Jo Caird: My top 100 theatre people to follow on TwitterDate: 19 January 2012
A few years ago, just as Twitter was starting to take off in a mainstream way, I wrote a piece about what the theatre industry could get from this social networking lark. At that stage, opinions were mixed and the future was uncertain, but many people I spoke to expressed the feeling that Twitter had the potential to facilitate great things. Four years on and there's no doubt about it: Twitter is a major boon to the theatre industry. Used in myriad ways, from marketing and audience engagement to networking and intellectual debate, it's hard to imagine what we ever did without it.
What follows is an alphabetical list of my top 100 British theatre tweeters, the ones I look to for news, debate, advice and distraction. You'll find theatre-makers, journalists, venues, PRs, arts organisations and agencies and lots of people who fall into more than one of those categories. It's not a list of people whose work I like (although I do happen to like lots of the work made by the individuals or companies included), but of people whose tweets and retweets (a combination of the two in a feed shows that people are engaging with the community) are the best value in terms of relevance to theatre.
My Twitter bête noire is self-promotion – we all do it a bit of course, but people who only tweet about themselves have little to offer. You'll notice that there aren't many theatres on this list – I follow plenty of venues but very few tweet about anything except the work they put on, which means they're not very interesting when it comes to wider industry issues.
Ready? Then off we go...
@ace_national – Not just theatre, of course, because the Arts Council works across the arts, but a good source of information on arts policy, arts jobs and funding.
@ambermb – A publicist with Mobius, Amber Massie-Blomfield tends to tweet about theatre with a performance art or experimental slant.
@andrew_girvan – Deputy editor at Whatsonstage.com and social media cleverclogs.
@andydickson – The Guardian's theatre editor.
@andytfield – A director of Forest Fringe (see below), experimental theatre-maker and writer.
@annagoodman1 – Arts publicist, working mainly with dance and performance art-inspired theatre.
@arcolaenergy – The Arcola Theatre's project for driving sustainability in the arts. They don't tweet very often, but are a good source for green theatre news.
@arts_business – Tweets about arts funding and more from Arts and Business.
@artspro – The UK's leading arts management magazine, tweeting news, features and more.
@atemytheatre – Irreverent theatre podcast run by Chris Bennion and Gareth Jandrell.
@battersea_arts – The diverse range of companies working with the BAC makes this a diverse feed.
@bottc – Industry tweets from Box of Tricks, a company specialising in new writing.
@carolinemcginn – Time Out's theatre editor.
@carriesparkle – Carrie Dunn is an academic and journalist writing about theatre and lots of other things.
@cbgtheatre – Tweets about Curtis Brown clients (directors and playwrights), so a nice selection of UK theatre scene news.
@chiggi – Charlotte Higgins, chief arts writer at The Guardian.
@culturecriticcc – Reviews, interviews and the 'Critometer' (look it up) from this online culture platform.
@dan_baker83 – Producer tweeting and blogging about all sorts of interesting stuff, much of it related to subsidised theatre.
@danduk Tweets about Devoted and Disgruntled, Improbable's annual and monthly open space event for theatre-makers.
@dangleandsneer – Every couple of months this anonymous tweeter cruelly parodies a different theatre journalist. Mean, but funny.
@danielbye – Playwright, theatre director and blogger.
@danpursey – Founder of Mobius PR, tweeting mainly about clients' work.
@danrebellato – Frightfully funny and clever playwright, writer and academic.
@dcms – Tweets about policy and politics from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
@deldridgewriter – The playwright David Eldridge tweets about a broad range of theatre.
@derekbond – Theatre director tweeting mainly about the work of young theatre-makers.
@domcavendish – Theatre and comedy critic at The Telegraph.
@edfringe – The official tweeter feed of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, still busy even in the off-season.
@edinfest – Year-round twitter action on theatre, dance, opera and music from the Edinburgh International Festival.
@eleanorturney – Freelance journalist, formerly at Arts Professional (see above) and now web editor at A Younger Theatre.
@equityUK Tweets on policy, pay and contracts from the actors' union.
@ericawhyman – Artistic director at Northern Stage.
@exeuntmag – Tweets from the high-brow online theatre magazine.
@fionalaird – Theatre director whose tweets are a mix of the theatrical and the political.
@fionalondonarts – Theatre critic for the Evening Standard.
@forestfringe – Year-round tweets about alternative arts happenings from this Edinburgh Fringe venue.
@frankieruff – Musical theatre chit-chat from Tony Award-winning actor Frances Ruffelle.
@ftlifeandarts – Arts stories from the Financial Times.
@gdnculturepros – The recently launched Guardian Culture Professionals network.
@graeae – Graeae Theatre Company tweets news about disability arts, as well as their own work.
@guardianstage – Theatre stories, reviews, interviews and blogs from The Guardian.
@henryhitchings – Theatre critic for The Evening Standard.
@honourbayes – Freelance journalist and critic for publications including Time Out, Whatsonstage.com, and The Guardian.
