The National Theatre on London’s South Bank has invested heavily, for the second
time, in GLP’s award-winning impression X4 Bar 20’s.
Lighting resources manager, Paul Hornsby, has added to the initial tranche of 18 –
which he purchased as soon as they first became available – with a further 20, to
meet increasing demand. Both batches were supplied by GLP dealer, White Light.
Hornsby explains that they have a substantial rig at the National Theatre, and so,
together with his onsite team, he evaluates and discusses what needs replacing and
upgrading – depending on both lighting designers’ requests and advances in
technology on a yearly basis.
He confirmed, “The initial GLP purchase was the result of a combination of lighting
designer referrals along with our own need to replace our ageing DLC fixtures.’ As
soon as the first 18 fixtures arrived, they were requisitioned for productions of Angels
in America and Salome.
Paul Hornsby’s introduction to the X4 Bars had been on GLP’s stand at last year’s
PLASA Show in London. “I was extremely impressed and had never seen a unit like
them — they seemed to have a lot of features. I had also seen them in use on other
shows and heard nothing but praise from lighting designers who were quick to shout
about their capabilities,’ he states.
Both the X4 Bar 20 and smaller X4 Bar 10 are high-performance battens that
incorporate tightly-packed 15 Watt RGBW LEDs to produce a full line of light. High-
quality optics ensure a smooth, homogenised output across the batten through a
broad pallet of pastel and saturated colours, complemented by exceptional dimming.
DMX control offers full pixel mapping capabilities, while the impressive zoom range,
from 7° to 50°, ensures effects from a narrow-angle light curtain to a wide angle
LDs were quick to recognise this unique feature-set, and due to the high demand for
the X4 Bar 20’s, it was always in Hornsby’s thinking to invest in a second tranche. “We
were immediately aware of how sought-after these fixtures are and the kind of impact
they would make on all our shows at the National Theatre.’ The latest arrivals have
gone straight onto Common and NT Connections, while 24 of the X4 Bars will be used
in the upcoming production of Follies.
Part of a cutting-edge resource of fixtures at The National Theatre, they can easily be
installed in any of the theatre spaces within the complex, notably the Olivier and the
Lyttelton, to provide LDs with greater flexibility.
The National Theatre has invariably turned to White Light to meet its requests over
the years, with Paul Hornsby stating, “We are aware they can always offer us the very
latest fixtures available on the market — such as the X4 Bars.’ Reviewing the merits
of the theatre’s latest lighting acquisition, he remains unequivocal: “These bars offer
low power, high output, flexibility and great colouring — essentially everything you
want from a lighting fixture.’
Currently in use on four shows, with Follies to come, the National Theatre’s lighting
supremo sees the demand for the battens only increasing. “I know they are going to
be snapped up for any future show we have in any of the spaces here,’ he