(And by “definitive” I mean the ones I like).
I love audio content of any description. Audio content plus theatre combines two of my favourite things, and this is a quick rundown of theatre podcasts (or rather audio content relating to theatre) that I visit on a regular basis. The order is random, so make sure you go through the whole list as some of the gems are right at the end.
1) Royal Court podcast: Content includes post show talks and other events covering the past 5 years. The period coincides almost exactly to the period I have been going to the theatre, with the Royal Court always being a prime destination, so many podcasts are a trip down the memory lane: the oldest entry is writer Bruce Norris and director Dominic Cooke discussing The Pain and The Itch in 2007, latest entry is writer Joe Penhall, director Roger Michell plus the cast discussing Birthday.
2) Theatre voice: the original and most comprehensive site for theatre audio content. Recent interviews include David Farr on the Tempest and David Hare on his play South Downs, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Go visit and explore.
3) Criterion theatre podcast: Its appearance is deceptively shabby as it’s one of the few podcasts with original performance content. Audios include criterion’s Stories Before Bedtime (recent entries have Tom Hiddleston and Andrew Scott reading the stories) and the Live From The Criterion recordings of radio plays. Somewhere in there are also interviews with Mark Rylance, Celia Imrie, Patrick Stewart. As it’s a relatively new initiative, I hope it grows and grows.
4) (As Yet Unnamed) London Theatre podcast: one of the very few (if not the only one) theatre podcast created and run by theatregoers. It takes enormous effort to run it, week in and week out, so hats off to the people who run it and contribute. And yes, many of them are my friends which means I know first hand the work that goes into it.
5) Financial Times arts podcast: Not a theatre podcast exclusively, but its theatre content (as all theatre content at the Financial Times) is very strong. Recent entries include an interview with Simon Stephens (apropos of his adaptation of A Doll’s House at the Young Vic) and if you go down the list you will find all kind of treasures, including Simon Russell Beale talking about Hamlet.
6) National theatre podcast: the National theatre podcast is almost impossible to find: difficult to find at the National Theatre website (and the listings aren’t up to date) and on itunes, it comes up as several different podcasts, many of them having just one listing. But if you have the patience for it, you can unearth almost all National theatre events and platforms, even going back to 1995, with Alan Bennett and Judi Dench performing a short play before a live audience.
Originally, I wanted to do a top ten list, but I couldn’t find enough exciting content for a top ten. I would love to be proven wrong and people to send me many new and exciting links.