Respondent or information from other source:
Aleks Sierz, co-editor of TheatreVOICE with founding editor Dominic Cavendish
Aims, policies, purpose/impetus for project:
TheatreVOICE is an audio website which offers free audio content about British theatre, and features journalists from across the UK press and practitioners from across the theatre industry. It was set up in 2003 to see if theatre could be talked about in a new way: allowing critics to be more expansive than the usual space constraints of the print media allowed; to enable actors, writers, directors and designers to be heard talking in detail and at length about their work; and to help members of the public interact more directly with theatre-makers and commentators.
Dates: Began in April 2003 and ongoing.
Key individuals and roles involved
Two editors, Aleks Sierz and Dominic Cavendish, plus a group of regularly contributing critics/interviewers:
Kate Bassett is theatre critic of Independent on Sunday
David Benedict is London theatre critic for Variety
Dominic Cavendish is deputy theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph
Jane Edwardes is theatre editor, Time Out London
Philip Fisher is a freelance journalist and critic
Heather Neill is a freelance journalist and critic
Mark Shenton is theatre critic for the Sunday Express; and blogs for the Stage
Charles Spencer is lead theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph
Matt Wolf is theatre critic for International Herald Tribune
Plus occasional contributions from Suman Bhuchar and Steven Luckie
Paid or voluntary, training in oral history:
Unpaid voluntary work/Not trained specifically in oral history but using journalistic interviewing skills.
Project funded by:
In summer 2005, to ensure that Theatrevoice's growing archive of material would be preserved for posterity, the Theatre Museum took informal responsibility for the site, and was then granted ownership of it by its founders Dominic Cavendish and designer Ben Neale. In April 2008, V&A Theatre Collections (formerly Theatre Museum) and Rose Bruford College agreed to support the site in partnership, with the V&A owning it, and each partner providing equal running costs.
Management of project:
The site is run by its editors; the V&A Theatre Collections (part of the V&A museum) owns and maintains the site, keeping its archive; Rose Bruford College runs, in partnership with Theatre 503, the site's Urban Scrawl project (53 short radio plays in 52 weeks).
Format of interviews:
At first on mini-discs, now on MP3 recorders, formatted suitable for podcast downloads. Plans to keep an archive in WAV.
How interviewees are selected and located:
There are several on-going subject strands: West End Review, On Criticism, various Focus ons, Black Voices, Asian Voices, Reputations, plus straight Interviews with playwrights, directors and performers. Subjects chosen usually because a play or new theatre book opens or is published or is in the news.
Interview running time:
Usually half an hour; some sessions are longer, usually maximum of an hour. Some short sessions too: 10-20mins.
Copyright in interviews. Assignment rights?:
Yes, copyright of the words remains with interviewee, but they sign a release form allowing the site to webcast their interview.
Location of interview copies. Accessibility to public/format:
TheatreVOICE website, plus archive copies at the V&A Theatre Collections and Rose Bruford College. Complete archive accessible on website under Archive.
Collection contact details/website: TheatreVOICE
Interview transcripts/lists of topics or other content indexes:
See catalogue attached. Some edited transcripts available on the Transcripts page of the site.
See catalogue attached.
Future plans for project/interviews?:
Yes, this is an on-going project.
Materials used for publications, exhibitions, conferences, radio/TV programmes or performances etc or future plans for this?:
Yes, the publication of extracts of key interviews is under consideration, and the interviews are used in academic publications.
Project website: TheatreVOICE
List on a joint (possibly STR) website:
Yes, always interested in publicity and reciprocal links. See Links page of website.
Join listserv/emailing list/forum: Yes
List of interviewees provided: Yes, partial list from website:
is a back-catalogue of recordings since 2003. Among the 570 plus recordings, free to access via the search facility: Jimmy Akingbola, Mike Alfreds, Ola Animashawun, Howard Barker, Alistair Beaton, Jean Benedetti, Steven Berkoff, Alecky Blythe, Matthew Bourne, Michael Boyd, Peter Brook, Gregory Burke, Nica Burns, Ken Campbell, Romeo Castellucci, Alison Chitty, Paule Constable, Dominic Cooke, Martin Crimp, Tim Crouch, Oliver Ford Davies, Janie Dee, Declan Donnellan, Dominic Dromgoole, David Edgar, David Eldridge, Marianne Elliott, Tim Etchells, Sir Richard Eyre, Vicky Featherstone, Emma Fielding, Deborah Findlay, Tim Fountain, Frantic Assembly, Michael Frayn, Sonia Friedman, Bill Gaskill, Pam Gems, Peter Gill, David Glass, John Godber, Lisa Goldman, Chris Goode, Henry Goodman, Rupert Goold, Michael Grandage, David Greig, Trevor Griffiths, Lee Hall, Sir Peter Hall, David Harrower, Nick Hern, Dominic Hill, Patricia Hodge, Nicholas Hytner, Catherine Johnson, Paterson Joseph, Dennis Kelly, John Kani, Nicolas Kent, Ralph Koltai, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Neil LaBute, David Lan, Stewart Lee, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Tracy Letts, Doug Lucie, James Macdonald, Anna Madeley, Mustapha Matura, Simon McBurney, Owen McCafferty, Frank McGuinness, Nancy Meckler, Idina Menzel, Katie Mitchell, Chloe Moss, Tom Murphy, Anthony Neilson, Peter Nichols, Bill Nighy, Joe Penhall, Sian Phillips, Alan Plater, Mark Ravenhill, Emma Rice, Ian Rickson, Philip Ridley, Josie Rourke, Willy Russell, Simon Russell Beale, Mark Rylance, Peter Sellars, Thea Sharrock, Shunt, Roxana Silbert, Michael Simkins, Sir Donald Sinden, Max Stafford-Clark, Simon Stephens, David Storey, Jatinder Verma, Laura Wade, Enda Walsh, Harriet Walter, Sam Walters, Sacha Wares, Arnold Wesker, Samuel West, Roy Williams.
Oral History Survey Pages
Index of Projects
28th April 2009