@ianshutters – Ian Shuttleworth is a theatre critic for the Financial Times and editor of Theatre Record.
@ideastap – This creative network for emerging artists tweets articles from its online publication, IdeasMag, as well as job alerts and funding opportunities.
@inthewrongcrowd – Tweets about storytelling, puppetry and physical theatre from theatre company, The Wrong Crowd.
@jakeyoh – Jake Orr is the editor and founder of A Younger Theatre, a platform for discussion for theatre and young people.
@jamesquaife – Theatre producer tweeting about the West End and more.
@jamesseabright – Theatre producer with an emphasis on touring shows.
@jamiezoob – Tweeting about the trials and tribulations of being an actor.
@joepike – Interviewer for Whatsonstage.com, broadcast journalist, musical theatre fan.
@juliesbicycle – Organisation dedicated to environmental sustainability in the arts.
@khannaima – Naima Khan is theatre editor at Spoonfed.
@lauratosney – Tech journalist and social media PR, co-founder of Twespians networking events for the online theatre community.
@liftfestival – The team of the bi-annual London International Festival of Theatre, tweeting about the festival and likeminded theatre-makers.
@lillig – Lilli Geissendorfer is a theatre and film producer tweeting and retweeting opinions and theatre news.
@littleatheatre – North London's Little Angel Theatre tweets about the puppet theatre community, among other things.
@londonbessie – Liz Hyder is an arts publicist and theatre fan.
@louise_jury – The Evening Standard's chief arts correspondent.
@luizasauma – Deputy editor of IdeasTap (see above).
@lyngardner – Critic and journalist for The Guardian, often tweets about experimental and devised work and physical theatre.
@marcusromer – Artistic director of digital pioneers, Pilot Theatre, tweeting and blogging about digital theatre.
@markffisher – Journalist writing about Scottish theatre.
@matttrueman – Freelance writer and critic, writing for The Guardian, The Stage, Time Out and plenty more.
@methuendrama – News on Methuen authors, both dramatists and theatre writers.
@mrlukowski – Andrzej Lukowski is a journalist who writes about theatre and music for publications including Time Out.
@mzendle – Arts journalist, editor and theatre fan.
@nancyarts – Nancy Groves is a freelance arts journalist and editor of Guardian Culture Professionals Network (see above)
@nosheeniqbal – Journalist and editor, formerly of The Guardian.
@oberonbooks – Tweets from this independent publishers about Oberon authors, which gives the feed a new writing focus.
@painesplough – Tweets and retweets of theatre news from new writing company, Paines Plough.
@parrotinthetank - London-based devising company with a varied, industry-focused feed.
@propershameful – Playwright John Donnelly tweets about plays.
@rebeccacaine – Musical theatre actor and opera singer tweeting about the West End and other theatre.
@ricwatts – Independent producer working with companies including Analogue, Unlimited and Frequency D'ici.
@royalcourt – Royal Court news as well as fun and games such as quizzes.
@scottm – Scott Matthewman is online editor and digital project manager at The Stage.
@serendity3112 – Alison Duguid is press officer at the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).
@shentonstage – Mark Shenton is The Stage's chief critic.
@sohotheatre – News about Soho Theatre and the companies and artists playing there, as well as competitions and other industry news on this lively feed.
@smithalistair – Alistair Smith is deputy editor at The Stage.
@stagewon – Varied performing arts news.
@susanelkinjourn – Freelance journalist and The Stage's education editor, tweeting about training and theatre for children and young people.
@susannahclapp – Theatre critic at The Observer.
@teletheatre – Theatre news and features from The Telegraph's arts pages.
@the_globe – Jolly yet informative tweeting from the team at Shakespeare's Globe.
@theartsdesk – Daily arts coverage from this online publication.
@theatrestrust – The national advisory body for theatres, tweeting about planning, design and sustainability.
@theatrevoices – Tweets from Theatre Voice, the leading resource for audio content about British theatre. Interviews with journalists and theatre-makers.
@theindyarts – Arts news, features, interviews and reviews from the arts pages of The Independent.
@theobosanquet – Deputy editor and Off-West End editor at Whatsonstage.com
@thersc – Tweets from the RSC include rehearsal footage, blogs, news and links to relevant stories in the media.
@thestage – News, reviews and blogs from the the UK's entertainment and performing arts newspaper.
@thewritersguild – Tweets about writers from the Writers' Guild, which supports writers across theatre, film and other media.
@tom_atkins – London-based independent producer with an interest in new writing.
@westendproducer – Anonymous satirical tweeter spoofing a luvvie producer. #dear
@westendwhingers – Reviews from Phil and Andrew, the West End's favourite theatre-goers.
@whatsonstage – Breaking news, reviews, features and blogging, from the UK's leading theatre website.
@youngvictheatre – Value-added tweets from the Young Vic team.
All it leaves me to do now is ask who's on your list of theatre people to follow? Which essential tweeters have I missed? Comment below with your favourites. And in the meantime, happy tweeting!