Light Console

Theatre Polski, Warsaw


LocationTheatre Polski, Warsaw, Poland
Number of Dimmers145
Configuration2-manual, curved stop keys

The console was reported as ‘recently removed’ in 1983 (Letters, Sightline, 17/2 (Autumn 1983), London: ABTT, p.116). The letter contains the following description from ELEKTRIM, the Polish Foreign Trade Company:

“The lights in – the auditorium flick out and the floodlights bathe the curtain in brilliance. The curtain is going up and the show begins. The eyes of the audience focus on the actors, their mimicry, gestures, and on the set decorations... But no one is aware of one invisible actor who also has a share in the show. High up in his cabin the light operator manipulates a complicated control desk. Before his eyes is a graphic schedule of light control, like a music score. His fingers touch a colourful mosaic of control keys, his feet work on the pedals. Lights sweep over the whole stage, its fragments, figures and faces.”

“We were there still to see the organ shaped control desk designed by Sir Frederick Bentham at work. What that Briton designed for the theatre in the 1950’s was then a very sophisticated and neat looking machinery with a mechanical memory.”

“The next time we came there we saw the “organ” gone, and a modern looking console in its place.”

The console was seen at an exhibition in Krakov in February 2023, labelled as belonging to the Theatre Museum at the Grand Theatre - National Opera in Warsaw.


Bentham, Fred, Sixty Years of Light Work, Isleworth, UK: Strand Lighting Ltd., p170.

Letters, Sightline, 17/2 (Autumn 1983), London: ABTT, p.116.

Photo of a Light Console, on display as part of an exhibition
The Theatre Polski Light Console, on display in Krakow, Poland at the exhibition 'Maszyneria teatru' (Muzeum Krakowa Instytucja Kultury Miasta Krakowa, October 27th, 2022 to June 11th 2023). Photograph by Randell Greenlee, with permission.