Philips Entertainment Fits the Bill for Atterbury Theatre

14 June 2011,

Will it work or won't it? The proof is "bums on seats" and so far the brand new Atterbury Theatre at the striking Lynnwood Bridge, situated in the east of Pretoria, is playing to sold out houses. It was a privilege for DWR Distribution to work alongside Pieter-Jan Kapp, affectionately known as "Kappie", to supply the lighting equipment and be part of this 400-seater West-End styled theatre.

From day one, 19th June, the theatre and shopping complex was welcomed with enthusiasm and interest. Atterbury Theatre, which embraces culture with the enhancement of cutting-edge technology, opened with the South African musical "Stuur Groete", created from songs composed by Chris Torr and songs by Laurika Rauch. The show was lit by the talented Mannie Manim.

Kappie was appointed Theatre Consultant for the new Atterbury Theatre. His experience in huge festivals, continual work with musician Laurika Rauch and most importantly his passion for lighting and the arts made the developers of Lynnwood Bridge comfortable that he was the man for this life-size task. Kappie won't have a program to remind him of an opening night, instead he'll have a beautiful building, a monument of a job well done.

His involvement in the project started 18 months ago when receiving a phone call from musician and producer, Matthys Maree. "He told me that advice was needed for a new theatre being built," explained Kappie. "I walked into the boardroom filled with engineers, quantity surveyors, builders and interior design people. They had already received a reference from Laurika Rauch and were looking for an independent person to assist them. They asked questions. Essentially the theatre was designed to be more of a music conservatorium, so he had his work cut out to change it into a theatre." Two hours later, they told Kappie the job was his.

"I was more involved than I had anticipated," said Kappie. "The developers went to see a West End Theatre and there were lots of things they, being more accustomed to putting up shopping malls, were not familiar with." These were little traditions such as having the dressing rooms in the right place, wheel chair accessibility for performers,having a catwalk in the ceiling and how the aircon should flow in the venue to prevent drafts! "It's amazing, you don't realize how much you learn over the years," said Kappie. "

Kappie called DWR Distribution to find out more about lighting gear. On that day, the phone was answered by Nicolet Britz, who had worked with him on regular occasions on festivals a few years before, so it was a fantastic reunion.... this industry really is small! A large file was sent to Kappie with product information and references and he also experienced a hands on demonstrations at DWR to see the various desks available, luminaires and equipment that could accommodate his budgetary figures.

DWR Distribution were thrilled to be awarded the tender to supply the theatre. It was a team effort, but thank you to Dan Riley, Nick Britz and Easy Moeketsie who headed installation from start to finish.

Opening night was great, with a lot of mixed emotions. "When you've been so closely involved, you know all the great things as well as the not so great," said Kappie. "The most difficult thing to accept is that you can't make everyone happy and one has to distance yourself." The response to the theatre, which looks warm yet stately elegant, has been amazing. Well done to all!

Kappie was delighted to be part of such an amazing group of people including Atterbury Property Development, DC Electrical, Studio 3 Architects, Dirk and Helen Henzen, the QSs and the man who wanted a theatre, Louis van der Walt, who all supported his ideas and decisions in every way. "Every success I've had has a great deal to do with the people around me. You need to have personal confidence and that." He adds, "The success of DWR Distribution is the people. Everyone knows the gear we have is quality, but I had a gut feel about who I wanted to use for this project."

Philips Entertainment product which forms part of the Equipment List: