of the world’s most recognisable names when it comes to performing arts education for secondary school and further education students.
When Triple E were approached to supply ModTruss for one of the school’s recent productions it was an opportunity to support the young performers in more ways than one.
Despite the short lead time of a month, Triple E worked with the school’s production team to provide a bespoke platform, stairs and handrails which formed a centrepiece of the stage set for the production of Life’s Just a Bowl of Conti’s for a one week run at Rhoda McGraw Theatre in Woking, Surrey.
Amy Stevenson, production and stage manager at Italia Conti Academy comments, “We pride ourselves on the teaching and the production values here at Italia Conti and we only wanted the best for our students for their show. We already have Triple E tracking installed in our main theatre at the academy. So it made sense to approach Triple E to see if they could help with our staging for the recent production at the theatre in Woking.”
“Italia Conti’s requirement was for a large staging structure with access from on stage and off stage. With this in mind it made sense to use ModTruss for the structure because of its modular capabilities and being able to incorporate 12” ModTruss, 6” ModTruss and ModPanels.” explains Lucy Edelstein.
The overall stage set was well received by both the academy and the audience. “It was great working with Lucy - an old contact of mine from RADA days.
UK - The 2019 PLASA Show was “the busiest in years” thanks to a six per cent increase in attendance, PLASA has reported. The event’s global status was also strengthened, with delegates from over 63 countries flocking to the London-based tradeshow.
This was the last edition of the event that was held at Olympia’s National Hall, with the 2020 PLASA Show set to move to London Olympia’s Grand Hall to accommodate a greater number of stands and show features.
“PLASA Show has clearly been improving year on year with 2019 being the best one yet,” comments Johan Gunsing, international sales manager for Adam Hall Group. “We have started to see a wider geographic audience attend the show which brings with it new opportunities, new business and increased brand awareness.”
“Once again PLASA did not disappoint,” comments Gareth Collyer, Nexo’s UK sales manager. “We were very pleased with the overall number and quality of the visitors that visited our booth and we look forward to seeing the show grow again next year when it moves to the Grand Hall.”
Grant Bales-Smith, sales manager EMEA for Vari-Lite & Strand, adds: “The show has really re-built itself which is a great thing to see. We’ve met with international customers from France, Spain, Germany and Scandinavia, representing the whole industry from theatre to concert touring.”
Coda Audio’s director of global marketing, David 'Webby' Webster, comments on the company’s debut appearance: “Because we’re relatively new to the market, it’s been great for us t
South Africa - Having congregated in the Barnyard Theatre in Rivonia, and filling the venue to its maximum capacity, the CRC Church started a 10-month project to build a new 6,000-seater church in Fourways.
DWR Distribution supplied and installed lighting, audio and AV equipment for the church which opened earlier this year, ranging from a grandMA3 compact console, 64 Robe lighting fixtures, an Absen DWP3.9mm screen, Prolyte trussing, L-Acoustics Kara System and a DiGiCo SD12.
The CRC Church led by Pastor At Boshoff, already has two branches in Bloemfontein, a massive auditorium in Pretoria and 90 satellite meeting points where services are broadcast each week.
“Pastor At is a focused man,” says Robert Izzett of DWR, who headed the install. “He is very straight, honest and doesn’t mince his words.”
While the CRC buildings are similar to each other, they are not exactly the same. Having supplied the previous locations, DWR could come up with a solution to meet the technical needs of the Fourways branch. While the church will ultimately seat 6 000 people, the system has been set out in phases and a basic infrastructure has been put in place for future growth.
DWR and the Install Crew, who assisted with the installation, were part of the project from the onset.
The first striking feature when entering the auditorium is the wedge shape and steeply raked seats leading down to the main stage, where the focus is a large high-resolution screen comprising of 336 panels of Absen DWR P3.9mm.
Complimenting the curves of the
USA - A new training programme designed to teach stage technicians the safest way to operate telescopic and front-loading lifters has been introduced at WFX 2019 in Orlando by Spanish company Equipson, which manufactures WorkPro lifters.
