ABTT announce Theatre Show Annual Awards Winners for 2023!
14 June 2023
The Association of British Theatre Technicians’ Annual Awards took place on Wednesday evening, 7th June, after the first day of the 2023 ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, London. The ABTT Awards are one of the ABTT’s flagship events; acknowledging those people and products making a difference to the Industry. Hosting these Awards and being able to celebrate the achievements of both people and new products in the industry is at the very heart of the ABTT. This year these were again generously supported by TAIT.
Ted Moore, Director of Rental Services, said of the Awards: “TAIT are really proud to be here once again to sponsor the ABTT Awards Presentation, one of the best globally in our industry. We wish all the nominees good luck and give congratulations to whoever the winners may be.”
The five highly sort after Awards for Lighting Product, Sound Product, Engineering Product, ‘Widget’ and Stand of the Year, were complemented by the announcement of the recipients of the ABTT Technician of the Year and the ABTT Award for Emerging Excellence which recognise the achievements of individuals both starting out and well-established in their backstage careers.
This was followed by the newest category, the “ABTT Award for Environmental Sustainability” which is presented to someone who ‘over the past 12 months has made a significant contribution to furthering environmental sustainability within the theatre industry.’
The Jury, made up of an experienced group of working practitioners and industry peers, awarded as follows:
ABTT LIGHTING PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2023: GDS Drive Hub
Judges’ comments: “The winning product is an innovative solution to the problem of upgrading existing houselight systems. Its ability to use virtually any cable infrastructure with safe extra low voltage alongside data, makes it a highly sustainable, safe and unique product.”
Kevin Arkins of GDS said: “We’re honoured to be recognised by ABTT for our innovative Drive Hub Technology – our passion at GDS is to continue developing installed lighting technology, enabling the original beauty of the Theatre spaces. Thank you ABTT!”
Also highly commended by the Judges: Lamp and Pencil Candles
“This product takes one of the original forms of light and updates it for the 21st century. The units are fully interactive and allow a production to comply with the most stringent venue health and safety requirements, whilst also replicating a flame in a most realistic manner.”
ABTT SOUND PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2023: Atlas Show Control for Spatial Audio
Figure 2 ABTT Sound Product of the Year Winner, Atlas Show Control for Spatial Audio – Jack Lord (left), Dominic Bilkey, (middle) and ABTT Co-Chair Mig Burgess (right)
Judges’ comments: “This product is an innovative approach to integrating show control systems and object tracking in a show cue style. The fact it can tie together a wide range of show systems and give a centralised environment for the operator is very impressive.”
Dominic Bilkey & Jack Lord – Atlas Show Control stated: “We are delighted to have won the ABTT Sound Product of the Year Award. To be able to bring something that started as a proof of concept in the depths of lockdown to the Theatre Show as a released product has been truly amazing. We’ve felt such support from the ABTT community attending the show and are excitedly looking forward to the future of Atlas and what it can become.”
Also highly commended by the Judges: Nemesis OSCA product range.
“The judges liked its simplicity of sending OSC messages, and the way it makes a seemingly complex system simple and accessible. Its flexibility of uses is a plus.”
ABTT ENGINEERING PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2023: Harlequin Liberty Switch
Judges’ comments: “A single press of a button to change from a fully sprung dance floor to a solid opera floor. This installed solution reduces time taken to reconfigure, labour costs and manual handling requirements. We loved the thought that had gone into making the operation user friendly and the flexibility the modular design offers.”
Steve Green, Group Marketing Director added “The team at Harlequin Floors are delighted and honoured to have received the ABTT Engineering Product of the Year Award for our revolutionary new multi-use floor system, Harlequin Liberty Switch. We have been supporters of ABTT, and regular exhibitors at the ABTT Theatre Show, for many years, and this recognition reaffirms our commitment to providing the performing arts community with the highest quality and most innovative products available. We are looking forward to exhibiting again next year!”
Also highly commended by the Judges: Hollyland Solid Com C1.
“A lightweight, user friendly, cost efficient solution for comms in small to medium size venues. Audibility was very clear with a good range. The noise cancelling was particularly effective, along with this being an affordable solution.”
ABTT WIDGET OF THE YEAR 2023: Lamp and Pencil DMX Clock
Judges’ comments: “A neat solution which has allowed Lamp and Pencil to manipulate time itself! A DMX controllable clock available in three sizes which can easily be set to any time required and mimics a natural clock movement. We loved this simple, out of the box solution which will bring that touch of theatrical magic to many a set.”
