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ABTT Responds to Growth in International Profile

As a membership charity, the Association of British Theatre Technicians continuously seeks to evaluate its activities and where possible expand their scope to meet its charitable aims and benefit its members and supporters.

With the UK Government investing in creating opportunities for British businesses to participate and thrive in emerging markets and with the ABTT growing at home, 2015 saw the organisation participating in new initiatives abroad, developing prospects for both individual and corporate members to visit new markets and to share best practice with fellow practitioners round the globe.

In the new Winter edition of Sightline, the Association’s journal of theatre technology and design, received free by the ABTT membership, a number of these ventures are recorded.

Michael Anderson, chairman of the ABTT safety committee, writes about his visit to the Korean Theatre Safety Symposium, where he spoke about the UK health and safety legislative framework and the role the ABTT plays in producing a code of practice for the theatre industry.

Duncan Kim, of the Theatre Safety Centre, a division of the Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL: set up in the mid-1960s to serve the needs of all manufacturing, electronic and engineering product compliance), heard Anderson’s presentation ‘CDM Regulations for the Entertainment Industry’ at the ABTT Theatre Show in 2014, following his attendance in London that June for the ABTT International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference 2014.

Kim invited Anderson to speak at the symposium, attended by Korean theatre owners, technicians and managers, which was hosted by the Theatre Safety Centre: the TSC was established in 2006 within KTL, specifically to implement and ensure compliance with standards in the substantial Korean theatre and entertainment industries.

Stephen Snow of ABTT Gold Industry Supporters’ Group member Stage Technologies also spoke at the symposium. Late in the day Duncan Kim had asked if the ABTT would also provide a speaker to discuss the management and control of hydraulic systems for stage engineering. The association was very pleased to be able to co-ordinate with one of its most valued supporters to ensure that this second subject was appropriately covered.

The ABTT very gratefully received specific funding from UKTI to assist in the participation of both Michael Anderson and Stephen Snow in the TSC symposium.

Stephen Snow also participated in the first ABTT supported delegation to attend Prolight + Sound Shanghai as Visitors. Led by Paul Connolly of ABTT ISG member Theatreplan, and who is also ABTT Sightline editor, the ABTT was able offer supported places to three ABTT ISG members who took the opportunity to attend this trade show for the first time.

This initiative is to be repeated in 2016, with the ABTT now seeking applications from any current or new member who wishes to attend (first timers only) Prolight + Sound Guangzhou (29th February - 3rd March 2016) or the next Prolight + Sound Shanghai (26th - 29th October 2016).

A feature on the Hong Kong International Lighting Symposium, by Nick Peel of the Guildhall School, also appears in Sightline, as well as articles on the refurbishment of Wilton's Music Hall, the creation of temporary spaces at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the new Quarry Theatre at Bedford School and Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal.

15th January 2016

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