Equipson has produced a series of 15 videos, voiced in English and Spanish, that demonstrate how safety issues can easily be avoided by following the correct procedures. These videos, which range in length from three to 10 minutes, cover topics such as setting up, elevating, mounting and descending telescopic and front loading lifters, how to safely move a telescopic lifter, how to mount a line array on a front loading lifer and how WireDrive works as well as how to rectify wire mistakes.
Juan Jose Vila, CSO of Equipson, says: "As manufacturers of these products we are committed to making them as safe and accessible as possible to all users. Dedicating resources to proper training is key to our approach and this is why we have devised a range of audio visual content that clearly shows the correct way to use lifters in order to avoid unnecessary and potentially fatal accidents."
Equipson's videos, which are free to view and hosted on the company's own WorkPro Lifters YouTube channel, are aimed at a wide range of staging operatives, from those working in theatres and Houses of Worship through to those operating in a live touring environment.
"It doesn't matter what kind of show or event you are putting on – the safety aspects of using lifters remain the same," Vila adds. "We have put these videos together beca
UK - Les Miserables: The Staged Concert is playing packed houses at London's Gielgud Theatre, with Unusual Rigging supplying the rigging and automation for the shows' four month stint.
The concert version of the world's longest running musical opened at the end of July, following the closure of the Queen's Theatre. It will re-open after extensive refurbishment of both its backstage and auditorium as the renamed Sondheim Theatre. Unusual Rigging is also a part of this project, lowering the stage and installing a complex engineering system.
With the production team of this limited run show briefed to make the Gielgud feel like a miniature version of the 02 Arena which hosted the 25th anniversary concert, production manager Chris Boone brought Unusual on board to make it happen.
Chris explained: "Unusual Rigging is my go-to company for rigging jobs and this particular one was no mean feat – I needed a team who knew what they were doing. With Jeremy Featherstone and Simon Stone at the helm, Unusual has worked with designer Matt Kingley to replicate the scenic elements for this fully staged concert while also providing the automation and lighting trusses too."
For the concert, Unusual has installed 36 Kinesys hoists for the lighting trusses. At Cameron Mackintosh's request, the concert still features some scenic elements including a bridge which makes its entrance from the fly floor with six performers stood on it.
Chris continued. "The other thing that Unusual did was to come up with a solution for a large LED screen positioned a
UAE - The new Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai was packed out last month as thousands of Westlife fans relived their youth at the band's Twenty Tour. Taking a walk down memory lane, the boy band performed hits from the past 20 years to the 17,000-capacity venue, with Unusual Rigging and Engineering LLC providing the house rigging points for the production.
Unusual Rigging are sole house rigging service supplier for the installation of all rigging points at the Coca-Cola Arena. One of the main talking points of the venue is its rigging system and unique roof structure. All rigging is done from a raised catwalk – it has shallow braids and is easy to access. With a distance of 24m from the catwalk to the floor and 26m to the I-beam, this covers most height requirements of touring shows. The arena also boasts 90 tonnes over the stage, 60 tonnes for the middle and 40 at the far end – all of which can be hung individually, giving the roof a total weight load of 190 tonnes.
Unusual Rigging’s Alex Taylor worked closely with the production manager on the Westlife gig and explained: "The brief from the client was to install a total of 68 rigging points with the rigging plot broken down into 12 x points for PA, 12 x points for Video, 34 x points for LX and 10 x points for drape truss. There was a large video screen up stage centre with two smaller screens down stage left and right, as well as two LX towers stage left and stage right of the main screen. We also needed to install six runs of LX truss to light up the stage and the audience."
Alex and the Unusual R
The doors have opened for day two of PLASA Show 2019 at London Olympia, with Platinum Sponsor Robe, Silver Sponsor d&b audiotechnik and Technical Sponsor Hawthorn. The show floor is already brimming with business as visitors explore the latest products and solutions from 220+ brands from across audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging.
