Michael Hadjijoseph

The co-founder and CEO of Stagedoor is a longtime Clerkenwell resident who launched his theatre app just down the road in Old Street’s tech hub. He tells us about shaking up theatreland, algorithms and virtual reality.

What’s the idea behind the Stagedoor app?
New technology has anged the way we discover music, re aurants and television. We want to do the same for theatre, with personalised recommendations and much more. We offer ticket booking and discount deals too but we don’t just list shows we’re flogging – Stagedoor is a comprehensive guide to London theatre.

Why do Londoners need this app?
There is so mu amazing theatre in London, it can be tricky to know what to see. Our algorithm analyses every show in the city and helps you find the perfect one for you, based on what you like We’ve also enabled Londoners to share their own experiences and reviews – making theatre more social and helping to guide other theatre-goers.

What’s your own background – have you always had an interest in theatre?
I’m from Cyprus originally, but I was introduced to London theatre at a young age thanks to my mum, who always used to take me to a show when we visited London. As a Londoner, it can be easy to forget just how unique the city is. Every now and then I like to go back to that head space I had as a kid. It always helps me appreciate just how awesome it is to live in this city. I love theatre but more than anything I love London – the music, the people, the food. There’s no city quite like it.

How do the worlds of coding and the theatre combine?
Quite nicely, actually. There’s a lot of very creative people in both worlds. We’re working on the tech of discovering theatre – but it’s also really cool to see how performers are using new technology in their art. There’s some really cool virtual reality stuff out there at the moment.

Are older theatregoers embracing the technology?
Absolutely. Theatre audiences are more tech-savvy than you might expect. We have thousands of users of all ages across the city. Venues are very excited about Stagedoor too – it’s a whole new way to communicate with their audiences. Anything that helps people find a show they want to see is good for the industry.

What theatres have you teamed up with?
We have already worked with a number of major theatres including the Old Vic, Young Vic, Nimax Theatres, National Theatre, Almeida, Soho and Barbican – as well as the Camden Fringe and Vaults Festivals. Vault is so cool
– it’s got great theatre and some really beautiful bars too.

What are the hottest shows right now?
A lot of people are talking about Somnai. It’s this very cool looking show that mixes virtual reality with live performance – and it’s just over the road from Clerkenwell [at 2 Pear Tree Street, off Goswell Road].

How long have you lived in Clerkenwell?
I moved to Clerkenwell in 2012 after ending a lot of time in the area and falling a bit in love with it. It’s right on top of su great bars and music, I couldn’t resist.

Do you have a local pub you’d recommend?
My favourite bar is The Gibson on Old Street, which is a couple of minutes from my house. It has a staff who know their stuff and there’s always a great atmosphere. If you want a proper cocktail, head there!

What do you like about the area in terms of the community?
It combines the best of Central London and East London. It’s walking distance from Holborn and Hoxton, it has great bars and restaurants, and it’s right on top of London’s tech community so its bursting with innovators.

Thee Stagedoor app is currently available for iPhone users: stagedoorapp.com