The Technical Theatre Awards winners announced

(c) Alex Brenner, Technical Theatre Awards 2015

Tamykha Patterson – Technician and Greg Allen – Assistant Technical Manager from the New Wimbledon Theatre with their award

UK – The Technical Theatre Awards, which celebrates the achievements of people working behind the scenes, have announced their winners at a well-attended ceremony on the Sunborn Yacht during PLASA London 2015 hosted by Iain Gillie, Managing Director of PW Productions Ltd.

Now in its third year, the Technical Theatre Awards (TTAs) was established to give due credit to the often unsung heroes and heroines that work backstage to make the theatre magic happen.

The winners are (all shortlisted nominees are listed; the winners are in bold):

The “AdVision TV” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Wardrobe
Anna Edwards McConway (Winner)
Tony Priestley
Jessica Houghton

The “Charcoalblue” Award for Venue Sustainability
New Wimbledon Theatre (Winner)
Arcola Theatre

The “d&b audiotechnik” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound
David Gregory (Winner)
Ed Feguson
Alex Caplen
Chris Reid

The “Douglas Turnbull” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Company Management (Sponsored by Investec Opera Holland Park)
Katy Byrant (Winner)
Bernard Davies
Ba Penney
Nigel Pentland

The “eStage” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Stage Crew
Geoff Grint (Winner)
James Kazwini
John Hayel

The “ETC” receiving venue team of the year award
Theatre Royal Newcastle (Winner)
Royal Albert Hall
Gordon Craig Theatre
Regent Theatre Stoke-on-Trent
Harlow Playhouse

The “Philips” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting
Andrew Murrell (Winner)
Andy Taylor
Tom Young
Graham Leesmith

The “Pigs Might Fly South” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Wigs & Makeup
Craig Forrest (Winner)
Stefan Musch
Linda Halpin

The “PRG” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production Management
Gary Beestone (Winner)
Kieron Docherty
Stewart Crosbie
Jim Leaver

The “PW Productions” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Prop Making
Robin Morgan (Winner)
Gary Hardy-Brown
Paul Brown

The “Rigging Team” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Automation
The Twins FX (Winner)
David Greatex
Richard Willcox
Musa Halimeh

The “Robe” Hire Company Team of the Year Award
Showforce (Winner)
LUX Technical
Quantum Special Effects Group

The “Triple E” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Flys & Rigging
Tony Miles (Winner)
Mario colaluca

The “USITT” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Artistry
Steve Arnott (Winner)
James Rowse
Richard Nutborne

The “Design Software Solutions” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education
Sara Scott (Winner)
Martin Hodgson
Oliver Brown

The “GDS” & “SMA” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management
Robert Clayton (Winner)
Jack Wigley
Matthew Cullun
Pippa Meyer

The “SNP Productions” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Media Server Programming
Jon Lyle (Winner)
Nick Malbon

The “Total Solutions Group” Award for Outstanding Achievement in Set Construction
Dave Simmons (Winner)
Davy Thayer
Ricky Parr

The TTAs announced nominees for its 2015 awards in June, as voting opened during the ABTT Theatre Show in London.

Fifty-nine individuals and venues were nominated across 18 awards covering all disciplines of technical theatre. According to organisers, more than 1,500 people registered, submitting votes for the awards online.

“We’re delighted with the success of the third Technical Theatre Awards and would like to thank everyone who nominated and came to the ceremony to celebrate the incredible work of so many,” says founder and organiser, Ian Taylor. “Over the past three years the TTAs has received an ever growing amount of support from both individuals and the industry as a whole. As we continue to develop and improve the awards them look to the industry to get involved in supporting and shaping the future of the awards. As we develop relationships with industry associations and organisations we hope to continue to improve the nomination, shortlisting and voting process. These awards are for people working in the industry, created and operated by the industry, and we hope they will continue to grow and become an invaluable asset.”

The awards ceremony took place on Monday 5th October at 8pm on The Sunborn Yacht during PLASA London, which took place at ExCeL.

Quickie Review – Martin Rush PAR 2 RGBW Zoom

Rush Par 2

I recently managed to get my hands on a couple of these LED fixtures from Martin. These LED fixtures that are being released are getting better all of the time. These fixtures in particular are very well made, they felt solid and robust. The light output was pretty good and intense for a lot of smaller spaces. The 12 x 10watt RGBW LEDs are very good at putting out useful amount of light. These fixtures have a motorised zoom function from 10deg to 60 degrees and it is a very usable beam range. The electronic dimming was also extremely good; it was very smooth through the whole range.
The fixture is very easy to set up; there is a rear panel through which you can access all of the parameters of the fixture. It only consumes 8 channels of DMX. It can also be left to run in a stand-alone mode – which can be set up from the rear panel. You can also set the white balance from the rear panel so that you can match more closely other fixtures in your lighting rig. As with most fixtures these days it has strobe and pulse effects.
In use this fixture is easy to rig, at only 5.5kgs it is not a chore to rig. All the controls at the rear are easy to access. Power in is through a PowerCon connector with a loop through connect so that you can chain several together. DMX data in and through is 5pin XLR as per the standard for DMX. There is no provision for 3 pin Power consumption is around 150watts.
I found it very easy to set up and use these fixtures. The output is very nice and reasonable punchy on the stages I have been using them on. They give good stage coverage, fast response. Ideal for small to medium size venues that need decent wash or backlight.

