UK - A Cornish event production company has completed its busiest ever period, working simultaneously on seven separate events over the G7 Summit week.
Liskeard-based JHAV was appointed to help deliver multiple events associated with the G7 Summit for clients including Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit, the University of Exeter, and surfing brand Finisterre.
The team also created a press conference suite to be used by US president Joe Biden in the Spaceport Cornwall hangar at Cornwall Airport Newquay.
JHAV managing director Jamie Hedges explains: “We’ve been involved in all kinds of events since starting JHAV, but working on all of these projects revolving around something as high profile as the G7 Summit has to be one of our biggest accomplishments to date.
“The top-secret nature has meant we have been under embargo since the event, and I am so proud to now be able to talk about the amazing work of our team. A personal highlight for me was standing 10ft away from the US President while he addressed the world’s press to close his visit, which we had put together with less than 24 hours’ notice.
“As a production company in Cornwall, it's been brilliant to be given the opportunity to demonstrate that we can deliver high-quality events to rival anything produced by multi-national event production companies. We’ve shown that Cornwall can operate on the world stage, in both a literal and metaphorical sense.”
The team was tasked with turning an empty hangar at Cornwall Airport Newquay into a showcase for Spaceport Cornwall
UK - The ABTT has announced the Virtual Ideas Platform. Set up in collaboration with Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the platform will serve as an informal introduction service between independent creative innovators and commercial developers behind the sectors’ leading brands, products and services.
The platform is open “to anyone and everyone with an idea” and aims to recognise and help realise new ways of making theatre work.
The ABTT says: “We know when backstage people are faced with a technical challenge, they get inventive and creative, cook up ideas and find solutions. The Platform is here to recognise, salute and honour those innovators in our midst.
“By its very nature, theatre is a dynamic working environment in which to invent and develop new and better ways of doing things - in special effects, costume and wardrobe, wigs, make-up and hair, scenery, stage, sound, lighting, automation, audio-visual and any other discipline which makes live performance happen.”
Submissions to the Virtual Ideas Platform can be made via this application form by 20 August. To better demonstrate their idea, applicants can upload supporting information such as pencil drawings, recorded verbal descriptions, 3D drawings, and video.
All submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts and successful applications will be uploaded to a secure access area of the platform. Members of the Industry Supporters Group, a group of service providers and commercial compa
UK - Unusual Rigging has completed a major refurbishment of the grid at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End ahead of the much-anticipated reopening of Phantom of the Opera next month.
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the production to close its doors in March 2020, it opened a bitter-sweet opportunity to get some essential work done on the magnificent old theatre’s roof space, ensuring it could continue to stage the elaborate aspects of Phantom that audiences across the world know and love, including the famous hanging chandelier.
Jeremy Featherstone, Unusual Rigging explained: “Her Majesty’s Theatre is a wonderful building, but as with all old theatres, they need maintenance and continuous improvements to their structure in order to preserve them and allow them to continue hosting productions.
“Phantom is a heavy show and the grid, which should run in a straight line, has sagged by more than a foot over the past 120 years. The fly floor also had a significant bend in it. From a safety point of view, this is nothing to really worry about – wood is a material that can bend, but really we didn’t want it to bend any further. Unusual was employed to take as much weight off the grid as possible and come up with an alternative solution.”
The solution comes in the form of a massive steel truss, designed by Unusual at its Northamptonshire HQ, which has been installed on either side of the stage, between the proscenium wall and the upstage wall. It includes a drop-down to take a significant amount of scenery off
UK - The widely respected PLASA Awards for Innovation return to the PLASA Show for 2021, in association with LSi magazine. All PLASA Show 2021 exhibitors are invited to enter their new products by Friday 6 August to be in with a chance of winning one of the coveted awards.
The awards celebrate products from across live entertainment technology which demonstrate a new style of thinking, improve technical practice or safety, introduce new materials or techniques, or offer a new commercial advantage.
Each entered product will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts who have the authority to present up to eight awards of equal standing, plus a potential Gold Award for an outstanding new product.
