The UK’s very first website dedicated to giving theatregoers information, news and reviews of stage productions across the UK turns fifteen on St Valentine’s Day 2010.
UK Theatre Web (www.UKTW.co.uk), founded by Robert and Frances Iles, officially started on the 14th of February 1995 and has been providing the country’s theatre fans with essential information ever since.
UK Theatre Web was one of the pioneers of the Internet launching the same year as Amazon.com and four years before Google. The service came about because of the strong interest in a previous experimental service providing Oxford and West End listings on a corporate Web and Gopher service.
Now part of the Dynamic Listing Ltd, UKTW powers the ‘What’s On’ content for a range of well known theatre websites including www.whatsonstage.com and www.arts-archive.co.uk where users can search for theatre production information dating back as far as 1997. It’s estimated that content from UK Theatre Web’s listings database is seen by around half a million unique readers a month.
SeatChoice.com, the UK’s first theatre ticket comparison website, also uses information from the same Dynamic Listing database to provide users with real-time information on ticket prices and availability from over 20 ticket suppliers including STAR members, primary agents and selected secondary agents. UKTW has carried links to multiple suppliers for many years and the ticket price comparison service which later became SeatChoice was first launched as part of UK Theatre Web’s UK Ticket Finder service in as long ago as February 2007. UK Theatre Web has always been free to venues, producers and users.
The Dynamic Listing listings database is updated daily by hand to ensure the highest possible quality and currently contains:
- Over 86,000 distinct works
- Over 115,000 distinct productions/tours
- Over 760,000 listings dating back to around 1997
Robert Iles, founder of UK Theatre Web said: “We’ve come a long way in fifteen years. From offering quite a simple listings and reviews service to theatre fans in London and Oxford to providing up to the minute online theatre ticket price comparison nationwide with our sister site SeatChoice.com. We’re attracting more and more users each week and I’m really excited about what the next fifteen years will bring.”