Looking forward to the 42nd Show!
The 41st edition of the ABTT Theatre Show took place last June at Alexandra Palace. Those who attended will have noticed a few changes. As a result of the developments in 2019, the interest shown in the 2020 show was more than we have seen in recent years. The exhibition floor was fully booked for June and we were ‘ready to go’.
… and then everything changed. I think everybody knows why, so there is not a lot to say.
The shutdown is unprecedented as will be the process of rebuilding the industry. One of the defining values of our industry is the ‘can do’ attitude that always delivers the show. This characteristic is the key to rebuilding a future for everyone.
Looking back to January 26th this year, we started to work on the main theme of the ABTT Theatre Show for June 2020. It was Re: as in review, rethink and reimagine. The key driver was to address our climate issues with genuine action. Read about it on the ABTT Theatre Show website here.
Little did we know that two months later the brakes would be well and truly applied and that the concept of Re: would climb to the top of everybody’s agenda – but for a totally different reason. The shutdown of the entertainment industry has forced us all to consider how we are going cope now and how we will survive these desperate times to enable us to rebuild when we eventually reopen.
Whilst the 42nd outing of The ABTT Theatre Show at Alexandra Palace has now been postponed to June 2021, plans are underway for constant and ongoing behind the scenes support with the hope of a collaborative coming together when the time is right. We know we are not alone and the ABTT will work tirelessly to unite our entire technical community with as many live performance disciplines as possible to consider how to rebuild, how best to create new opportunities and how to play our part in getting theatre back on its feet.
The challenge will be to think differently. Thousands of committed and talented people across the full spectrum of the industry are suffering and will be looking to survive through the shutdown and sadly, it will be a lot harder to turn the tap back on than it was to turn it off. It will take time, care, collaboration, ingenuity, persistence, risk taking, conviction and much more to rebuild the live performance industry. It’s not just about earning a living. Human dignity and mental health will feature among a long list of consequences of the current crisis.
Here at the ABTT we are very committed to doing what we can. There will be online support and updates throughout the coming months in the run up to the 42nd ABTT Theatre Show in June 2021 at Alexandra Palace.
If you need help or advice or have any thoughts or ideas as contributors to the industry’s recovery, please get in touch so that we can stand as one to share the opportunities across our community and offer hope to those who need it. Now is the time to think about how we can pull together and help each other so please feed your thoughts into us for inclusion by either calling me on 020 7993 4165 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, let’s be thankful for what we have and bless those who are less fortunate than us. Stay safe, stay well and let’s look forward to rebuilding together.
With much hope for a brighter future,
The ABTT is the membership organisation upholding standards in technical excellence and safety for theatre and live performance. It seeks to continuously advance technical expertise in theatre and live performance and work with its membership to develop and promote best practice in all relevant crafts and disciplines.
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Over recent years, the show poster has been designed by Tim Davies, a close friend of the late Petrus Bertschinger – a former ABTT Committee Member. Tim and Petrus worked together at The Unicorn Theatre in the early 90’s.