LAUNCH OF NEW PROFESSIONAL RENTAL COMPANY A refreshing move by the Gearhouse SA Group is the launch of its latest company, Gearhouse Splitbeam at the beginning of February 2010. This joint venture between theatre services supplier, Splitbeam and the well-known, live events technical supplier, Gearhouse SA, is tipped to answer the needs of theatre productions countrywide. Whilst the entire South African Live Event industry seems to be focused exclusively on soccer or soccer-related events - it is typical of the forward-looking Gearhouse Group to continue to develop alternative projects alongside its 2010 game-plan. For at least a decade, theatre productions have steadily grown larger and more technologically advanced, while the gap between traditional theatre lighting and the moving light rigs now required – has grown exponentially. Now there is a rental company to meet that need! Business Development Manager for the new company, Alistair Kilbee, believes that the collaboration between the two companies will fill a gap in the area of theatre lighting supply in South Africa. He believes that rental companies have, until now, stocked the “wrong type of equipment at the wrong price” for theatre productions. Gearhouse Splitbeam will not only manage the technical production services requirements but will have the added benefit of a theatre-based and priced rental stockholding, serviced and maintained by the Splitbeam staff. Alistair joins the Gearhouse Group at their Bezuidenhout Valley premises from 1st February 2010. He has been managing Splitbeam for a number of years already, initially servicing only lighting design and staffing requirements and later managing full production aspects; including the coordination of Sound, Lighting, Rigging and Set companies for productions. His 18 years of theatre industry experience has proved invaluable in putting together the stockholding and expertise required for this very niche market. Alistair’s career began at Richard Loring’s Sound Stage in 1992 where he learned from some of South Africa’s top theatre people, like Dennis Hutchinson, Simon James and Stan Knight among others. His experience includes Technical Direction on theatrical hits like Fame – The Musical, The Merry Widow, Chicago, Rent, We Will Rock You, Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical and Cats ,working extensively in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, UAE and Australia.” “Apart from the state-of-the-art, moving light component, theatre shows have always, and will always, require a core backbone of profiles, top hats, half hats, scrollers, gobo rotators, fresnels, zip strips and cyc floods,” he says. “We will start by supplying lighting and staff for theatre productions and long term rentals. Our initial focus is on ensuring that the quality of service and equipment is at the highest possible level with the longer term goal of expanding our stockholding to include rigging, sound and audiovisual elements.” Gearhouse South Africa, Managing Directors Ofer Lapid and Nasser Abbas are equally enthusiastic about the venture. “This has been a long term dream of ours. Finally we will be able to supply theatre productions with exactly what they need and at a very competitive price.” explains Ofer “This is an area that we have not been able to fully explore to date, but now that we have the correct vehicle to take us forward – I simply cannot wait.”


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