Drama at your fingertips
The media production company Digital Theatre was founded in 2009 by stage and TV director Robert Delamere, now its CEO, and Tom Shaw to produce theatrical performances in high definition via its website. As it launches a new subscription platform, Robert Delamere describes the enterprise’s development so far
When Digital Theatre was founded we started out with a very simply idea - we wanted to make the performing arts accessible to all.
Image: Leanne Rowe in the Frantic Assembly production of Abi Morgan’s Lovesong for the Lyric, Hammersmith
We sensed that the power of digital could be harnessed to great artistic, cultural and ultimately social effect. We looked at how theatre and the performing arts where served by the internet and how, at the time, digital technology and distribution hadn’t yet really impacted the wider arts industry.
It’s been an incredible journey since the launch of the consumer service www.digitaltheatre.com and our sister education service www.digitaltheatreplus.com. Since then we’ve worked with some of the world’s great artists, writers, composers and directors and seen our audience grow and expand across more than 65 countries around the world.
At Digital Theatre we believe that experiencing and having access to the arts is a vital part of what it means to be human. We also knew that we wanted that access to be available irrespective of social, economic or geographic circumstances. That was the simple inspiration behind the launch of the world’s first, online, performing arts platform.
Digital Theatre now regularly collaborates with world-class producing houses include the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court and the Almeida, to capture their shows and stream them to the consumer in broadcast quality - up close and personal, for a best-seat-in-the-house viewing experience. By doing so we’re broadening access to these phenomenal productions, and preserving their impact for years to come.
Most importantly we work as curators, working alongside the artists, actors, directors and writers involved. This collaboration ensures that the live capture of each performance follows the same values and intentions that were behind the original production, so that the live creation and the filmed digital capture work in harmony with each other.
This month, Digital Theatre announced the launch of an online subscription platform that brings the best of live theatre, ballet, opera and classical concerts, to your own screen. Each performances can be streamed anytime, anywhere, to any device. For £9.99 per month, subscribers get unlimited access to all Digital Theatre’s current and future productions. For non-subscribers, each production is available to rent online for 48 hours, at a price of £7.99.
Subscribers will have access to over 65 productions, the majority of which are exclusive to DT, including: Simon Russell Beale in The Tempest, Paapa Essiedu in Hamlet and Antony Sher in King Lear, all from the Royal Shakespeare Company; Zoë Wanamaker and David Suchet in All My Sons; Richard Armitage in The Crucible; David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing; operas and ballets from the Royal Opera House and the English National Ballet; and concerts conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and starring the London Symphony Orchestra.
This means, quite simply, that you can now experience Live Theatre Anytime, Anywhere.
We have an exciting year ahead with lots of new content and partnerships aimed at broadening our reach and the quality of the work we present.
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