The People

Theatre Digs Booker consists of a small but highly motivated and friendly team led by Phil Barley. 

Phil is both an actor and a singer, who toured the UK, Europe and the USA on and off, for over eight years, experiencing the best and worst of what it is to be a touring company member, along with regular reminders of how important the living situation can be.

Our Vision

Improving wellbeing and transparency across The Arts.

Our Mission

Disrupt The Arts Industry’s outdated processes with new technology to offer ease and peace-of-mind by making living and working away from home more accessible, safe and enjoyable.

Why do we do what we do?

Phil started Theatre Digs Booker to help the theatrical community that he loves so much and has been a part of since his first professional performance in 2002.

Why does the industry need help?

Touring theatre in the UK has always followed the traditional system of finding local Hosts near venues to accommodate those working away from home. But a lot has changed from the days of the wandering minstrels with their horse and cart to now.

'Digs' (short for the old english word 'diggings' meaning accommodation) simply means accommodation and over many decades the system developed to have 

Sadly, although we can help improve the transparency, trust, reliability, convenience and safety of the current system, without an entire and radical change in the way the industry works (which we have suggested for years and would welcome wholeheartedly), we are limited to work within the confines of the system as it stands.

To that end, we have always offered our services free of charge to the theatre industry and only receive income from the commission we charge Hosts.

Meet the Team

Phil Barley

CEO and Founder

"After touring as an actor for seven years, I realised that no one else was going to fix the inherent problems I experienced with touring accommodation so I asked a friend to 'whip up a website' and thought that would be it. That was in 2010 and TDB has been a full-time passion ever since. 

The idea that theatres should try to be accommodation services when they have no resources to manage those duties seems crazy to me.

Big tours regularly turn up at receiving venues with far too few digs to accommodate them and the theatres know very little about this and can do even less.

During my last tour, our entire technical team had to sleep in tents as there were not enough digs on the list. There were injuries and show-stops that week and this happens all the time, all over the country.

Taking the antiquated digs list and putting it online and then making it bookable from any device has proven to be the change that the industry has wanted. We have over 5000 Hosts and 14500 Guests who together have managed more than 50,000 weeks (equivalent to nearly 1000 years on tour, heaven forbid!!!) worth of successful bookings through the website.

Our ongoing mission is to help improve the welfare of life on tour by making digs booking easier, safer and more reliable than ever before.

We hope that all theatres will use our FREE online digs list before too many more tours are let down by inadequate accommodation lists."

Lisa Benson

Marketing Executive 

"As an ex touring performer, I know the joys and pitfalls of being on the road and have had many experiences of staying in digs; some great, some not so great! Touring professionals deserve to have a comfortable home-from-home when out on tour and TheatreDigsBooker can make that happen. I'm thrilled to be part of a team that are passionate about improving the welfare of touring theatre performers. So long paper digs list!"

Karen Goddard

Customer Support Adviser

Hi!  I'm Karen, the first person who you are most likely to speak to when you contact TheatreDigsBooker.  Working in customer support, I am in my element.  I love working with people, helping them and providing the support they need, when they need it.  

When I'm not working, I take care of my loving family, who either live with me or live close by. My gorgeous but slightly crazy dog Barney, keeps me fit.  Together we walk and enjoy the beautiful Derbyshire countryside (When he's not jumping into the puddles!).

Edward Sargisson

Business and Marketing Support

"I joined TheatreDigsBooker in the summer of 2017. As a student studying Audio Production at the University Of Lincoln, the job fits perfectly around my schedule (Thanks Phil!). I tend to get involved with a few different elements of TheatreDigsBooker, helping out on different tasks and duties to keep things running smoothly. Before this however, I worked as a Customer Service Assistant at Sainsbury's - So TDB makes for a lovely change! I'm a keen pianist and drummer, playing since an early age and I specialise in Music Production at University (so please come to me for any of your music production needs...)."

If you have any questions please visit our Help Centre

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