The show’s platinum sponsor Robe have unveiled an expansive theatrical stand based on the classic 80s movie, Back To The Future. Live performances run every 90 minutes, with a viewing area on the show’s gallery level for visitors to watch from above. The creative duo behind the stand, Nathan Wan and Andy Webb, comment:
“Robe’s stand this year features a fully time coded show called ‘Return to the Future’ which is centred around a time travelling DeLorean car. During the show we smash through over 550 cues in eight minutes. It’s all about showcasing the new Esprite which is future-proofing LED moving heads as you can take the source out and simply replace it. This has absolutely been the most ambitious production that we’ve done to date, and it’s great to see on social media that many visitors come to PLASA Show just to see what we’ve come up with. We’ve been working on ‘Return to the Future’ for three months and it has been an absolute delight to see it all come together.”
Other lighting highlights include, Claypaky demonstrating their new Xtylos fixtures in an immersive enclosure, Ambersphere presenting the SpotM
Europe - Xstage has released a video on A4i.tv that puts the spotlight on its new stage deck, the S10. Weighing in at only 33kg, but without any reduction in loading capacity (750 kg/m2) or stability, the new S10 deck is winning over live entertainment professionals around the world.
Discover the advanced design and leading features that have made the S10 so popular by watching the video here.
UK - Triple E is making final preparations for their exhibition presence at this year’s PLASA Show. The expertise of the UK based stage-engineering manufacturer will be demonstrated on stand B38 where Triple E will showcase the new 2Way Points System and the first product in their new Grip Equipment range. They will also have their new brochure hot off the press.
The stand will feature other key products including Triple E’s extensive range of track systems, and plug and play track mounted motors, all of which benefit from Triple E’s renowned superior performance and reliability.
Triple E’s stand will also demonstrate the flexible ModTruss system which has recently been seen in the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts’ summer show as well as forming the base of the Greenpeace tree at Glastonbury Festival. ModTruss is a highly efficient, re-usable, re-configurable modular system which is perfect for bespoke design requirements and has the potential to include additional lighting, screens and branding.
They will also be happy to share details of recent Triple E projects including the VariBanner and VariRoller installations at Battersea Arts Centre and Sherborne Girls School which are custom designed and built for the unique needs of each space they are installed into.
The Triple E team will be on hand throughout the show to discuss these products, installations and any stage engineering requirements you may have such as schools, arenas, tours and all applications in between.
Germany - State Automation has announced that BDL-KG in Germany is now a certified service centre for State Automation Lighting equipment. All European customers (excluding Scandinavia, where Bright Norway is the point of contact) should contact the company’s Wolfgang Kunwald to request repair services. BDL KG is also the point of contact and organises handling and logistics.
Repair and maintenance will be provided by BDL KG’s partner IBT Theatres and Broadcast Technology GmbH.
UK - Doughty Engineering is preparing for a busy few months of trade shows, starting with IBC in Amsterdam (13-17 September) and PLASA in London (15-17 September). This will be followed by PLSME in Dubai (15-17 October) and LDI in Las Vegas (22-24 November).
The popular Lightweight Lighting Stand which made its debut back in 2017 and has proven to be a hugely successful piece of kit for the broadcast market, will be one of the main features on the IBC stand.
Meanwhile at PLASA, the new Fifty Clamp, Scaff Boom Arm and Heavy Duty Boom Arm are set to be the main talking points on stand B50. Dan Phillips, special projects manager, will be manning the stand with Laurence Dyer and other members of the Doughty team.
“We’ve been exhibiting at PLASA for years and every year brings something new. For us, it is the ideal platform to launch new products to a wide audience but it’s also where we do a lot of research which is fed back to our R&D department. The products we bring to shows like PLASA as prototypes are often the result of many conversations and suggestions that we’ve had with our customers on the stand," said Phillips.
The Fifty Clamp was launched at LDI in 2018. Since its debut, the clamp which has a safe working load of 50kg and is the big brother of the best-selling Twenty Clamp, has quickly become just as popular. “We spent a lot of time developing and refining the Fifty Clamp,” explained Dan. “Based on the success of the Twenty Clamp which launched several years ago, we knew there was a market for a clamp that could take a s
UK - The award winning Broadweigh Bluetooth system is set to be a major talking point on the A.C Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) stand where it will make its PLASA debut this year. The kit, which launched in June has already been put through its paces at some major events, including the New York Auto Show and at Glastonbury and is in the running for the 2019 PLASA Innovation Award.
