White Light supplies 36 fixtures for LD Bruno Poet to debut on The Witches at the Olivier.

The National Theatre has extended its long relationship with GLP fixtures by becoming the first theatre in the world to take delivery of the manufacturer’s new impression X5 Bar 1000. This has been added to the rig in the Olivier Theatre in time for the staging of The Witches – a musical version of the timeless Roald Dahl tale – which runs until 27 January 2024.

The X5 Bar 1000 is a linear LED batten with 18 powerful 40W RGBL LEDs, a wide zoom range and the new GLP iQ.Gamut colour calibration algorithm, which creates perfect white spectrums with excellent colour rendering.

The new squared lens design ensures maximum lumen efficiency and gives an unprecedented curtain of light at its narrowest angle of just 3.5°, while delivering smooth and homogenous washes all the way out to its widest 60° wash.

These were among the features that caught the eye of Paul Hornsby, lighting resources manager at the National Theatre, which leads the field when it comes to new technology adoption. In fact, the venue had also been the first theatre in the world to order GLP’s JDC1 hybrid strobe when it was launched.

He had first witnessed the IP versions of the impression X5 IP Bar 1000 at the 2023 Prolight + Sound Show in Frankfurt before the non-IP version was released several months later. A demonstration was set up at the National Theatre, with evaluating team impressed by the superior brightness and colour calibration when compared with their existing impression X4 Bar 20s.

The order for 36 units was consequently placed with reseller White Light. Of the acquisition, Paul Hornsby states: “We’ve had a great relationship with GLP since purchasing our first X4 Bar 20 units back in 2017. Those units have proved ever-popular, and we rarely see them back in the workshop due to production demands.

After a conversation with [GLP UK head] Simon Barrett in the latter half of 2021 – when he mentioned the forthcoming impression X5 range and a new impression X5 Bar – we knew this was going to be the solution for us in terms of lighting resource between the three auditoriums at the National Theatre. Not only would it push us further into developing technologies, it would enable us to complete our Olivier rig upgrade to LED.

Two years on, and we are so happy to be the first [customer] in the world to receive the new X5 Bar 1000 units.”

All 36 units are currently making their debut on the production of The Witches, with lighting by Bruno Poet, after which they will continue to be used on every Olivier production as part of the basic rig package. Hornsby thanks the team at GLP UK for demoing the impression X5s, “which immediately won over our lighting department.” He also credits Ally DeCourcy at White Light for supplying the units and working with GLP to ensure the Theatre had them in time for the fit-up of The Witches.

GLP worked hard to develop the firmware in time to allow direct control of the Lime channel in the units. “This was in response to a massive request from our LDs and lighting control team here at the NT,” Hornsby concludes.

Photo credit: © Mark Brenner


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