For more information, follow this link


HARMAN Martin Professional’s VDO Sceptrons Frame the Stage for Mumford & Sons’ World Tour

Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons

AARHUS, Denmark – Since forming in 2007, British band Mumford & Sons has toured the world almost non-stop. Now setting out again to showcase their third album, the band’s Lighting and Production Designer, Ed Warren, selected HARMAN Martin® Professional VDO Sceptron 10s and MAC QuantumTM Washes to make their live show even more immersive and experiential.

Warren developed a captivating new design specifically for the new album, Wilder Mind. He immersed himself in Mumford & Sons’ music until it resonated in his mind¬–he even played the band’s music while sleeping. “Designing is a very fluid process for me. I don’t force it,” says Warren. “When I’ve visualized my first thoughts and I feel like I’m in the right zone, the concept starts to take shape.”

In the initial stages, Warren presented his ideas to the band using mood boards. They liked it and when finalized, he submitted his design to UK rental company NEG Earth, along with a product specification list. After reviewing Warren’s list, Caroline Beverley, Project Manager, NEG Earth, suggested using the new VDO Sceptrons from Martin Professional as an alternative to the fixtures specified. Beverley said they would be perfect for Warren’s design, and when Warren saw them he was easily persuaded.

“The VDO Sceptrons were perfect for what we wanted to do,” says Warren. “As some of the concerts happen during daylight, I needed fixtures with a good color output and brightness. The Sceptrons do just that–even in bright sunshine.”

The VDO Sceptrons play a leading role in the design where they frame the stage and trusses. The fixtures are mounted onto the downstage edges and the two risers, and along the vertical lines of ten towers upstage. Side trusses and three U-shaped trusses above the band are also lined with VDO Sceptrons, adding a futuristic look to the show. Although capable of displaying video content, Warren uses the VDO Sceptrons in simple RGB mode on four channels. This design ended up suiting Mumford & Sons very well. The VDO Sceptrons and the MAC Quantum Washes are mixed in with older fixtures, comparable to the band’s traditional vibe from previous albums and their new, rockier synth-based material.

Warren believes in creating an experience for an audience. he wants to immerse the audience in every show he produces and make every fan feel at one with the band and the performance.

“The art of lighting design is to support and reflect what the band is trying to evoke with their music without distracting from it,” says Warren. “You want to complement the music and stir the audience as much as possible, but you need to respect that people have come to see the band¬–not necessarily the light or laser show.”

The VDO Sceptrons support Warren’s approach to lighting design as they add both depth and dimensionality to the stage. This way, the stage jumps out spatially and is not just a flat object at one end of the venue. Also on tour with Warren and Mumford & Sons are 16 MAC Quantum Washes that Warren uses to backlight the band and the stage and light through the open risers.

“They’re great lights,” says Warren. “Just like the Sceptrons they perform very well and stand up against daylight with great colors.”

Mumford & Sons will be touring until the end of 2016.

Martin Equipment
• VDO Sceptron 10, 159 pcs.
• MAC Quantum Wash, 16 pcs.

Lighting Design: Ed Warren
Rental company: NEG Earth
Chief Electrician: Adam ‘Moonunit’ Morris
Production Manager: Steve Gordon

For more information on Mumford & Sons, please visit:

For more information on NEG Earth, please visit:

For more information on Martin please visit:

Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons

R U Ok? – should be everyday

My eyes snapped open, checked my phone. 2 hours till I need to get up. My mind is racing. What is this is wrong, will that work. Will the client be happy? Is everything as the client requested? My paranoia steps up to the plate. These thoughts circle through my mind continuously. Just as I think I have gone through permutations, they start again. We try and relax our mind, count sheep but my mind keeps on with circling dark thoughts. Will it pan out. I feel like I am in over my depth, yet I have the skills and have done it all before. Is my mind crashing? I lay there feigning sleep until the alarm sounds. How many of us go through this in our life.