Tamsin Higgins, Lamp & Pencil said: “We are delighted to win the award for Best Widget 2023 for our DMX clock, and to receive commendations for our LED candle and our stand! Our aim at the show this year was to showcase some of our key products and to demonstrate the wide range of capabilities we have within our team at Lamp & Pencil. It was wonderful to win and receive this recognition for our work. Thank you ABTT.”
Also highly commended by the Judges: Flints Viking Arm.
“The Viking arm is a light weight but high load capacity jacking solution. It is robust, easy to use and the incremental lowering function will be particularly helpful.”
ABTT THEATRE SHOW STAND OF THE YEAR 2023: White Light
Judges’ comments: “This stand is aesthetically pleasing and includes a fun interactive way to win swag. It demonstrates a new way for a company to showcase their services in a professional but relaxed setting, with spaces to conduct business meetings amongst the various materials and textures that make up their stand.”
Bryan Raven, White Light’s Managing Director stated:
“We are absolutely thrilled to have won Stand of the Year at the ABTT Awards. This was a truly collaborative effort between our various teams and we are delighted that all of their hard-work and skills have been recognised. What makes this award even more special is that we ensured the focus of our stand this year was sustainability; following our recent B Corp accreditation. As such, we decided to include a “living wall” and draw on upcycled materials from previous shows; with a focus to also re-use these for future exhibitions.”
Also highly commended by the Judges: Lamp and Pencil.
“The design of this stand is highly commendable in its reuse of products from the various shows they have worked on making it highly sustainable. Their stand is also visible across the whole show floor with their illuminated logo sitting proudly aloft.”
ABTT TECHNICIAN OF THE YEAR 2023: Adrian Bradley
Tomas Wright, Technical Director RSC stated that “Adrian’s journey in the performing arts industry began as a graduate of the esteemed Royal Scottish Academy. Since then, he has demonstrated a remarkable work ethic and commitment to his craft. Starting as a carpenter, he tirelessly honed his technical abilities, quickly progressing through the ranks to become a skilled technician. With each role he undertook, Adrian’s passion and talent were evident, propelling him further in his career. Currently serving as the Technical Manager at Birmingham Rep Theatre, Adrian showcases exemplary leadership and problem-solving skills. He is renowned for his hands-on approach and ability to overcome challenges, always finding innovative solutions. Adrian’s strong work ethic is evident in his unwavering commitment to his role and the success of the theatre through what are the most challenging of times.”
Suzy Somerville, Director of Productions Birmingham Rep, added: “Adrian is also a talented manager who skillfully supports his teams and the freelancers and creatives he is working alongside. Adrian has a natural curiosity into how something works and how to streamline and make processes better – both within his department and to support the entire organisation. Adrian has overseen training for many stage technicians from inexperienced casuals to master fly people and has supported their progress to ensure that the integrity of the show is never comprised whilst upskilling the work force.”
ABTT AWARD FOR EMERGING EXCELLENCE 2023: Li Li Peberdy
Dave Norton, Head of Sound and Video at The Curve Theatre, said “Li Li’s professional growth since starting out as a Venue Technical Apprentice has gone from strength to strength. Upon our first meeting there was a quiet and timid, but keen young technician with all the potential to becoming a confident resourceful and multi-skilled asset to the company.
I had the pleasure of both line managing Li Li throughout her time on the apprenticeship, seeing her pass her practical assessments with distinction and recently working alongside her as a co-sound designer on her first production where she undertook the role with drive, ambition and creative flexibility. She was able to contribute throughout the process which came to a really satisfying conclusion.”
Georgia Thompson, Stage and Automation Technician at The Curve Theatre, added: “I could not be prouder of Li Li securing her first full-time employment as a Sound and Video Technician here at Curve. She once described herself as feeling “like an iceberg in a group of volcanos”, her cool and calm energy is contagious and makes her the best asset to any team she is a part of.”
ABTT AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR 2023: Jennifer Taillefer
Gemma Swallow – Technical Director National Theatre Scotland, stated that: “Jennifer’s Carbon Literacy Course is absolutely outstanding. Created for the theatre industry the course, which is accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project, is packed with real world examples that are pertinent to the theatre professional. The course is bespoke and was described by a number of attendees as the best training that they have ever received. The amount of time and effort that has been put into this course is extraordinary, the detail impressive. Jennifer is acting where so many others are just talking, she is an example to us all and I urge everyone to sign up to the course, you will learn a lot and it will change how you make work.”
Congratulations to all the above winners!
We’d also like to say thank you to our amazing panel of judges; Mig Burgess, Alex Cann, Richard Chilvers, David Evans, Andrew Grant, Anette Ollerearnshaw, Caroline Rouse, Matthew Smethurst-Evans, Sam Vincent and Richard Williamson.