Visitors to stand E30 will be able to see a demo of the Bluetooth cells and speak with a member of the Broadweigh team who will be able to advise on the suitability of the kit for their project. Elliot Van Laere, sales executive for Broadweigh said: "We are really excited to be showcasing this product at PLASA. Since its official launch earlier this summer, it's really been making waves. People are excited about its capabilities and it's proving to be a real game changer for riggers who want to monitor the loads on small scale applications and have the data sent straight to their mobile phone or tablet."
Johnny Marshall, from AC-ET’s rigging sales division said: "Our partnership with BroadWeigh has always been extremely important to us as a company and we are certain Broadweigh Bluetooth is going to draw the crowds to our stand. Its innovative design and ease of use make it highly appealing to riggers who can simply download the free app to either their iOS or Android device. The 3.25 tonne load shackle with integrated Bluetooth LE 4.0, provides high-precision, multi channel wireless load monitoring and sends the data straight to the phone or tablet. What could be simpler
The doors of PLASA Show 2019 open in just a few days from 15-17 September at Olympia London, where thousands of visitors will experience the leading edge of live entertainment technology. With 220+ brands, 55+ educational sessions and a plethora of immersive features, this year’s show is ready to serve industry professionals from all sectors.
PLASA’s Managing Director Peter Heath comments: “Last year’s edition of PLASA Show was heralded for its high footfall and vibrant atmosphere. We have worked hard to build upon this by offering more brands and new features for a show that is both enjoyable and productive.
Of course, we couldn’t do it without the exhibitors and their technology which has developed at a dizzying rate over the years – PLASA is proud to provide a platform for such innovation, and we can’t wait to share what’s in store.”
Brand new products
After much hype, the Heritage-D digital console from MIDAS will be at the show, providing hands-on encounters. Coda Audio will display their N-APS, an ultra-compact 2-way arrayable point source, and d&b audiotechnik will display their flexible A-Series. The all-new TrackerD4 Precision Stagetracking from TiMax will also be here.
Robe will launch their new luminaire, Esprite, which has been designed as an LED replacement for discharge fixtures. Other notable lighting fixtures appearing at the show include the Huracán-X from Ayrton, the Maverick MK3 from Chauvet and the Synergy 5 from DTS. Artistic Licence will present their latest lighting control
UK - Area Four Industries is gearing up for a busy PLASA 2019, taking place on 15-17 September at London Olympia. On stand G50, the team will present some of the latest staging and trussing products from MIlos, Litec, JTE, EXE Technology and Xstage.
The company says Glen, Adam, Peter, Dave and Tracie from the Area Four Industries Direct UK office will be ready and waiting to discuss your projects and provide more information on the many solutions Area Four Industries’ brands can deliver.
UK - Temporary outdoor LED screen support structures are key part of today’s leading live events. With this in mind, Area Four Industries’ Norbert Tripp is giving a presentation at PLASA Show to discuss best practice for their use and design as well as advance planning in set-up and safety measures.
Temporary Outdoor LED Screen Structures is taking place on 16 September from 13:30 - 14:15 in the Lighting and Production Theatre at London Olympia’s National Hall.
During the presentation, Tripp will discuss how LED screens react under wind loads; how the load-bearing structure should look like; and how to take the proper precautions in case of high wind speeds.
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) will exclusively show over 20 brands from across its dedicated lighting, rigging, audio and video sales divisions on stand E30 at PLASA 2019 (15-17 September, London Olympia).
The stand will feature at least six products that have been nominated for the PLASA Awards for Innovation 2019, including the Prolights PixieWash XB, a single source RGB+WW LED wash light with extensive zoom and high CRI. Also nominated from Prolights is Mosaico XL, a long-throw IP66 LED fixture for projecting gobos and textures onto buildings and landscapes with colour mixing, animation wheel and framing shutters. LumenRadio’s TimoTwo module, which brings concurrent CRMX (wireless DMX/RDM) and Bluetooth to a single chip, and BroadWeigh’s Bluetooth system that sends data straight to a smart device, have also been nominated.
