AVW 25th Anniversary

AVW Controls started as a sole trader business in November 1996 and was incorporated in 1998 so we have now reached 25 years in the stage engineering business. A lot has happened in that time, we have worked on projects, shows and venues all over the world. We have made friends all over the world and we are very proud of the contribution that we have made to the art of stage automation.

Our mission was to provide affordable stage automation to venues and shows and we believe that we have delivered on that mission and will continue to do so. First with Impressario and more latterly with QAxis we have strived to provide stage automation control systems that get the job done safely, reliably, and affordably.

It’s been a blast and we hope to be around for a while longer yet!

West End projects 2021

At last the West End is picking up again and AVW are busy building QAxis stage automation systems for new shows for 2021 as well as resurrecting shows that have been closed since March 2020. Recently we have supplied a QAxis system for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that has just opened at the London Palladium after waiting for a year from its intended opening date. This week we are loading in a QAxis stage automation sytem for Jersey Boys at the recently refurbished Trafalgar Theatre.

Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre
Jersey Boys at the Trafalgar Theatre

Later this year we will be supplying more QAxis systems for Get Up Stand Up the new Bob Marley inspired musical at the Lyric Theatre and for The Drifters Girl at the Garrick Theatre. We are also delighted that &Juliet will be returning to the Shaftesbury Theatre and Only Fools and Horses will be returning to the Haymarket. In addition Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will be returning to The Apollo with an older Impressario system. This will take the AVW tally of stage automation systems in the West End to a creditable seven systems.

The Wheel

AVW are excited to be providing the revolve control system for a new BBC television show called ‘The Wheel’.

Hosted by the Bafta award-winning Michael McIntyre, each episode sees a mixture of great contestants, celebrity guests and laugh out loud moments as The Wheel brings a brand new spin to Saturday nights on BBC One.

Working with Steel The Scene; AVW designed and manufactured a control system to power a three and a half ton 14 meter diameter ring revolve. The revolve control system accepts position, speed, acceleration and deceleration OSC commands from the Kinetic Pixel show control system and also returns real-time position and speed information for the syncronisation of graphics to the revolve as it spins.

The control system is based around our established QAxis control system and will form the basis of an innovative new dedicated revolve control system called Revolver.

The Wheel Desktop


QAxis – Extra features

AVW have been busy adding lots of useful new features to our stage automation software QAxis. The list of new features include:

The QAxis desktop with lots of new features.
  • Fast (FINS) Ethernet communications added.
  • DMX over sACN output for LX integration
  • PosiStageNet output for AV integration.
  • OSC input for external triggering of cues.
  • MTC input for timecode sync to external systems.
  • Named Presets (deads/trims) added.
  • Time/distance display added to complete each move.
  • Weight readout added.
  • Improved speed calculator function.
  • Improved setting up page.
  • Improved High and Low soft limits reporting.
  • Improved Help including links to ‘How to’ YouTube videos.
  • Show Log added that logs user input and system error codes.
  • Running show clock.
  • Maximum speed indicator for when Master/group speed sliders have altered the programmed speed
  • Loop function added.

We look forward to working with you again soon!

Covid-19 – Update 03/05/20

AVW have now completed all outstanding projects, however future projects have been either postponed or cancelled so we have made the decision to furlough our workshop staff and effectively cease trading until the end of June

When the Government restrictions are lifted we will be ready, (very) willing and able to take on your stage automation projects once more. So until then, stay safe and see you on the other side!

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

In response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, AVW Controls Ltd would like to provide an update on the measures we have adopted to minimise the impact on our business and that of our customers.

Along with following UK government and NHS advice on advising our staff about hand washing and other precautions, we have a review every day to assess developments in the UK situation.

At this time, in-line with UK government advice, workshop business continues as normal but we will not be attending any sites for the foreseeable future. If or when advice from government changes, we will of course update our policies and procedures so that customers and staff are not placed in harm’s way.

WhatsOnStage Awards 2020

The winners of the 20th WhatsOnStage Awards have been revealed and AVW are delighted that the new musical & Juliet, which features the songs of music maker legend Max Martin, won the most awards on the night – six – including one for Best Actress in a Musical for star Miriam-Teak Lee.

Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation of the seminal novel Life of Pi, which premiered at Sheffield Theatres last year, won the Best New Play award: audiences in London will be treated to the piece when it transfers to the West End in the summer.

Both of these shows had the AVW QAxis automation system as did Best New Musical runner up Only Fools and Horses the Musical.

For more infomation about the WhatsOnStage Awards 2020 click here.

For more infomation about QAxis click here!

YouTube update

Our YouTube page has had a long overdue update where we have added ten new videos showcasing some of the projects that we have been involved with over the last couple of years.

Click here to take a peek!

Merry Christmas from AVW!

Ho Ho Ho!

AVW were very pleased to be able to provide Potters Resort in Great Yarmouth a power flying control system for their spectacular Christmas show. Working with our friends at Weldfab Stage Engineering AVW designed and manufactured a QAxis control system to lift and track Santa’s sleigh. As you can see in the photo Santa kindly lent a hand to the testing and programming of the sequence.

Life of Pi

AVW were proud to be a part of the technical team that staged Life of Pi at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield this year. AVW used their QAxis control system to control a motorised revolve and a hydraulic lift that brings the boat out of the sea as the plot alternates between the ocean and the hospital. The QAxis system also passed positional information to the AV projection system that produced a stunning visual experience that left the audience gasping!

Life of Pi
Life of Pi

The reviews have been more or less five star and we really hope that this show gets a well deserved West End transfer!