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ABTT Fellowships 2016
UK - The Association of British Theatre Technicians has bestowed the honour of ABTT Fellowship on two outstanding industry individuals, Peter Angier and Dave Spink, whom the ABTT’s Council of Management wish to recognise as having rendered signal service to the technical aspects of the art of the theatre.
Peter Angier’s interest in theatre first began at school, Blundells, Tiverton, where he became known as the school theatre electrical technician and had his first brush with professional theatre; on one occasion a small touring opera group visited the school and their electrician told the schoolboy Peter, in no uncertain terms, all of the faults of his set up. Peter realised years later (when he found the programme) that this technician was none other than Francis Reid.
Peter studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University where he met David Adams when working in the ADC Theatre and together they took a show to the Edinburgh Festival, the cast of which now reads as a theatre’s Who’s Who.
Following Cambridge, work in the theatre in both the UK and Canada followed, initially as a stagehand in the local Arts Theatre and then as a flyman, a carpenter and subsequently, as a production and theatre manager.
In Canada, Peter was involved in the practical teaching of stagecraft and production management and worked on the planning of a new school theatre. Frustration with the poor planning and technical facilities of many venues set the seed for his future career.
On his return to the UK, a chance meeting with Martin Carr during an ABTT visit to the Thorndike, Leatherhead, led to Peter joining Martin at Theatre Consultant Services off the Strand, London.
In 1974, they set up together as Carr & Angier – a successful partnership lasting until Martin’s death last year – and in doing so, were at the forefront of the establishment of the Theatre Consultancy profession.
Peter has been closely and quietly involved with the ABTT, as both a member of numerous committees and chairman of others, since the organisation’s inception over fifty years ago.
Peter still operates at the heart of the practice he established with Martin Carr, which is based in Bath. Still going strong to this day, having gained a reputation for consistent high quality of service, attention to detail and considered innovation, it is driven by Peter’s quiet passion for the theatre and his unerring desire simply to make better buildings.
Dave Spink first became involved in the theatre when, as a young man, he joined the London County Council as part of its electrical inspection team and since that time has been at the vanguard of keeping safe theatregoers and practitioners alike.
Swiftly to the District Surveyors Department, he was appointed as a Licensing Inspector, overseeing the annual inspection of theatre premises and the more frequent inspections of new productions before each opening night.
Over the years he built up an encyclopaedic knowledge of Rules, British Standards, Regulations, Statutes, Law and European Standards, becoming one of the founding fathers of the ABTT’s Yellow Book, Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment, which he continues to update and expand on as part of its Standing Committee.
His personal guidance as Licensing Inspector given throughout his career to many a theatre operator and production manager, though always clearly and succinctly expressed, provided unequalled access to a font of knowledge, experience and expertise. He continues to offer this to the whole sector through his diligent and tireless contribution to Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment.
The list of ABTT Fellows now reads as follows: David Adams, Ian Albery, Peter Angier, Jason Barnes, David Blyth, Tony Bond, William Dudley, John Faulkner, Tim Foster, Roger Fox, Roderick Ham, Chris Higgs, Geoffrey Joyce, Iain Mackintosh, Richard Pilbrow, Peter Roberts, Paul Sadler, John Simpson, David Spink and Mark White.
Those previously appointed ABTT Fellows but now deceased: Fred Bentham, Richard Brett, Ethel Langstreth, Maurice Marshall, Francis Reid and Ken Smalley.
The Association of British Theatre Technicians has also appointed a new Honorary Member recognised specifically for giving signal service to the ABTT itself: David T Staples, of Theatre Projects, who has always been a supporter and ambassador for the ABTT. Most recently David undertook the substantial responsibility of creating and discharging the new role of Chairman of the Editorial Board for the ABTT International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference in 2014.
The Awards were presented by the Barbican’s director of arts and ABTT chairwoman Louise Jeffreys, at the ABTT’s annual Christmas Party, held on 9th December 2016 at the New London Theatre, sponsored by ETC and Really Useful Theatres Group.
In picture: left: Louise Jeffreys, Barbican Director of Arts and ABTT Chairwoman; back row: Robin Townley, CEO, ABTT; Fred Foster CEO, ETC (event sponsor); Chris Cotton, CEO, Royal Albert Hall (speaker); Mark White, ETC Regional Manager for UK & Ireland (speaker); front row: Emma Savage, accepting on behalf of Peter Angier; Dave Spink; David Staples.
4th January 2017
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