Furthermore, an Award for Sustainability is reserved for a product that can demonstrate a significant reduction of power, utilises renewable energy, or has a positive impact on the environment.
The awards will be presented during an intimate industry ceremony on the Monday evening of PLASA Show 2021 which is running from 5-7 September at Olympia London.
Products launched since the PLASA Show 2019 are eligible to enter. For full entry criteria and further information on the PLASA Awards for Innovation 2021, please visit: www.plasashow.com/awards
UK - Registration is now open for PLASA Show 2021. The London-based trade event for entertainment technology is returning to Olympia London on 5-7 September - and for one year only, the ABTT Theatre Show will be co-locating with PLASA Show, bringing two popular industry event under one roof.
This year, PLASA Show is moving to Olympia’s largest space, the Grand Hall, which will allow for a more awe-inspiring show experience, wider aisles and larger social areas to ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors.
Visitors will be able to connect with leading brands from the pro audio, AV, lighting, rigging and staging sectors, whilst the free seminar programme - details of which will be revealed in the coming weeks - will offer business advice, unpack technical topics, and present the latest creative achievements. There will also be various interactive offerings including live audio demonstrations, lighting console training, and more.
The ABTT Theatre Show Hub will have its own dedicated area on the expanded show floor, giving the popular show autonomy to retain its conversational atmosphere, reminiscent of its usual home at Alexandra Palace. During its time at Olympia, the ABTT will celebrate its 60th anniversary - an impressive milestone, which will be marked in style throughout all three days.
PLASA MD Peter Heath comments: “With live events and entertainment returning, slowly but surely throughout 2021, we are confident that it is the right time to bring back PLASA Show. And we are equally pleased to partner with the ABTT, whose Theatre S
UK - The National Theatre, London, has recently invested in a Kinesys load measuring system to help monitor their loads more carefully and add an additional level of safety.
Since its opening in 1963, the National Theatre has produced well over 800 plays, staging a broad range of productions in London as well as touring extensively across the UK and internationally. Their wide-spread nationwide learning and participation programme supports creative education for young people through performance and writing programmes. In addition, their programme of talks, events and workshops opens up theatre to people of all ages.
Mike Rungen, the National Theatre’s stage resources manager commented; “After looking at a number of systems, we decided the Kinesys LibraCELL was the product for us. Having had experience of working with Kinesys products on a variety of projects previously, I was confident in its reliability and functionality. We have ongoing monitoring requirements over extended periods, and have found that the use of a wired system eliminated the need for battery replacement. We also liked the zero loss of rigging headroom thanks to the shackle construction and the ability to transmit the monitoring data over a Wi-Fi network to allow remote access within each space.”
The National Theatre purchased their Kinesys system from entertainment technology supplier, A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET). In addition to the LibraCELL system, AC-ET also supplied a Kinesys DigiHoist Controller and bespoke cabling from Tourflex Cabling to compete the syst
UK - Triple E has announced the launch of a new division of the organisation, EEE Build, headquartered in Biggin Hill and appointed two new senior staff members.
The last few months have seen two significant appointments – namely Darren Green joining the growing team of project managers, and Rowan Coupe as installations manager as he heads up the newly created EEE Build division of Triple E.
Both Darren and Rowan join the company with solid industry experience, and both have a considerable knowledge of working alongside Triple E in their previous roles.
Darren has a background in theatre product design, engineering and project management working at notable companies including Theatre Projects, Harkness Screens, Hall Stage and Centre Stage Engineering. Darren has worked alongside the Triple E team on many projects in the past such as Fairfield Halls in Croydon.
Now fully integrated into the Triple E team, Darren’s focus is on managing large-scale, high-value projects across the entertainment sector. Darren is also working with Triple E’s senior management team on the implementation of ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 9001 and enhancing operational procedures throughout the company.
Commenting on Darren’s appointment, MD of Triple E, David Edelstein, “is delighted to welcome Darren to the company. He brings with him a wealth of experience and great knowledge in his field.”
Another recent development for the company has been the launch of EEE Build (pronounced E Build) with the appointment of Rowan Coupe to head up this im
UK - Independent providers of specialist rigging services, Rigging Team, have been working with students at Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, helping deliver a live event staged at the college.
