Association of British Theatre Technicians

The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) is a British charitable organisation representing technical staff working within theatre. It was founded in 1961 by group of theatre producers, technicians and architects. [1] The ABTT has played a role in ensuring that regulations are suitably drafted and enforced, publishing a number of recommended Codes of Practice for the theatrical industry and theatrical technicians. [2][3]

Association of British Theatre Technicians
Legal statusCharitable Organisation
PurposeTo raise technical standards in the theatre
HeadquartersLondon, EC1
United Kingdom
From the ABTT Theatre Show, conferences, training and membership subscriptions

The ABTT’s central aim is to "set out the physical standards for building and their equipment that are necessary to enable to good management of the premises and to provide the safety of the occupants in premises used for entertainment”.[4] The ABTT is a Charitable Organization under English law,[5] and operates throughout England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The ABTT also has a number of volunteer technical committees which liaise with government and other organisations.[6]


The ABTT employs three members of staff. The ABTT is governed by Memorandum and Articles of Association and is registered as a charitable organisation with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. It has 11 trustees who are appointed due to their expertise in areas including theatre and stage management, architecture, technical theatre, planning law and the performing arts. The Chairman of the Trust is Louise Jeffreys.[7]

The ABTT’s funding is derived from its memberships, donations given by supporters and proceeds from training. The principal source of income is from events including the ABTT Theatre Show which is held annually.[8][9][10]


The ABTT was established by in 1961 with a central focus of ensuring "the advancement of …the technical subjects connected with theatre and theatrical presentation, fostering knowledge and the appreciation of the art of technical theatre". [11] [12]

The ABTT offers guidance and advice through their Codes of Practice relating to planning, health and safety, [13] architecture regeneration and development, and design which concern theatres and places of entertainment. The ABTT's remit covers a large range of buildings which include both old and new theatres either used, disused or in other uses. Notably, it also includes buildings or structures that have been temporarily converted into theatrical spaces.[14] [15]


The ABTT has a number of resources that contribute towards the promotion of health and safety within theatres and their technical equipment:

  • Codes of Practice: The ABTT joined with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contribute guidance on best practice within a variety of technical theatre fields.[16]
  • Technical Standard for Places of Entertainment – The ABTT is a contributor for this publication which was produced to offer advice of safe standards and good practice for all types of entertainment premises.[citation needed]
  • Committees - The Trust maintains a number of committees that collaborate with organisations to further research technical and historical issues. [19] [20]


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  8. ^ "21st Century Theatres - The ABTT Theatre Show: a place for management and technicians". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  9. ^ "ABTT Theatre Show 2004". Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  10. ^ "July 2016 - ABTT Theatre Show 2016 Highly Commended Award for Tiger Lifting Chain Block System - Rope Assemblies". 23 June 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
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