Australian Theatre Live (ATL) is entering an exciting chapter in the era of digital media, with the launch of its new subscription platform that makes quality theatre recordings available to the best seat in the house: yours. Similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime (which includes streamed recordings of shows from Broadway), ATL is filling a niche market by including a huge array of top-quality Australian theatre productions across multiple genres.
The current catalogue is quite impressive, including the hugely popular The Gospel According to Paul, Emerald City, Diving for Pearls, The Wharf Revue, Liberty Equality Fraternity, Italian Baroque with Circa by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, and Taming of the Shew by Queensland Theatre Company, to name just a few, with more releases to be added in due course. At the mere cost of the average price of one theatre ticket for a whole year’s subscription ($74.99 per year, or $7.99 per month), the platform offers exceptional value at a price point that is affordable for most.
The platform has enormous appeal to a broad range of theatre lovers, and to a wider Australian audience who are already accustomed to seeing their favourite live events on TV (e.g. AFL, Olympic Games, Melbourne Cup, New Year’s Eve fireworks etc). The level of engagement and emotional investment with a recorded theatre performance is no different; in fact, the level of intimacy is enhanced when the audience is able to see the actors’ faces and expressions up close. The production quality of each performance is eye catching and smooth, with crisp video and sound and a unique introduction at the beginning of each video.
The convenience is also a huge plus, with no expensive parking fees or traffic to deal with. It was quite a treat, for example, to watch the The Gospel According to Paul on a rainy Saturday afternoon, laughing uproariously along with the audience, and being able to rewind scenes or pause at leisure to go and make a cup of tea. Italian Baroque had me equally gasping at the sheer brilliance of the acrobatics and choreography; it brought to my mind the desire to gift someone a subscription this Christmas, so they can equally enjoy the experience of what I just saw.
The platform works seamlessly across desktop and mobile devices, with a clean, user-friendly interface. Options to save to favourites, and pause / resume are very intuitive and handy.
Global theatre fans and expats will also be pleased to know they can also subscribe to the platform which offers the full catalogue in any region.
Overall, ATL gets a 5/5 star rating for convenience, ease of use, value for money, quality of video / sound recording and diversity of a high calibre of Australian content.