Created as an opportunity to study working as part of a live production crew, the show allowed students to gain valuable experience, experimenting with a range of professional, industry equipment.
Rigging Team managing director, Adam Searle comments, “Rigging Team are proud to have donated equipment in support of the project at Rose Bruford. Along with the regular training and tuition we provide, we’re always keen to help deliver experiences such as this to students looking to become part of our industry.”
The company provided a number of their EXE-Rise Hoists with Out Board Electronics controllers, plus cabling to the event. The hoists were of particular use, allowing the crew to easily configure and secure the trusses, without the need for working at height. The ability to manoeuvre the truss down to a safe level and angle, meant that access to the truss mounted fixtures was made both quick and simple.
Describing the event, student Daniel Holland, technical manager for the project, said, “We created a live show featuring a band and DJ, which was livestreamed, as social distancing restrictions prevented us from having an audience. The equipment, kindly provided by Rigging Team, was used to fly four angled trusses, containing a mixture of intelligent washes and beam fixtures, as well as VDO Sceptrons.”
In the absence of
UK - Founders of the global #WeMakeEvents movement feature in the fourth episode of The Meister Series, Jägermeister’s project celebrating “the mavericks and innovators in the music and events industry.”
In April 2020, #WeMakeEvents was launched by PLASA in response to the impact of the pandemic on the live events ecosystem. What started as a single UK campaign soon grew into a global movement now spanning 40 countries. Since then, through fundraising, mental health support and campaigning, the organisation has worked tirelessly to keep the music industry alive and support those impacted by the crisis.
In this fourth episode, founders and board members of #WeMakeEvents - Nicky Greet and Peter Heath from PLASA, Koy Neminathan from Avolites and James Gordon from Audiotonix - join Jägermeister in a passionate conversation about the origins and work behind the movement.
#WeMakeEvents said: “The latest Meister Series episode by Jägermeister is a beautiful piece of work and it’s an honour for #WeMakeEvents to be involved in such a great project. This episode plots our development from April 2020 when six of us decided to start a campaign to help the businesses and people in the live events supply chain, up to today, now with 40 countries aligned in a global movement.
“At #WeMakeEvent, we live for live events; the performances that delight, inspire and improve our wellbeing. Whilst we are seeing some positive small steps in audiences being able to return to enjoying live
UK - Collaborative Creations (CC) has announced that its centrally located, London studio space is open and available to companies and individual members of the events and event technology industries. With restrictions now coming to an end, booking is no longer essential though for specific product viewings is advisable.
Less than a minute’s walk from London Waterloo the CC Studio is a multipurpose environment available for use by the events and event technology industries.
Newly refurbished, the CC Studio can welcome up to 60 people standing, up to 30 in a theatre-style configuration or 12 in a training room seating arrangement. Operational as a boardroom style meeting room, the studio can seat up to 14 and features an engaging 70-inch interactive touchscreen for presentations.
The space is equipment ready with Chamsys controlled Martin Professional lighting and a full AED audio system. The studio features two five-metre trusses for rigging additional fixtures and a 6 x 4m cyc is set up for shoot out and fixture comparison.
CC’s co-founder and director, Tom Wilkes, says, “During lockdown we’ve worked really hard to make the CC Studio a welcoming environment for the industry. We look forward to inviting people in for catch ups, coffee and demos. We’ve prepared the space to be covid compliant with the help of Luxibel’s UVC air filtration systems.”
UK - Following an extensive £3m refurbishment, the grade II listed Crewe Market Hall is set to reopen to the public this week (19 May). The space, which has been completely transformed as part of Cheshire East Council’s town centre regeneration programme, is set to be home to a variety of independent local businesses, will feature a new seating area with bespoke tables and chairs as well as a stage which will be used as part of the Market Hall’s exciting calendar of events.
When White Light (WL) was approached by East Cheshire Council to supply a temporary stage for the venue, it turned to Doughty Engineering to deliver the solution.
