Launched on Friday, Theatricalia aims to be a kind of IMDB for the theatre, providing details of current and historical productions and cast and crew. This isn’t the first such effort (there’s the Internet Broadway Database, the Internet Theatre Database, etc, etc.) but there are a few things which mark Theatricalia out from the crowd.
First, even at launch it is fairly comprehensive, including all productions by the RSC, the National Theatre and Birmingham Rep. All of this adds up to over fifty thousand individuals in nearly twenty thousand productions, so there’s plenty of information in there even before the site gets going.
Second, it has an intuitive system to add new productions and individuals. By way of a test, I added details of Katie Mitchell’s new Pains of Youth at the NT – you can see the results here. Typing in a few details from the programme was straightforward, it quickly picked up names which it knew and invited me to add names it didn’t, linked automatically to previous productions of the same play, etc, etc. Basically, it just works and means that even casual theatregoers might be tempted to add in a few details from their programmes.
Third, it has a clean and elegant look (in marked contrast to most of the other offerings), creates an RSS feed for each performer and play (so you can pick up on new productions, if you so wish), etc, etc. Basically, it’s all pretty slick.