Here’s a rundown of what to listen to in 2022 to get your theatre fix, by way of some of the fabulous stage and theatre podcasts that are available.
Mixing up brilliant recent and archive shows from BBC Sounds and BBC Radio, including The Reunion, Front Row and Desert Island Discs, with West End and Broadway podcasts, this is everything you will need to listen to in 2022!
This BBC Radio 4 series continues to defy expectations, especially now that it’s hosted by Kirsty Wark. There’s lots of non-theatre stories to be interested in here, but some of the past theatrical reunions have proved fascinating, including Cats The Musical, Chickenshed Theatre, Peter Brooks’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Also the Christmas Eve reunion of the cast and crew of Love Actually is great!
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton gets the podcast treatment in this exhaustive look at every aspect of the musical, hosted by Gillian Pensavalle and Bianca Soto. Guests include Miranda himself!
The RSC’s Interval Drinks
The Royal Shakespeare Company has got into the podcast action with its Interval Drinks podcast, that sees a current RSC actor or creative interview an artist who has inspired them. Recent episodes include RSC Associate Artist David Threlfall speaking to RSC actress Zoe Lambert; and comedian Miles Jupp talking to the multi-talented Tim Minchin (Matilda The Musical).
Desert Island Discs
A constant treasure trove of theatrical greats revealing their lives through 8 songs. Listen to the latest celebs speaking, plus there are over 2,300 previous recordings including acting legends such as Dame Joan Plowright, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins, Sir Ian McKellen; playwrights Tom Stoppard, Jack Thorne; and directors Nicholas Hytner, Marianne Elliott, Trevor Nunn and Peter Hall.
US entertainment industry bible Variety dissects Broadway with a massive range of interviews with actors and creatives, many hosted by Gordon Cox. Past guests have included Brian Cox, Jonathan Groff, and the teams behind Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill. Recent interviews include Tick, Tick, Boom! star Robin de Jesus, Marianne Elliott’s Company, Edie Falco and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
National Theatre Talks
The National Theatre has its own podcast, based on the excellent Talks it runs throughout the year. Hosted on Apple, the series includes Michael Billington reflecting on 50 years of being a theatre critic; Neil Gaiman talking about The Ocean at the End of the Lane; and playwrights including David Hare, Alan Bennett, Patrick Marber and more.
Curtain Call Theatre Podcast
Behind the scenes theatrical podcast for the West End, with hosts John Schwab and Matt Humphrey interviewing a range of West End show stars and creatives, plus longer series looking in-depth at a show such as Come From Away.
David Tennant Does a Podcast With….
We aren’t always a fan of actors thinking they can interview…. even if we love them, it’s alway ends up being about them! But these interviews scored by stage, TV and film star David Tennant stand out for not being overly sickly, and attracting some fantastic guests. Episodes that stand out include his longtime friend and collaborator Michael Sheen, Olivia Colman, and Ian McKellen.
Playing On Air
Hosted by producer Claudia Catania, each episode of this excellent podcast sees a contemporary one-act play performed by A-list actors such as Timothee Chalamet, Adam Driver, Audra McDonald and Michael C. Hall, and then followed by a conversation with the creative team. Yes, it’s basically a radio play. But we love it!
My Little Tonys
A podcast on Spotify that delves into a different Tonys Award ceremony or year/decade each episode. Hosted by Tim Kov and Anna Hulkower, its a fascinating chance to hear about Broadway – and theatre – history, and relive some of the great shows and wins of the past. Now someone needs to do an Olivier Awards version!
Off Book: The Black Theatre Podcast
The Broadway Black organization runs a great podcast called “Off Book” hosted by playwright Donja Love, actress Amber Iman and journalist Drew Shade, with conversations with everyone from actors to costume designers and writers.
The Two Shot Podcast
We are back to actors interviewing actors (see David Tennant, above). In Two Shot Podcast, Line of Duty actor Craig Parkinson chats to actors, musicians, artists, writers, chefs, DJs and other creatives about their lives. And like Tennant, he doesn’t do a bad job, and has been extremely consistent – recording masses of interviews over the last few years. Eps we have especially enjoyed include a Line of Duty special, and the lovely, talented, bonkers Sophie Thompson.
The Painkiller Podcast
Yes, fine, BBC radio has been doing radio plays for years. But podcasts have given audio theatre a shot in the arm, and this great podcast features LOTS of fabulous plays, funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council. Performers include Tamsin Greig, Daniel Ings, Tony Jones and Pearl Mackie.