Rockin’ Libsyn Podcasts: British Theatre Guide

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This series is all about libsyn podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!


Q & A’s with David Chadderton from the British Theatre Guide


When did you start podcasting?

British Theatre Guide began in September 2001, although we have content from predecessor sites going back to 1997.

I joined in 2003, took over as editor in 2012 and launched the BTG podcast in November of that year to add to our written news, reviews and features sections.

Why did you start podcasting?

I had previously released episodes of my weekly community radio show on theatre as a podcast on a site that I had constructed myself, but for the BTG podcast I decided to try out Libsyn.

I had been considering launching it for a while, but our Panto Editor asked me if he could conduct some interviews for the 2012 pantomime season (a very strange UK theatrical tradition for Christmas) so I set everything up and launched the podcast.

Since then, we have covered a very wide range of types of theatre with contributions from several of our regular writers from around the UK, and sometimes abroad.

What’s your show about?

The British Theatre Guide consists of interviews with actors, directors, writers, composers, producers and others involved in theatre in the UK, ranging from household names (Maxine Peake, Kenneth Branagh, Jodie Prenger, Seth Numrich) and West End hit shows (The Lion King, War Horse, One Man, Two Guvnors) through major regional theatres, festivals and touring companies to fringe and small-scale festivals and productions.

We even feature a few episodes from New York from our London Editor’s annual trip across the pond.

What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.

The magic box is a Zoom H4, which is used both as a mobile recorder and as a high-quality mic for recording directly to MacBook Pro or iMac.

Telephone interviews are recorded usually over Skype using Audio Hijack (formerly Audio Hijack Pro) and a very old pair of JVC headphones that often leave black bits in my ears after I’ve used them.

I tend to edit using Sound Studio, as I got it bundled with a Mac years ago and have found it the easiest simple audio editor to use. I’ve always run everything through the Levelator in the past, but I’ve recently been experimenting with Auphonic.

And that’s pretty much it—I like to keep it simple. No heavy processing and just light-touch editing to keep it sounding like a natural conversation.

The web site itself was designed and programmed by me in Ruby on Rails to replace the thousands of HTML pages from which the old site was made when I took over as editor.

However the shared server we’re currently on, with one of the biggest hosting firms in the world, only has a long-obsolete version of Rails, so the site is long overdue a major overhaul. But not until after the Edinburgh Fringe.

How have you promoted your podcast?

Largely through Twitter, which is echoed to our Facebook page, and through our weekly e-mail newsletter with a mailing list of around 2,000 people, which has gone out almost every Sunday since 17 November 2001.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

I’m not sure really.

Perhaps just how easy it seems to be to get people to say yes to interviews, which may have made me more adventurous over who I asked for interviews from the start.

But it’s great to see something you admire and would like to know more about and then have the opportunity to speak to the people who created it.


If you have any interest at all in British Theater this is the podcast for you! Stop twitting your thumbs and subscribe to the podcast and follow the show of Facebook and Twitter.


If you had a community radio show for theater or any other art form, and are looking to create a podcast, why not host your media with us? We’d love to support your endeavors!

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