TheatreBoard: A New Discussion Forum for Theatre Fans

I love interacting with people who read what I write on LondonTheatreDirect or on either of my own blogs and it's always nice to see Andy Hickling pop up every now and then for a chat. A few weeks back though, Andy pointed me in the direction of a project he was working on with some theatre friends and on Friday, the project was fully launched to the general public... and I am obsessed.

I've never really been a big user of forums because I've never been dedicated enough to them; when I first became a fan of Glee, I joined the Glee forum but eventually got bored. Little did I know was that WhatsOnStage had run a theatre forum starting in 2001. After TheaterMania's acquisition of the company in 2013 though, the forum started to dwindle away and as of Friday, was officially removed from their internet empire. Previous members like Andy were upset by this news and between them, they funnelled their own time and money into creating a new and improved place for fans of theatre to join together: TheatreBoard.

"The UK now has a new independent online forum to discuss theatre – TheatreBoard. Following the recent decision by its American parent company to discontinue support for the discussion forums originally established by WhatsOnStage.com, a group of dedicated fans have taken on the challenge to create a brand new home for lively and informed discussion about the UK theatre scene and beyond.

Once the closure of the old forum was announced at the start of January, many users rapidly got involved suggesting ways forward. Different approaches were considered before the community as a whole put its support behind a plan to create a new home at www.theatreboard.co.uk

A former moderator of the WhatsOnStage.com forum commented: “It was fantastic seeing our online community come together to protect something they valued so much. It was a very democratic process and we are proud to have launched the new site within a matter of weeks”. A small team of volunteer staff came together to cover the costs and work on the design and functionality of the new site which already boasts over 500 members and is averaging 17,000 hits a day. A spokesperson said “We are thrilled to have secured this new online home which we hope will continue to grow and flourish in the years to come. Everyone is welcome – whatever type of theatre they enjoy or how often they manage to see a show”. 

TheatreBoard features sections discussing Musicals; Plays; Performers and following member demand, a new area dedicated to Opera and Dance. Conversations already cover dozens of productions including West End, fringe and touring; alongside topics as diverse as badly behaved audiences to theatre technology and a live chat planned for the upcoming Olivier awards. All year round the UK delivers an exceptional wealth of live theatre in venues ranging in size from over two thousand seats down to the most intimate studio spaces. TheatreBoard aims to support informed, varied and vigorous debate among those who love theatre." 


I signed up to TheatreBoard as soon as Andy let me know about it and I am actually obsessed with it. I've been loving reading theatre gossip and rumours and chats as well as interjecting myself and it's so nice to be surrounded by people with the same passion as myself. If you too want to make an account on TheatreBoard and join the conversation too, you can do so for free right here.

Side note: TheatreBoard are also running their first ever competition! You could win a pair of tickets to see the London production of Tony Award-winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS at the King's Cross Theatre! To enter, sign up now!

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