Now You Can Watch Theatre on Your Phone

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UK Theatre Network, the company behind pay-per-view theatre, has launched a version of its first episode which can be viewed on PC, MAC, Sony PSP, Apple Video IPOD and most Sony and Nokia Mobile Phones.

Being able to download music onto PCs, MACs, mobile phones and IPODs has becomes commonplace in the last few years. Now an enterprising Glasgow based actor, Douglas McFarlane plans to do the same for theatre.

McFarlane setup the online service UKTheatre.TV and already has hundreds of thousands of web visitors and millions of page views. Over the last year he has been building up a team of over 100 actors, directors and film crew in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London and recently expanded to New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

"The concept is simple, I am passionate about theatre and I know there are millions of people around the world who are as well. I wanted to have the ability to understand more about a musical or play before going to see it. My colleagues and I have been visiting theatre and writing reviews for several years, and now with the advances in internet technology it is possible to watch a short film featuring these reviews and with permission, provide a short trailer of what the performance looks like", McFarlane said enthusiastically.

McFarlane enlisted the help of Diana Elmegaard, an Edinburgh based film producer whose extensive work in the music business has been featured on MTV. Together with camera crew and interviewers, they obtained permission to be able to film the recent BAFTA Scotland awards and the launch of the National Theatre of Scotland. These two programmes have been edited for downloading in time for Xmas.

"It's a perfect time of year to launch this as many people will be receiving presents of new technology for their Xmas and the latest mobile phones and IPODs are video enabled so this allows them to see the stars of stage and screen over and over at a time that suits them. This is also the first time that filmed material of national events have been made available for download before it's shown on television, so I'm very proud to have been at the forefront of something that will become commonplace in the next few years." said McFarlane.

The website has already been receiving its own accolades with Web User Magazine saying "everybody interested in the stage from board-treading thespians to the audience is guaranteed a new show-stopping performance at this site promoting UK Theatre and the Chief Executive of The American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards said "Your site is certainly comprehensive I've already set it in my favorites list for easy reference when I need info on what's going on onstage in the UK!"

Whether its stage or screen or internet, this new concept certainly has opened up the options for watching theatre.

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Douglas Mcfarlane
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