ABTT Theatre Awards 2018

by Michael Eddy
ABTT Theatre Show Director, Roger Fox, who is stepping down after 40 years of building the ABTT Show
ABTT Theatre Show Director, Roger Fox, who is stepping down after 40 years of building the ABTT Show

The Association of British Theatre Technicians Theatre Awards 2018 took place on the evening of June 6, after the first day of the ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace, London. The five highly sort after Awards for Sound, Lighting, and Engineering Products of Year, Widget and Stand of the Year, were this year complemented by a Special Award to celebrate the retiring Theatre Show Director, Roger Fox, acknowledging his 40 years work on building the Show from scratch in 1978, to the flourishing two-day event showcasing the very best of technology and excellent technical practice we know today.

The judges, made up of an experienced jury of working practitioners and industry peers, awarded as follows:

ABTT Sound Product of the Year 2018 - EM Acoustics | EMS-41
Judge’s comments
Following on from the success of the EMS-51, EM Acoustics have downsized with the EMS-41. This speaker features a compact design with a 4” driver and coaxial compression driver, producing similar output to the larger EMS-51, but at half the size, and below half the weight. This compact unit is ideal for placing discretely in positions where visual impact needs to be minimal, and the multiple connection options to the rear of the unit means it will integrate efficiently with existing infrastructure.

ABTT Lighting Product of the Year 2018 - Martin | Mac Encore Wash
Judge’s comments
A suitable, and long overdue, alternative to a discontinued tungsten moving head favorite, has been delivered with the Martin Mac Encore Wash. Both cool and warm output versions of the unit come complete with CMY color mixing and fixed color wheels, beam shaping and effects. These features combine with the zoom functions and a soft Fresnel lens, to create an alternative to the discontinued TW1, which the industry has been patiently awaiting.

Matt Wiseman of MDG UK with ABTT 2018 Engineering Product of the Year Round Floor PocketABTT Engineering Product of the Year 2018 - MDG | Round Floor Pocket
Judge’s comments
Solving the problem of how to get your low fog into those hard to reach places, the MDG DMX controlled floor pocket works as a reversed trap, lifting a lid to allow ducted haze onto the stage. Suitable for integration into large touring stages, or those shows with longer runs that can accommodate routes sub-stage for haze ducting, the steel lid means that it is still suitable to stand on safely, and the DMX control easily integrates into haze cues.

ABTT Widget of the Year 2018 - Flints | 6-in-1 Stapler & 3-in-1 Stapler
Judge’s comments
The coveted widget award this year goes to another truly useful product. Being able to insert a multiple of different staples, nails or tacks into the 6-in-1 Heavy Stapler from Flints, means that even if you have run out of staples you won’t need to look too far to find something in the stores to successfully fill the stapler and complete the task in hand. An attached handy belt clip means you can keep this exceptional tool on your person at all times. Furthermore, Flints 3-in-1 Stapler offers both gun and paper stapling, an adjustment for staple depth means a fixed height staple head can be installed, making removal of the staples easier for quick get outs.

ABTT Theatre Show 2018 Stand of the Year - Philips Lighting
Judge’s comments
Stand of the Year is awarded to a manufacturer who created a backstage environment that reflects the industry we work in while show casing their latest products. Philips Lighting have included the backs of flats, spike marks, and a general back stage feel to make the working technician feel at home and at ease. All that was missing was the black out!

Further information from ABTT: www.abtt.org.uk