Paul McLean, project manager at WL, explains: “We were asked to supply the stage for live events that will take place in the Market Hall which could typically be configured as 6m x 6m but with the flexibility to be able to form a number of other configurations such as 4m x 4m and 8m x 4m as required.
“It needed to be modular, compact, lightweight, sturdy and simple for the appointed Crewe Market Management Staff, who are not versed in event industry practices, to quickly and safely assemble for use and disassemble for storage. Doughty’s Easydeck staging system appeared to offer exactly what we needed.”
Easydeck is manufactured in three standard heights – 250mm, 500mm and 750mm with special sizes available on request and with a 500kg per square metre safe working load.
For this particular project, WL required a mixture of off-the-shelf and custom elements. Paul continues; “Most parts are stan
UK - To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Unusual Rigging has announced the creation of an on-site allotment at its Bugbrooke HQ. The initiative aims to promote mental wellbeing amongst the company’s staff who will be encouraged to take time out from the nine-to-five to tend to the plot.
The company has also recently undertaken an employee survey to gauge levels of satisfaction in the workplace and has launched the Unusual Hub - a new employee access only communication platform that has been developed by Unusual’s IT team and a source of shared information and news.
Unusual’s facilities and resource manager Lizzie Richmond explains: “As a company, it is vital we look after our staff and in an industry where the culture can involve long, unsociable hours and periods of time working away from home, we recognise that this can impact on people’s mental health.
“Over the past year, the situation facing all our staff has been particularly stressful with the entire live events sector in turmoil, there has been the added worry of job security, the survival of the industry, not to mention the impact that lockdowns and working from home or being on furlough has had. People have been isolated and those who have been working on site have had to contend with very different working conditions.”
Richmond adds: “We wanted to make sure that as we slowly return to a more normal working environment, we take into account and are sympathetic to everything that each employee has been through and understand that the pandemic has affected everyone in
USA - Broadweigh was the wireless load monitoring system of choice for California based Cassidyrig at a recent Miley Cyrus gig at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The performer was the musical guest at the NCAA’s Final Four basketball tournament on 3 April. In a Tribute to Frontline Heroes, Cyrus performed for an audience of first responders during the Capital One Tournament central show, airing on CBS between the first and second national semi-final games.
Dan Cassidy, MD of Cassidyrig explained: “We were delighted to be approached by Warner Broadcasting to handle the rigging for this fairly elaborate project. This halftime concert is one of the highlights of a season called March Madness so it’s a pretty big deal. As most people know, Miley Cyrus is anything but a conservative performer, so we realised that we’d be working on something fairly large scale and of course she didn’t disappoint. But with just a week to get everything set up, working around basketball games and concert rehearsals and putting in round the clock 24-hour shifts, we certainly had our work cut out.”
The Lucas Oil Stadium is naturally an extremely large and strong building so for Dan and the team, there were no real concerns about overloading or reaching certain elevation. Nevertheless, when dealing with any events like this, using load cells to confirm the weights is par for the course for Cassidyrig. “We had a couple of large cable bridges for audio and lighting, load cells on the structure, an elaborate set of lighting and four LED scenic wall element
The Bahamas - Doughty Engineering has supplied a range of custom kit for the MSC Ocean Cay Lighthouse project in the Bahamas. When White Light was approached to supply kit, crew and project management for the lighting aspects of the project, Simon Needle, WL special projects director, realised that a bespoke solution would be required for mounting the moving lights to the handrail of the lighthouse.
He explained: “We were approached by John Coman of Woodroffe Bassett Design (WBD), who we have previously worked with on several projects (including Secret Cinema, Rolling stones’ EXHIBITIONISM, Dinosaurs in the Wild to work on the MSC Ocean Cay Lighthouse.
“Our remit was to supply kit (in particular the moving light), project management, crew and associated levels of support in respect of lighting the lighthouse, including ‘local’ console hire for programming with our friends at Christie Lites. This included lighting kit as specified by WBD, mains distribution for all departments (lighting and AV), custom combined mains and data cabling crew and custom bracketry – which is where Doughty comes in.”