Other nominees include Luminex, who will be unveiling Araneo, a free software that provides a graphical overview of a network; and Claypaky’s laser-source beam light, Xtylos.
Lighting highlights include the new Chroma-Q Space Force onebytwo variable white LED soft light panel. Recipient of a Lighting Product of the Year Award at NAB, the cost-effective, bright, high quality unit is a modern replacement for traditional soft sources. The popular Space Force fixture, upon whose technologies the onebytwo is based, will also be on display, alongside Chroma-Q's other film and TV fixtures, the Studio Force II and the Brute Force, a powerful, LED alternative to traditional light sources.
Additional moving h
USA - Three new or revised standards are available for public review on the ESTA TSP website at estalink.us/pr.
Those materially affected by the proposals is invited to review them and to offer comments before the deadline.
BSR E1.62, Minimum specifications for mass-produced portable platforms, ramps, stairs, and choral risers for live performance events is being offered for a fourth public review. The proposed standard covers mass-produced portable platforms, stair units and ramps used with those platforms, and choral risers, designed to be used for the presentation of music concerts, dramatic plays, fashion shows, and other entertainment and special events. The units covered by this standard are of a size and weight that allows them to be moved and erected by one or two people. The scope also covers the railings provided as fall protection accessories, and the legging systems. The public review runs through to 23 September.
BSR E1.4-3, Entertainment Technology - Manually Operated Hoist Rigging Systems, is a standard for permanently installed, human-powered manually operated hoists, used as part of rigging systems for raising, lowering, and suspension of scenery, properties, lighting, and similar loads This standard establishes requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, inspection, and maintenance of manual hoist systems for lifting and suspension of loads for performance, presentation, and theatrical product
UK - With thousands of performers taking to hundreds of stages across the city, this year’s Edinburgh Festival and Fringe proved to be the busiest ever for full technical production provider Hawthorn, who supplied equipment to performances across both festivals.
Having headed to Edinburgh for their 29th festival season, this year saw Hawthorn provide lighting, rigging and power distribution to the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF).
The International Festival presents a programme featuring performers and ensembles from the worlds of dance, opera, music and theatre. Hawthorn was tasked with providing equipment to an array of performances in Festival Theatre, Kings Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, The Studio and Usher Hall as well as providing kit to the opening ceremony which took place at Tynecastle Park.
As well as supplying equipment to EIF, Hawthorn was also kept busy with their Edinburgh Festival Fringe clients. This included supplying lighting, rigging and power distribution for Assembly Festival - the longest-running of the multi-venue operators - as well as continuing their collaboration with Summerhall and long-term client Paradise Green.
David Slater, Hawthorn’s group director of hire, says: “This year has definitely been our busiest Fringe Festival to date and we’re thrilled to be working with so many amazing venues, both new and old. Edinburgh International Festival was a new client for us this year and it was a privilege to support them in so many fantastic new venues. EIF offers such a diverse programme so it was really exciti
UK - Communications solutions specialist, Surfhire, has provided essential services for UK Athletics (UKA), the governing body of athletics in the UK, for the 10th consecutive year.
Responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as its athletes, their development, and athletics officials, the UKA hosts a programme of key events throughout the British summer.
For the 2019 season, Surfhire deployed a considerable amount of kit, including walkie talkies, matrix intercom, commentator systems and extensive networking services across six events.
The comms, radios and networking infrastructure - with comms for the UK Athletics Sport Presentation being run by head of comms, Paul Carter - is a multi-faceted operation. A central control area and several remote locations, as well as interfacing to the host broadcaster, The BBC, all come under Carter’s supervision.
For the comms rack, Surfhire utilised an RTS Adam 80-way Intercom Matrix, an RVON IO IP Convertor, Optocore X6R-FX Fibre Convertor, Wohler VAMP-SDR Audio monitor, Canford Audio patch bay, and Sonifex Redbox Audio DA with assorted panels; KP32 CLD, KP32 and KP12.
Glen Fuller working for Surfhire took charge of the radio shack and RF base. The RF Rack boasted Bolero V2 Base, Bolero Beltpacks, Bolero Active Antennae, two TAIT TB7100 bases and four Surfhire SiFace simplex radio interfaces.
