Old and new flying at the National- part 2, the new

The new system control desk is a lot more intuitive than the old and uses 2D & 3D graphics to great effect. It has two physical controllers but virtually there are six and a paging arrangement means that the flyman can quickly take control of any or all playback cues in order to react to subtle timing variations in a performance. The large bar-like device on the front left edge is a dead man’s handle arrangement where removal of rotational pressure will cause a smooth cessation of all movement. (The red emergency stop button does what it says on the tin).

The ability to profile movement speed makes the Leeds Grand system look soulless and sterile when doing flying cues, especially the house tabs.

Meanwhile, up on the grid, something that looks somewhat like a floor polisher is able to be positioned pretty much anywhere. Large yellow spreader plates are used where the lifting weight is going to be over the spot grid limit. The placement of the units was demonstrated for us and the biggest nuisance is in the tidying up of the excess cable from the DC controllers.