Simon reached out to Dan Phillips at Doughty, a long-term contact when bespoke pieces of kit are required. “Dan as usual worked his magic and created a suitable solution. We were a little nervous as we did not have the physical light to check, so everything was dependent on the CAD accuracy,” said Simon. “The moving lights were coming direct to the Bahamas from China, but we knew we had to find a solution to mount them to the handrail of th
UK - Scheduled to open in Summer 2021, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella features a new score by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Oscar-nominated David Zippel, with a script from Killing Eve’s Emerald Fennell, recently multi-Oscar nominated for Promising Young Woman.
But before Cinderella can go to the ball, the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London’s West End needs to be transformed to host the spectacular production. And, with Cinderella’s fairy godmother currently shielding due to COVID restrictions, Unusual Rigging was called upon to work its magic instead.
Jeremy Featherstone, design engineer, Unusual Rigging explained: “Unusual was brought on board by production manager Paul Hennessy to provide all the rigging for the new show. This involved modifying the flying system that’s already there, adding an additional 60 drop pulleys onto the grid in order to fit in all the portals and big set pieces, as well as installing 2 x false prosceniums and a big back wall weighing 10 tonnes.
The back wall, a timber construction, had to be hung before the floor went in underneath. Jeremy continued: “We put in a 70ft runway beam system to construct the wall. It all had to come up in a lift (in 50+ pieces) then tracked across the stage and fitted together. In total we installed over half a kilometre of truss and ladder beam – over two thirds more than we’d normally install for a typical show in another West End Theatre. However, the Gillian Lynne is not a typical theatre and everything that’s a part of the house system is either too wide or to
USA - Registration is still open for the New World Rigging Symposium (NWRS), produced by ESTA and USITT, which takes place online 6-8 April. The cost is $99 and the symposium carries up to nine ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification.
The event brings together a wide group of industry experts for a series of panel discussions and live Q&As on video wall rigging, automation and motorisation, performer flying and rescue, and types of ropes.
In addition, a case study will look into how the installation of a tension grid is working in a major facility, a group of structural engineers will answer your questions, rigging pros from the world of motion pictures will talk about some of their toughest challenges, and mental health professionals and advocates will discuss how to be aware of and address the mental health impact of the pandemic. Visit www.esta.org/nwrs to see a complete schedule and session descriptions.
The keynote speaker will be Jeanette Farmer who specialises in theatre infrastructure design, project management and construction supervision for intimate entertainment and educational facilities as well as technologically advanced purpose-built live performance venues.
A Rigging Cornucopia Happy Hour will close each day’s sessions. During the 6 April Happy Hour, Roy Bickel will receive the ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award which will be presented by Rocky Paulson and Chris Schmidt.
Event sponsors are Stage Rigging,
Saudi Arabia - Noor Riyadh is a citywide annual festival of light and art that showcases individual artists and talent and promotes creativity. The event produced by Balich Worldwide Shows (BWS) brings together artists from all over the world.
Star in Motion by renowned lighting designer Koert Vermeulen, is a powerful focal point in the middle of the city of Riyadh - a shining star, suspended from the top of the famous Kingdom Tower more than 300m in the air. Balich Worldwide Shows has worked with Unusual Rigging on other events in the past, and as such they were the natural choice when it came to rigging this spectacular installation.
Steve Porter, director at Unusual, explains: “Having worked with BWS on several projects in the past, when they approached us to hang the centrepiece for the festival, it was a pleasure to collaborate with them again. We were approached by Ollie Green, BWS technical director, to hang a lighting feature or star in the space at the top of the building. We loved the idea but never really thought permissions would be granted so we were thrilled when BWS overcame many difficult hurdles to secure this.”
Unusual’s design team and production rigging department worked in conjunction with Ollie green and BWS’s independent structural engineer Rasti Bartek from Cundall. “We had to work quickly and efficiently in the design and fabrication process of all the heavy-duty bracketry and Dyneema which was supplied by Marlow Ropes. Load cells were also an issue due to short notice in order to make the freight shipment dates a
UK - With a plan for continued business growth across North America and Europe, Ultratec Special Effects has announced two additions to its sales team. Young-Hoo (Aaron) Dengra Ju has joined as the European sales lead for both special effects and pyrotechnics, while Kevin Allinder comes onboard as the newest sales representative serving the North American market, dedicated to special effects.