Surfhire’s Simon Hodge, who has provided comms packages for Hugh Jackman, Drake, Take That, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, One Direction, Queen + Adam L
UK - Independent rigging specialist Rigging Team has announced the appointment of Matthew Millward to the role of technical manager at its Stevenage headquarters.
Working with some of the industry’s leading rental providers and as key crew on a host of major international tours, Millward’s experience encompasses a diverse variety of roles from in-house technician through to touring production manager on large scale arena shows.
Adam Searle, Rigging Team director, says: “Matt brings with him over two decades of real-world experience in rigging, technical theatre and technical management. This wide-ranging understanding of our business will ensure he remains an enduring member of our team.”
UK - TSL has completed the rebrand of Basingstoke-based stage lighting equipment supplier Blinding Light to TSL Lighting following the latter’s acquisition in January 2018.
Operating as TSL Basingstoke, the company will look after all lighting projects, whilst the rigging projects will be processed at TSL’s warehouse in Gatwick.
The move has been described as “a milestone” in the expansion of the company, which is under the directorship of Sam Tamplin, Loz Wilcox and Dom Sheerman.
Tamplin comments: “During the time that Blinding Light has been part of the TSL family, we’ve harmonised our processes to the point where the equipment preparation for all jobs, whether styled as TSL or Blinding Light, is identical, so the time feels right to remove any potential brand confusion for our customers.
“Bringing the brands together as TSL Lighting will see no change or disruption to new or existing customers of either brand. Projects will continue to be delivered from both our Basingstoke and Gatwick locations and our trade hire teams will continue to service our industry colleagues.”
Tamplin adds: “Clients can continue to deal with their existing project manager or hire coordinator at the same location, via the same phone numbers and email addresses, and will continue to enjoy the same great level of service and quality of equipment they have learned to expect from both brands. I’m excited to continue our mission into 2020 and beyond and to cement our position as one of the leading independent suppliers in the UK.”
UK - Manchester International Festival (MIF) is staged every two years at venues across the city and presents work from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.
A major commission at this year’s festival had an urgent technical requirement, which Triple E were only supported
Jack Thompson, MIF’s technical director, reports: “We had an urgent requirement for a replacement system for some rollers for the world premiere of Invisible Cities, which we produced with 59 Productions and Rambert and staged in the Mayfield, an abandoned railway station. We needed a speedy response from a reliable supplier. Triple E fell into the frame pretty quickly with their UniTrack system.”
Production manager at MIF19, Niall Black adds: “Within 24 hours of us making the call, the installation had been completed. UniTrack is so simple to install, 10 hours after it arrived on site, all of it was up in the air and working, which, on a dead hung grid in a space the size of Mayfield Railway Station, with a specially constructed canal running down the middle of the 40m x 15m stage was not the easiest of asks. But a five-man team working overnight from UK Rigging had it up and rigged ready for rehearsals the next day.”
“We were so delighted to be able to turn around such a large order in a very short time. I am immensely proud of our staff who all pulled together to ensure the track and parts left within an hour of the order being confirmed,” says Brenda Edelstein.
Europe - EXE Rise series’s most established hoist range - the Large Frame Hoist - is the subject of a new video released by EXE Technology distributor Area Four Industries.
Adam Beaumont (UK, EXE Technology brand manager) is back again on the company’s A4i.tv video channel to explain the product’s features, benefits, components and technical specifications.
Designed for touring and permanent installations, the Large Frame Hoist is available in one-tonne (single fall) and two-tonne (double fall) loading capacities.
Europe - Area Four Industries have continued to promote various trussing products through its video channel A4i.tv, dedicating the latest one to the Milos Corner Brace HD.
This piece of kit has been designed to add full support for small- to medium-sized roofs and eliminate the need for guy wires.
In the video, available here, Area Four Industries’ technical director Norbert Tripp discusses the design, features and advantages of the Corner Brace HD. Designed for use with standard two-way and three-way 90° corners, it eliminates the need for guy wires by ensuring stabilisation, reducing ballast requirements, providing more access to the stage, and requiring less time to install.