Seven apps every theatregoer should download
Add some theatricality to your smartphone or tablet
You're bored of Angry Birds and want something a little more challenging than Candy Crush, we tracked down seven of the best apps for theatregoers - just don't use them while you're actually in the theatre.
1. National Theatre Backstage
Visitors to the concrete venue on the South Bank will enjoy this app which offers a regular stream of content linked to current shows and other fun features like archived programmes (including their opening performance of Hamlet with Peter O'Toole in 1963).
Free, download for iOS devices here
2. Digital Theatre
Do you suffer from pangs of regret when, sitting in the pub, you remember that you didn't see Richard Armitage take on John Proctor in Yael Farber's The Crucible? Maybe you couldn't get tickets to the superlative musical Lift which boasted a cast including Julie Atherton, Cynthia Erivo and George Maguire?
Then the Digital Theatre app is a must. With prices from as little as £4.99 you can have these productions in the palm of your hand.
Free with in-app purchases, download for iOS devices here
3. Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Heading up north for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year? Anyone that's made the trip in previous years will know that managing your schedule and discovering the must-sees is a feat more taxing than climbing up to Arthur's Seat. Make your life easier by downloading this app in which you can find out what's on and when.
4. Hidden Stages
Another one from the lovely folk at the National, but this time for children and families - at least that's what they say, but after a quick look at the app we're desperate to give it a try.
Basically the app suggests that as well as the Dorfman, Lyttelton and Olivier, there's a fourth stage at the National (yes we know there's the temporary theatre, but this app is obviously a bit old). The users are the actors and various locations around the venue are the entrances and exits. Follow the instructions and create your own National Theatre production. Sounds like fun!
Free, download for iOS devices here
5. Shakespeare's Globe 360 and Globe Player
There's two offerings from the team at the thatched playhouse. The first, Shakespeare's Globe 360, offers a 3D virtual reality trip around one of the most famous theatres in the world, complete with interactive points throughout offering added insight into parts of the building.
The second, Globe Player, allows you to relive past productions at the Globe including Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry. Rent for £5.99 or buy for £9.99.
6. Heuristic Shakespeare
Heuristic = enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves. And thus this app enlists the help of Sir Ian McKellen to 'demystify' The Tempest.
Using the Arden Shakespeare texts, the app aims to help you understand and enjoy the Bard's work more, both on screen and in the theatre. It does this via video discussions, character breakdowns and details on previous productions.
There's 37 apps planned (one for every play we presume), which at £4.49 a pop could get quite pricey, but you'll have McKellen in your pocket so it's a small price to pay as far as we're concerned.
£4.49, download for iPad here
Don't you just hate it when you're enjoying the overture of the latest hit West End show and Mr and Mrs Haventgotawatch turn up late, squeezing passed to their seats which are inevitably alway further down the row than yours?
Never be that person with this app. Find out how long it will take you to get to the theatre whether walking, driving, cycling or using public transport. It also takes into account any disruptions on tubes/buses so you'll never have an excuse.