The collection was originally digitised for the ABTT’s 50th Anniversary and in celebration of the ABTT’s 60th Anniversary we are now releasing our audio only versions for you to enjoy and to help to share some of the amazing things members of our community have achieved over the years.

If you are interested in accessing these videos recordings please use the catalogue numbers listed alongside each audio recording.  These catalogue numbers can be used to request access via the ABTT Archive on


ABTT Technical Theatre Recordings 1984 – 2004


Gil Binks, Chief Electrician interviewed by Philip Edwards (1994 – specific date unknown) – ABTT/OH/0001

This audio track features an interview by Philip Edwards with Gil Binks in 1994, who was the chief electrician at the Palace Theatre, Manchester. Gil became a virtuoso on the Light Console, offering instant plotting long before memory boards – and was regarded as one of the best fit-up electricians in the UK.


David Ayliff, Stage Manager (1916 – 2016) interviewed by Graeme Cruickshank (24/2/1995) – ABTT/OH-0002

This audio track features an interview by Graeme Cruickshank with David Ayliff in 1995. David was a distinguished stage manager and was a founder member of the West End Stage Management Association which became the SMA on 8th November 1971 – his father H K Ayliff was a notable producer and director between the wars.  David was Head of Technical Training at RADA (1979-1985).

Peter Kemp, Engineer for stage sets (1926 – 2005) interviewed by Joe Aveline (5/10/1995 ) – ABTT/OH-0003

This audio track features an interview by Joe Aveline with Peter Kemp. Peter was a brilliant engineer for stage sets, often engineering solutions that weren’t committed to paper, but which always worked. He also had an outstanding personality.

Ralph Koltai, Set Designer (1924 -2018) interviewed by Pamela Howard (2/11/1995 ) – ABTT/OH-0004

This audio track features an interview by Pamela Howard with Ralph Koltai in 1995. Ralph was an innovative ‘high tech’ set designer of world renown: from the early ’60s, exploring use of new materials.  He was first in the theatre to adopt the metric scale and designed for plays, dance musicals and opera.



Leslie Woolnough, Scenic Artist (?-2003) interviewed by Joe Aveline (25/4/1996 ) – ABTT/OH/0005

This audio track features an interview by Joe Aveline with Leslie Woolnough OBE in 1996. Lesley was a distinguished scenic artist – she started work in 1935 and became head scenic artist at the Old Vic in 1952, was involved in the production of all Shakespeare’s works and transferred to the National Theatre when it opened and later taught at Guildhall.

Howard Clifford, Technical Director  (?-2004) interviewed by Alan Cohen (14/11/1996 ) – ABTT/OH/0006

This audio track features an interview by Alan Cohen with Howard Clifford, Technical Director (d .2004). Howard was the outstanding Technical Director of Hall Stage Equipment, with inspired engineering solutions to most problems.


Michael Northen MBE (1921-2001), Lighting Designer interviewed by Julian Williams (12/04/1997 ) – ABTT/OH/0008

This audio track features an interview by Julian Williams with Lighting Designer, Michael Northen MBE.
Michael was a true polymath; from 1940 he was ASM then SM and a lighting designer for provincial and West End theatre. He was co-founder and later chairman of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) with Joe Davis adding “It was Michael and I who started this lighting racket”.

Patrick Robertson (1922 – 2009) & Rosemary Vercoe (1917-2013), Set & Costumes Designers interviewed by Joe Aveline (08/05/1997 ) – ABTT/OH/0009

This audio track features an interview by Joe Aveline with Patrick Robertson & Rosemary Vercoe, Set & Costumes Designers. Patrick was a distinguished set designer from the post war years, known as the English Svoboda, a master of projection. Rosemary his wife was a distinguished costume designer.



Alan Barlow, Set Designer (1926- 2005) interviewed by Joe Aveline (05/03/1998) – ABTT/OH/0010

This audio track features an interview by Joe Aveline with Alan Barlow

Alan learned his craft in war torn Coventry and became the first set designer for Bristol Old Vic afterwards, later designing for Callas’s debut at the ROH.  After periods in a monastery and teaching at Manchester University he continued as a designer, director and artist until he retired in 1989.

John Wyckham, Lighting Designer & Theatre Consultant (1926 – 2010) interviewed by Roger Fox (21/05/1998) – ABTT/OH/0011

This audio track features an interview by Roger Fox on 21/05/1998 with Lighting Designer & Theatre Consultant John Wyckham,

John was co-founder in the early 60s of the Society of Lighting Designers, has ALD Membership, no 9. He was lighting designer for the first production of Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver’, and founded a lighting design consultancy.



Tony Easterbrook, Stage & General Manager (1920 – 2004) interviewed by Joe Aveline (11/01/1999) – ABTT/OH-0012

This audio track features an interview by Joe Aveline with Stage & General Manager Tony Easterbrook on 11/01/1999.

Tony was an accomplished Stage Director and General Manager. He was successful at Sadler’s Wells, and transferred to the National Theatre in 1968 where he stayed till 1974. An ‘Old School’ person and much respected.

John Roffey, Chief Electrician interviewed by Roger Fox (18/03/1999) – ABTT/OH-0013

This audio track features an interview by Roger Fox on 18/03/1999 with Chief Electrician John Roffey.

A former electrician at Sadler’s Wells when they were operating their extensive opera touring programme. Toured widely. Then Chief at the Greenwich Theatre, London. Latterly Chief Electrician/Lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Now retired.


Roderick Ham, Theatre Architect (1925 – 2017) interviewed by Peter Longman (01/07/1999) – ABTT/OH/0015

This audio track features an interview by Peter Longman with Roderick Ham (1925 – 2017) who was a founder member of the ABTT and a distinguished Theatre Architect. He designed the Thorndike Theatre Leatherhead and influenced Denis Lasdun’s design for the National Theatre.