Dengra Ju is a seasoned event specialist with 15 years of experience in the industry, not only in sales and project management, but also from a strategic operations and process planning perspective. He has managed and executed an impressive list of events of all sizes within Europe and internationally, including Asia and the Middle East, spanning from major sporting events to local festivals. His ability to speak multiple languages fluently, including German, English, French, and Spanish, will also be beneficial in connecting Ultratec Special Effects with existing and future customers across the continent.
With over five years in the industry, Allinder has an extensive technical background, primarily in stage and live event lighting design and production.
“Prior to the shutdown, our company was experiencing tremendous growth, we are eager to build on the strength of our current sales team with a continued focus on our customer relationships”, says Adrian Segeren, president of Ultratec. “Both individuals bring specialized expertise that will be an asset to the organization as we continue to penetrate existing markets.”
UK - Rigging Team is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the delivery of specialist rigging and technical training services to the entertainment production industry.
Over the past decade, the company has enjoyed steady growth to become recognised a respected provider of rigging equipment and support services. Working across the full spectrum of entertainment production, including theatre, TV, film and live events, Rigging Team has built a reputation for creating “safe, bespoke solutions to projects which others may consider impossible”.
Commenting on the milestone, Rigging Team managing director Adam Searle comments: “We are immensely proud of our achievements over the last ten years. From humble beginnings, we have created a significant resource which supports productions of all size and genre, all around the world.”
Formed in December 2010 as Adam Searle Ltd, the company originally operated from what Searle describes as “a 35sq.ft cupboard”. In 2013, it rebranded as Rigging Team and has since grown to a 10-strong full-time workforce, occupying a 15,000 sq.ft custom warehouse facility.
Having relocated to a new premises during 2020, Rigging Team is currently busy modifying the space to incorporate a 2,500sq.ft dedicated training facility complete with classrooms and a multi-level structure for practical courses in rigging, work at height/rescue and rope access.
Along with the delivery of rigging and automation solutions, the company maintains a particular focus on safety and the provision of industry specific training. Seni
UK - When London’s Adelphi Theatre re-opens later this year, it will do so with a new flying system. The refurbishment – stage one of three has involved a complete replacement of the fly tower hemp sets and a new front loading 42 set double purchase counterweight system.
With all theatres across the country having spent the last 12 months in the dark, LW Theatres and Nederlander who jointly own the Adelphi, has taken the unprecedented circumstances as an opportunity to carry out a programme of work across several of its venues. And with no shows or audiences, this has allowed for refurbishment to take place uninterrupted so that once theatres can open their doors, they can do so freely and start recouping lost revenue immediately.
Martin Skelton, technical and building services manager at The Adelphi said: “Phase one has seen the Unusual team come in to initially remove the old system, make good the structure of the wall behind and put in a new, easier to use structure and flying system in the same position. The old system had evolved over time with half of it being one shape and design and in amongst it were some other cradles, three different types of flying weight, two different styles of loading, a huge variation in capacity across the system and not evenly spaced.
“Over the years shows have got progressively heavier so we needed to look at updating the system to be able to accommodate that. Staff safety is also of paramount importance and we wanted to overhaul the system which saw us using very heavy weights to achieve capacity which we
Ireland - MTN Shop, an E-commerce platform offering workwear, safety products, and rigging & lifting equipment is following in the steps of some of the world’s largest companies by accepting cryptocurrency as an online payment method. Through Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, customers will now be able to purchase products from MTN Shop with the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Speaking on the company’s decision to accept payment via cryptocurrency, Ron Rose, MD, stated, “Creating a crypto friendly shopping experience is just another step forward in catering to the unique needs of our global customer base. At MTN, we pride ourselves on being a first mover and are keen to support the continual progress of the industries we serve as we help bring them into the digital age.
