Launch Lab

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Mariele Runacre Temple, founder of wirelesstheatrecompany.co.uk, explains why running a website is like learning a foreign language, how she’s promoting new British acting talent and why Prunella Scales is the bomb.

Explain your business so my mum would understand it.

We produce radio plays and put them on the internet for anyone to download for free. Once you download a play, you can put it on your personal stereo system and listen to it on the go. They’re free and they’re all original.

Why did you start a business in the first place?

Saw a real gap in the market for it. Radio drama doesn’t have to have had its day, and with the huge craze for listening to music on your iPod, why not download some plays or comedy as well?

What surprised you most about starting up?

How enthusiastic everyone was about the idea, and therefore keen to help. And how totally complicated running a website is – it’s truly like learning a foreign language.

Was there anything you would do differently now?

Not really, it’s working really nicely as it is. Perhaps I would have done a course on how to manage a website, but that’s something that can still be done in the future.

What was your strategy at launch, and have you stuck to it?

Originally we wanted to produce both original and well-known scripts – however, we have since become hugely passionate about new writing and are determined to make sure that all our productions are original.

What’s been your biggest hurdle or stumbling block so far?

Without a doubt managing the website, learning it all from total scratch (a background in theatre doesn’t even touch upon HTML or even basic internet skills). Making sure that the website is user friendly, accessible and ranks high with Google is essential and it’s something we’re still working on all the time.

…And your luckiest moment?

Legendary actress Prunella Scales agreeing to come into the studio and record with us, not once, but twice.

Where are you now with the business?

In just over a year we have achieved a huge following, a great reputation for producing exciting and interesting plays with some of the best and most promising new talent around. With all the hype around the BBC at the moment, it is a great time to be an independent broadcaster.

What does the future have in store?

All sorts! We will be doing more Wireless Theatre Live ventures, including our Christmas recording of Richard O’Brien’s Pig In Boots in front of a live audience this December. Plus we are planning a Wireless Stand Up Evening with some of the most exciting new stand up acts in London.

We are promoting ‘Wireless Monologues’, a new book full of original monologues and we also have our Wireless Theatre In Education programme. In terms of everyday activity, we are working with countless new writing projects – as well as producing at least two new audio shows a month.

On top of this, we need to do a lot of work to the website to really optimise our audience. We have a lot going on, so this is a very exciting time for everyone involved.

What’s your best piece of advice for someone who’s about to launch?

Without wanting to sound too cheesy, just have faith in what it is you want to do – if the idea is strong enough and you work hard, you will succeed with it. And as a colleague once said to me “you will live and die by the quality of the work you produce” – so never compromise.

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