A look at Digital Theatre’s iOS app


I love a good theatrical experience and in this month I’ve had my mind blown by Fueza Bruta and the Master and Margarita (both of which are amazing artistically and technically and come highly recommended). But with so many amazing productions it can be hard to keep up – or find time to see them all. Digital Theatre realise this and have resolved to bring the best of British Theatre straight to your iPad.

Filming theatre is a tricky business – I’ve seen some amazing stage shows look flat and lifeless on screen. It’s why something magical like improv is hard to capture on TV. Digital theatre however “do it right” and manage to capture live performance authentically onscreen in high definition from multiple camera angles.

The iPad app is a great and productions look amazing. You can see trailers and all sorts of additional information about the shows on offer. You can push content to a big screen via AirPlay – and the app is also available on certain Samsung SmartTVs.The Digital Theatre iPad app also gives access to The Journal, a daily arts blog with content sourced from artists and practitioners around the world.

One minor frustration is the inability to purchase things in the app. You can view pre-purchased downloads and rentals easily but if you press the BUY button you are directed to the website to load up your cart from there. I’m guessing this is to circumvent Apple’s in-app purchasing charges – but who knows. It certainly was a mild head-scratcher – but is the only quibble.

The catalogue is limited at present – what is there is high quality and from a reasonably broad enough pool to please most people including four critically acclaimed productions from Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2010 season, part of Digital Theatre Collections launched in October 2012. I hope the platform will grow in time and hopefully embrace some more experimental works as it develops.

“We developed our iPad app as a direct response to feedback from our audience and we’re delighted to bring Digital Theatre productions to a device with the convenience and ubiquity of the iPad. Our apps for iPad and Samsung Smart TV form the start of a multi-platform strategy that will allow audiences to enjoy Digital Theatre productions where and when they are.”
Digital Theatre Co-Founder and CEO Robert Delamere

The Digital Theatre app is available now in the Apple App Store as a free download and downloadable shows are £8-10 and less to rent.