PLASA Awards for Innovation - our Judges for 2016

PLASA Awards for Innovation - our Judges for 2016

James Eade

Electrical Systems Consultant
James Eade is a Chartered Engineer with a 25-year career in entertainment technology and events, in areas as diverse as theatre, corporate, touring and TV as well as permanent installation work, with electrical engineering being a particular specialism. He previously worked for WWG, the design and product development company founded by Peter Wynne Willson and Tony Gottelier, and now runs his own consultancy offering expertise in temporary power solutions for the events industry. He has chaired the PLASA Awards for Innovation judging panel for most of its existence, and has long been a contributor to LSi magazine, most recently with his column on electrical safety, The Conductor.

Nick Read

Project Manager, Howard Eaton Lighting Ltd
Nick began working in theatre 28 years ago and gained full electrical qualifications at Paddington College. He has worked as a freelance LD, re-lighter and production manager touring plays, musicals, operas and events across Europe; he has worked with Chichester Festival Theatre, National Theatre, ENO, ROH and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He project managed the technical infrastructure installation of Wexford Opera house, then went on to revitalise the Hire department of Northern Light before joining GDS as they developed their new technology and special projects division.

Today Nick project manages many special effects and bespoke lighting solutions for Howard Eaton Lighting for a diverse range of clients that include fine artists, sculptures, bands, West End shows and world tours.

Flip Tanner

Senior Consultant, Fisher Dachs Associates
Flip joined FDA to head up its new UK Office in 2011, after nearly 20 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). His current projects include the Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera in Hong Kong and an expansion and renovation of the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Flip has made a personal study of the history of the proscenium and the relationship to the Elizabethan stage. His published works explore the social and creative environments that gave rise to each of these forms. Flip has also written papers on the evolution of the RSC’s projects and is a contributor to Theatre Buildings: A Design Guide.

During his time at the RSC, Flip served as a stage manager, technical director and videographer, and was the RSC's project coordinator for its transformation project.

Chris Henry

Freelance event production technician
Recently returned from Rio, where she was followspot coordinator for the Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, lighting practitioner Chris Henry works in live events. Chris coordinated spots for Eurovision 2015, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Chris has extensive experience of major productions across the world, and is a regular face on the crew of big live televised events such as the BRIT Awards and the MTV EMAs. She is also a former Deputy Editor of LSi magazine.

Ben M Rogers

Freelance Lighting Designer
Creative junkie, technical geek and wearer of many hats, Ben has an eclectic career as a visual designer, technical director and consultant working internationally on theatrical shows, concerts, events, theme parks and venues.

Tapio Ilomaki

Theatre consultant, Akukon, Finland
Tapio completed his MA thesis in the Theatre Academy of Finland as a light and sound designer. He has worked in major concert halls, operas and theatres in Finland as a light and sound designer, as well as many headline music tours from rock to opera. Today he specialises in designing new performance spaces and renovations and has been involved in many projects in Finland in recent years, as well as across Scandinavia and Middle East. His company, Akukon, provides theatre design services including all areas in theatre technical systems, acoustics and functionality of the building.

Stephanie Baldwin

Technical Project Manager, Royal Albert Hall
Steph has been a part of the Royal Albert Hall technical team for the past seven years, starting off as Maintenance Technician before moving onto a Technical Manager role. She has since undertaken the position of Technical Project Manager, overseeing the ongoing replacement of equipment and upgrades to technical systems and infrastructure.

Jon Burton

Sound Engineer
Jon Burton has been involved in sound all his working life, as a live engineer for acts like The Prodigy, Stereophonics and James. He is also a partner in a studio complex in Sheffield, The Laundry Rooms. Jon also teaches and contributes to Soulsound online tutorials.
Simon Allen

Sound Engineer
Simon Allen is an internationally recognised freelance enginee/producer and pro audio professional with over a decade of experience. Working mostly in music, his reputation as a FOH and studio mix engineer continues to reach new heights.
Matt Drury

Head of Lighting, National Theatre
Matt is currently Head of Lighting at the National Theatre, providing strategic leadership of the department, in Lighting Operations, Control and Resources for productions in the Olivier, Dorfman and Lyttelton Theatres, as well as West End and transfers. Matt trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, after 2 summers at the National Youth Theatre of GB. On graduating Matt spent a year at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham before becoming Chief Electrician at the Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead. Matt enjoyed several years as a freelance Production Electrician and Lighting Designer, for numerous theatre tours and corporate events, until he became involved in training, as a Lighting Tutor at LAMDA. Following this he became Head of Lighting & Sound at RADA and then Technical Director for LAMDA. Prior to the NT, Matt was Head of Lighting at the Royal Court Theatre for 5 years.
Ed Manwaring

Ed Manwaring is a freelance sound, lighting and video integrator for 22 years and has been part of the industry since 1982. As a freelancer Ed has had vast experience of a large spectrum of products throughout the live entertainment technology. He has a keen interest in new and innovative products and is a valued judge for PLASA Awards for Innovation.


Sunday 16 September
10am - 6pm
Monday 17 September
10am - late
Tuesday 18 September
10am - 4pm