XL Video Supplies Man and Superman

by Naomi Crews
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‘Man and Superman’ at the National Theatre (c) Johan PerssonMan and Superman at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre uses more than 1800 modules of XL Video’s Barco MiTrix LED to form digital scenery. 

XL Video Supplies ‘Man and Superman’ at the National Theatre

Continuing their work on a number of recent high profile productions at the National Theatre London, UK, XL Video is pleased to supply digital LED scenery for ‘Man and Superman’ at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre.

The highly-acclaimed production of George Bernard Shaw’s play, which stars BAFTA award-winner Ralph Fiennes in the lead role of Jack Tanner, is directed by Simon Godwin, with a video design by Luke Halls.

The production uses over 1800 modules of XL Video’s Barco MiTrix LED to form digital scenery - upstage and for both side walls of the set.

The semi-transparent MiTrix LED is masked with a linear plastic which diffuses the light and enables the screens to be used for a diverse range of scenic elements throughout the show – including solid colours for interior walls, to reflect the colours of heaven and hell and to create blue skies and natural landscapes for the exterior scenes.

The National Theatre’s Video Supervisor, Matthew Morgans, worked with XL Video’s Head of UK Theatre, Ed Cooper, and XL’s LED specialists in Belgium to source custom metalwork that allows three door openings within the set.

The framework co-exists with XL Video’s MiTrix touring frames, allowing for easier rigging and a rigid screen.

Cooper comments: “Luke Halls’ video design for this production called for a versatile scenic design. Using the MiTrix as both a video and a cleverly masked light-source, it is an excellent way of achieving a range of different vistas throughout the play without the added complexity of having to change backdrops.

“It allows the action to seamlessly flow from scene to scene without the need for additional transitions which is important for any production.”

XL Video’s crew of Graham Vinall and Colin Mudd worked closely with the National’s own in-house video team including Ethan Forde, Dom Berditch, Guy Spedding and Lui Faulkner. This collaboration, throughout the prep and first build periods, ensured that the tight schedule was met and the team were comfortable looking after the screen long term in rep.