“MTN understands that cryptocurrency is still a relatively unknown method of payment for many. However, one of the main benefits to paying via cryptocurrency is that it limits the amount of personal information an individual must provide. When making a transaction, individuals will simply be required to enter the payment amount and the vendor’s public key (similar to an email address) via a Wallet app. Therefore, the only personal information required by MTN will be the individual’s name and shipping address.”
UK - Bill Harkin, designer of Glastonbury Festival’s iconic Pyramid Stage, passed away on Sunday 7th March. He was 83.
Harkin grew up in Liverpool, attending secondary school in Sefton Park before embarking on painting and 3D construction studies, “with the occasional lunch time Beatles gig for 1 shilling at the Cavern.” Soon, Harkin was showing his work at The Liverpool Academy’s shows at the Walker Art Gallery as well as in art and architecture exhibitions for Liverpool University and The John Moores Painting Prize. “Then, somewhat briefly, I started a course in architecture,” he revealed in memoirs on the Pyramid Stage Glastonbury Festival website. “The tedium of course work was more than I could take, I was much more excited by the theatre and the new fabric structures of Frei Otto in Stuffgart.”
Having purchased two of Harkin’s constructions, choreographer and director Bill Harpe invited him to design the stage set, lighting and projection for a production of Stravinsky’s The Soldiers Tale at Liverpool’s Bluecoat arts centre. He went on to work with Graham Frood on Merseyside Unity Theatre’s in-the-round production of Boulevard Durand at St George’s Hall.
Harkin then “left Liverpool for London and the world” before returning to England in 1970 where a moment of meditation whilst helping a friend relocate to Swanage lead him to Glastonbury Tor. There he met a group of kindred spirits, including Tony Andrews (now of Funktion
Europe - Chroma-Q has launched the Hang Force, a new accessory designed for use with the Color Force II and Studio Force II (48” and 72” models).
Restrictions with where you can hang the fixture on the truss due to the crossbar-section is now a thing of the past, thanks to the Hang Force bracket which allows fixtures to be hung from trusses where the position of clamps might not align with the original fixture clamp position, says the company. A series of slots allow the clamps to be re-positioned to fit anywhere on the truss pipe.
For added flexibility and speedy mounting, the Hang Force uses rapid ¼ turn locks so it can quickly be installed and removed from the fixture. A centred carrying handle also means it can be moved easily.
The bracket also enables all the fixture sizes in the range (12”, 48” and 72”) to hang equally side-by-side when rigged on to the truss.
The Hang Force comes with the necessary hardware to upgrade existing fixtures for use with ¼ turn locks. The Hang Force can also be used on the floor thanks to a set of plates to stabilise the whole assembly.
Chroma-Q’s Global brand manager Paul Pelletier comments: “We are excited to release the new Hang Force. We are always looking to develop new accessories that add additional versatility and flexibility to our products to enabling them to exceed the high levels of creativity required by our customers.”
UK - Unusual Rigging has welcomed the outcome of yesterday’s Budget and what it means for theatres and other arts venues. The chancellor’s pledge to give an extra £410m to the arts is intended to help the sector recover as lockdown eases.
The funds are earmarked for theatres, museums, galleries and live music venues. But, says Tom Harper, managing director at Unusual, for the funds to be used most effectively, the industry should be regarded as an ecosystem, echoing the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris’ idea that the funds should be pumped into productions and not venues.
“The Chancellor has acknowledged that the culture sector will be a ‘significant driver’ in the UK’s pandemic recovery. While theatres are aiming to open from 17 May with social distancing in place, and with full capacity performances to be allowed from 21 June, there are still months ahead as we prepare for this big relaunch. Unlike other sectors theatre cannot simply fling wide its doors and resume trading at a sustainable level in the same way as other businesses might be able to. Ringfencing the money for productions will go further in supporting the entire supply chain, especially freelancers, an alarming number of whom have not been eligible for any financial support.”
Tom continued: “We cannot just support the cultural infrastructure and ignore the individual and teams who make the venues come to life. The artists, entertainers and all those working behind the scenes are really what makes the industry tick. If used wisely, these funds could go a long way t