The R U Ok day has rolled around again, and it should be making all think. There are numerous posts on Facebook etc. I think in our industry we are often faced with issues that affect our health, mental and otherwise. We often shrug off the problems and get on with the show. Should we dismiss these feelings? Never.

In the entertainment industry we are faced with a variety of issues that can play with our minds. A large percentage of us are employed casually or freelance and therefore the prospect of no income often preys on our minds. I know first hand how that feels, will I be able to pay that bill or get groceries to feed myself and my family. We get ill and therefore cannot take on work, or we suffer an injury and cannot work for a few weeks. These all can stress us out. From personal experience if I get ill or have a slight injury I will continue to work, to the detriment of my health. The main concern is the show must go on and I need to eat. Should we have stresses like this in our life, should we just be working to survive? Do we need to have a good quality of life? We struggle with the mental angst everyday. We started out young and full of promise to work in the field that we loved. We want to make magic happen for the audience, no matter what field we were in. We loved the challenges and the chances to be creative. We soared with the success productions we worked on and ignored the slim wallet and empty bank accounts. The aches and pains we ignored or used buckets of over the counter pain killers. If we found we could not cope we turned to alcohol or drugs for some. We soldiered on from venue to venue.
We aged and then suddenly one morning we awoke and realised that we were no longer young and our bodies refused to move they way it use to. Some of use could not cope with the shock that we were getting on and the mental strain was too much. We lost several to their own hands, people that had given so much and had more to give. Others have given up the industry and some of us have now realised that we have to think about our future. We have to look after ourselves, we need to be open and ask for help. We need to look after each other and help them cope with the changing landscape of this industry. We need not live to work but work to live. We need to enjoy the work but not to the detriment of our health.
More and more employers are beginning to recognise that their employees need to be looked after and not treated as a commodity. We need to be valued and our thoughts and opinions at least listened to. We seem to have more access to services in regards to our mental health, but do we recognise that we have a problem ourselves. How can we tell if we have a problem? This is why this R U Ok day is important, but remember to ask someone if they are okay at any time. It may make a difference, I don’t know as I have never been asked by others in the industry yet, but I have asked myself. So don’t be afraid to ask yourself if you are okay. If you do have any doubts about your ability to handle these sorts of problems, talk to someone, seek help.
I know I am starting to suffer anxiety attacks at least once a week, now this could be work related or caused by the medications I take. Only recently have I decided that maybe I should ask my GP about it and maybe get to the root cause of this problem.
We need to speak and ask for help, there are many around us that will support and look after our needs.

We give others enjoyment let’s make sure we get some back.

So are you okay?

Where to go for help?

Your local GP

Entertainment Assist

Beyond Blue

Ed Sheeran Captivates Wembley and Croke Park Stadiums with Meyer Sound LEO

With a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system, Ed Sheeran has become the first solo artist to sell out five 80,000-capacity shows at London’s Wembley Stadium and Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium. For the one-man band relying only on an acoustic guitar and loop pedal, the production team was tasked with providing an “up close and personal” sonic experience, despite the massive size of the venues.

Ed Sheeran @ Wembly Stadium

Ed Sheeran @ Wembly Stadium

“It takes an exceptional PA to make you feel that you’re actually involved, rather than having the experience relayed to you, and for that reason LEO is our first choice,” says Sheeran’s long-time production manager and FOH engineer Chris Marsh. “It’s extremely important to give all of Ed’s fans the feeling that they’re having an intimate experience, even if they’re 200 meters away. You need to make sure every consonant, every catch of breath is heard clearly in the back corners, and LEO manages to hit every seat in a stadium as if it were in the near field. That’s the big difference compared to other PAs I’ve worked with.

“Other systems can bring the sound out to you, but with LEO, you genuinely feel like you’re in it,” continues Marsh. “That’s incredibly important with Ed—it’s all about hearing his songs like he’s right there with you, and that’s what happens with a LEO system.”

Marsh also appreciates the impact of the 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. “Ed’s slapping of the guitar is a low-frequency transient hit that is much faster than any kick drum, and that’s why the 1100-LFCs are my favorite for sub-bass,” he says. “They throw far and are very, very quick.”

The system for the Wembley shows was built around 96 LEO-M line array loudspeakers configured as 20 for each main front hang, 16 for each side hang, and 12 for each crane-flown upper side hang. For even distribution up and around the tall stadium, 12 LYON linear line array loudspeakers, 32-each MILO and MICA line array loudspeakers, and two JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers were deployed as delays and fills. Sixty 1100-LFC elements were both flown and ground-stacked as directional arrays. Onstage foldback consisted of four MJF-212A stage monitors and side fills of two MICA loudspeakers and four 700-HP subwoofers. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with 16 total Galileo 616, Galileo 616 AES, and Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provided signal distribution and precision tuning. UK-based Major Tom, Ltd. was principal audio provider for all five shows, with additional loudspeakers supplied by POOLgroup of Germany.

