Last year I wrote and “directed” (what I believe to have been) the first proper piece of drama on Twitter — Twitpanto. I still think it’s the only time that attempts to integrate theatre with the social web have gone further than people copying and pasting their lines — or awful “chose what happens next” video series. It worked really well, and this year — on Friday 18th at 3:30pm — it’s happening again.
Thanks to support from the Birmingham Hippodrome we’ve got an improved version of Matthew Somerville‘s “set” for people to watch on. This time it goes a step further that colouring to identify cast from audience — with a stage and stalls. There’s even iCal reminders built in, if you head over too early (go on, head over there now).
The involvement of the Hipp has allowed me to spend more time on the development work than last year, but has made thinking around it a little more challenging — did we need to build in moderation to the stream? Did we need celebrity guests? How much more explanation do “new” Twitterers need?
So far we’ve gone with moderation of a sort, the ability to remove tweets from the audience section (although there wasn’t a single tweet that I’d have removed last year) and not worried about star power — although Joe Pasquale and fellow real-life panto star Ray Quinn have helped with the promotion.
A lot of last year’s cast are returning, including Tom Watson who’s going to play the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. How will it go? Tune in to the #twitpanto hashtag on Friday.