The Association of British Theatre Technicians

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Still buzzing from last year’s 40th anniversary, PLASA Show returns to London Olympia on 16-18 September, providing a stage for the world of entertainment technology.

The ABTT will be attending the show and we will be at Stand Y1, same as last year!

The ABTT will be running a Technical Standards Update and Compliance Surgery at PLASA and will also be involved in two other seminars during the event. Details below:

ABTT Technical Standards and Compliance Surgery

Fat Track Theatre

Sunday 16 September

12:00  12:45


Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment  is recognised by the HSE as forming part of a Code of Practice for the Theatre Industry and as an Established Standard under their Enforcement Management Model. This session  will provide a guide to recent amendments and offer the opportunity for a safety and compliance surgery to discuss your questions.

CAD Tutorial Session with David Ripley

Lighting and Industry Initiatives Theatre

Sunday 16 September

14:45 – 15:45


AutoCAD is used throughout the theatre and live performance industries in many ways. This session will show you the latest version of the software – AutoCAD 2019 and highlight some of the tools that have been added over recent years that practitioners in our fields may find particularly useful. There will also be a discussion on the ways and means of owning AutoCAD (all legal of course) as well as the options for industry specific training on the software. Finally, if you are having trouble wrangling particular drawings, do bring them along on a laptop and we’ll see if we can get them to behave a bit better for you.

David Ripley is the Head of Production at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He is an AutoCAD Certified Practitioner and the author of AutoCAD, A Handbook for Theatre Users: the most recent 4th edition will be available at the ABTT Stand Y1 with membership discount. David provides training to the industry in all things AutoCAD; is a Full Member of the ABTT and is the organisational Representative on PLASA’s Governing Board.

CAD Apprenticeship for Theatre & Live Events Forum

Lighting and Industry Initiatives Theatre

Tuesday 18 September

14:45 – 15:45


From producing theatre companies to specialist scenic constructors, there are reports of difficulties in recruiting CAD draughtpersons who are proficient in working in the context of live performance and events.  For technical  staff who have developed their careers in the Stage Department, as opposed to Electrics of Sound, developing CAD skills can often be a useful path for personal Continuing Professional Development, as well as meeting a skills shortage within larger teams.  The larger theatre and live event employers are already paying the Apprenticeship Levy, which, if not used within 24 months will be lost back to the Treasury.  There are now mechanisms for Apprenticeship Levy Paying employers to transfer funds for apprenticeships to non-Levy Paying SME’s.  With this combination of factors in mind, a number of industry employers and organisations have been researching the options for a CAD Apprenticeship for Theatre and Live Performance.  Apprenticeships are not limited to only new recruits.  In-service personnel may take-up apprenticeship schemes.  If as an employer or a working practitioner you would like to hear more about a CAD Apprenticeship for the Theatre and Live Event industries or you have suggestions as to what such an Apprenticeship should include, please come along to listen and/or contribute to this open forum.

Registration for the show is open now : CLICK HERE FOR FREE PLASA REGISTRATION.
For more information please visit


London Olympia, National Hall Hammersmith Rd, Hammersmith, London W14 8UX