The systems were designed by Marsh in close consultation with long-time associate Lars Brogaard, managing director of Major Tom. Brogaard was insistent on deploying LEO to best effect, according to Marsh.

“We went to great lengths to get the loudspeakers up as high as possible, so they were aimed directly at the audience and not firing up from the pitch and bouncing off the roof,” reports Marsh. “An enormous, 25-meter high structure allowed us to hang our front arrays much higher than usual, and we also hired giant cranes for the upper side hangs and flew fewer rear delays than is usual for Wembley.”

Sheeran used a Sennheiser Digital 9000 wireless system with an MD 9235 condenser capsule on the vocal mic. Marsh mixed Sheeran on a DiGiCo SD7 digital console.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran

Meyer Sound MM-4XP Securing the Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct

With a commitment to ongoing security upgrades across the city, Brisbane City Council has just installed audio-based security cameras using Meyer Sound MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers with IntelligentDC™ technology.

Valley MallLord Mayor Graham Quirk said the speaking cameras had recently been trialled in Brisbane’s CBD. “These audio-based cameras will allow us to intervene in real time, tell people if they are committing a criminal act, or something that is not convenient to other people that we are watching them,” he said. “And, if need be, that police are on their way.”

After the recent Fortitude Valley mall upgrade, integrator United Technology Solutions was engaged to complete the install of MM-4XP loudspeakers throughout the mall. With its weather-protection feature and ease of use, the MM-4XP has proven to be a winner for local integrator United Technology Solutions.


The MM-4XP loudspeaker’s proprietary 4-inch cone transducer, manufactured at Meyer Sound’s Berkeley, California factory, delivers an impressive maximum peak SPL of 113 dB and a wide operating frequency range of 120 Hz to 18 kHz with very low distortion. The MM-4XP exhibits the same high intelligibility and flat frequency and phase responses for which Meyer Sound loudspeakers are known. Peak and rms limiters regulate loudspeaker temperatures and excursion, ensuring the MM-4XP performs exceedingly well even when driven into overload.

With IntelligentDC technology, the MM-4XP receives power and balanced audio from a SwitchCraft® EN3TM 5-pin male input connector on its rear panel. The sealed EN3 connector provides protection against harsh environmental conditions when the MM-4XP is installed outdoors. The MM-4XP’s amplifier and signal-processing circuits were designed to store DC power and tolerate voltage drops, thereby accommodating light-gauge cables and long cable runs. MM-4XP loudspeakers require a Meyer Sound external power supply. The compact MPS-481 powers a single loudspeaker and includes a composite cable that routes both DC power and balanced audio, received from its XLR input connector, to the MM-4XP. The MPS-488HP IntelligentDC power supply is ideal for larger installations with multiple loudspeakers; the single-space 19-inch rack unit distributes DC power and balanced audio to up to eight MM-4XP loudspeakers or other Meyer Sound low-voltage loudspeakers. Meyer Sound’s RMS remote monitoring system is available as an option for the MPS-488HP.

For more information on United Technology Solutions and Brisbane City Council see the below links

For more information on the Meyer Sound products visit or contact:

Australia Sales:

Meyer Sound Australia

Aus: 1800 463 937

Nz: 0800 363 937                                          


HARMAN Announces Immediate Availability of the Martin® M-Touch

M_touch_main_1000x1000COPENHAGEN, Denmark – HARMAN’s Martin® M-Touch lighting control system is now shipping. With touch technology, the Martin M-Touch introduces a new form of interaction to the lighting industry, only previously seen between a musician and electronic instruments.

With precise touch encoders and command keys for the most commonly used operations, the Martin M-Touch is a true hybrid surface for programming and playback. It reads user input strength and lets him or her interact with performances and shows of any scale. Its unique pressure sensitive buttons with no mechanical parts will ensure indefinite functionality. The integrated DMX output connection allows direct control over any DMX device without the need of further hardware.

The Martin M-Touch can be connected with a simple USB cable to the Martin M-PC software or connected to any M-Series console as a powerful extension. No external power connection is required. The Martin M-Touch represents the ultimate blend of technology, quality and price in one controller solution.

“The M-Touch is truly a game changer for us and our customers,” said Matthias Hinrichs, Product Manager for Controllers, Martin. “It makes professional lighting control accessible to everyone and offers a unique set of features through a simple and efficient plug & play USB control surface for our M-Series lighting software.”

The Martin M-Touch is now shipping. The large amount of backorders will be arriving at customers throughout the month of July,

For more information on the Martin M-Touch, please watch:

For the Martin M-Touch product page, please visit: