All Change!

Exciting news! The Hippodrome’s new season trailer has been released this month, packed with singing, dancing and spectacle galore! Upcoming shows this Summer will include:

  • Sutra, a new experimental physical theatre collaboration featuring a group of Buddhist monksBirmingham Hippodrome 2013 2014 Wicked War Horse Hairspray Snow White Lion King
  • An absolutely fabulous-looking production of High Society (I’m super looking forward to this!)
  • Stand-up comedy from Sean Lock
  • A return to the Hippodrome by West-End musical comedy favourite Hairspray
  • Enchanting performances of Coppélia and Giselle by the Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Welsh National Opera productions of Madame ButterflyLohengrin, and Wagner Dream, an original piece by Jonathan Harvey about the dying Wagner’s urge to write his last opera about Buddhism (potentially chiming in well with the upcoming production of Sutra)
  • And the one you’ve probably been waiting for: Disney’s stage musical spectacular, The Lion King.

Towards the end of the year, you’ll also be able to see the likes of War Horse, lots more of the Birmingham Royal Ballet in The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and ‘Still Life’ at The Penguin Café, and a series of new operas about the Tudors from the WNO, as well as this year’s Christmas pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

For more information about upcoming shows, you can check out the new brochure here.

As if all of that wasn’t exciting enough, you can also take part in loads of other special events at the Hippodrome, including backstage tourstouch tours, pre- and post-show talks and WNO Extra Events, 30-minute talks that help to introduce each opera, and are fantastic for newcomers to the opera experience.


Next month, to celebrate its production of High Society, the Hippodrome will be teaming up with The Electric Cinema for
a night of Hollywood glamour with dinner, wine, and a screening of the 1956 High Society film. There’ll also be a special Sunday Night at the Birmingham Hippodrome event on the 12th to commemorate the life of the late Ian Sandy, featuring a whole host of showbiz personalities, from Brian Conley to Basil Brush. In July, there’ll be an Open Art Surgery event with Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention’s brilliant Artistic Director.

Finally, to coincide with the new season launch, the official Birmingham Hippodrome blog is also sporting a new look. Check in regularly for important updates from Ben Wooldridge.

What are you waiting for?


Good News

Webheader(1)   Hippodrome-logo-black

Well hello.

And welcome, welcome, welcome.

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve been accepted today for the position of First Night Blogger for the Birmingham Hippodrome, along with four other lovely people whose blogs should all be linked up with this one very soon.

So, you might well be asking, what the Phantom does First Night Blogging actually entail? Well, first of all, it means that I’ve bagged myself free tickets to most Hippodrome productions on the pretext of this being – ahem – work. Then, overnight, I’ll be churning out reviews of said shows, which I’ll proceed to throw enthusiastically to the winds, in the hope that they’ll be blown across the wild, windy moors of the internet and before the eyes of as many readers as possible. Then maybe – just maybe – some of those readers will want to come and see a show as a result.

That said, it’s well worth knowing that if you’re aged 16-23, you can get some pretty good deals on first night performances anyway, without having to do or say anything further about it (though, of course, we’d love it if you did, even if it’s just a question of liking, commenting, and/or sharing). Check out this page for further info – I guarantee you there’ll be at least one thing coming up to get you up off your backside, away from your computer screen, and out to the theatre. And if you come along on a first night, who knows? Maybe you’ll even see me there. Lucky you.

Whilst we’re on that dreaded subject, here’s a little about yours truly. I write (obsessively), spend far too much of my time floating around in cyberspace (evidently) and, most importantly of all, I am always on the lookout for really good stories, well told. For me, this has always meant not only so little sleeping and so much reading that my brain has dried up and I’ve gone completely out of my mind, but also being a regular theatre and cinema attendee, and watching lots and lots of television. As well as keeping this blog, I also write about films, TV shows, and plays on at other local theatres, and you can see a much more eclectic collection of my reviews and articles here (my other blog is a Blogspot). When I’m not doing any of those things, I have been known to do odd jobs for various theatre companies and, in terms of actually getting paid for anything (which I’ll be honest is rare – but hey, money isn’t everything), I work, when they want me, for the BBC. This has involved doing anything and everything from buying sandwiches and making cups of tea, to researching new programmes and writing series bibles and storylines; from letting butterflies loose in a studio, to making bumblebees out of yellow pom-poms (which you may, but probably have not seen on CBeebies’ Numtums – aren’t they adorable?); and from sitting alone in stuffy rooms guarding expensive lighting equipment, to hanging out with the likes of Bernard Cribbins and Justin Fletcher (okay, okay, I own it, none of that really sounds much like proper work either). I’d also like to mention that I have already done the “don’ts” – whatever anyone says, I like working with children and animals.

I’m looking forward to posting more on this blog, and to reading what y’all think of what I think of what…well, you get the picture. I hope that you enjoy reading my reviews as much as I enjoy writing them, and in the extremely unlikely event that you haven’t had more than enough of me by that point, you’re very welcome to follow me on Twitter, though I can’t promise that I’ll always make much sense there. While you’re about it, you might also like to follow @brumhippodrome, and have a nosey at the official Hippodrome blog.

So, without further ado, the first show I’ll be reviewing this season is called Sutra, and apparently involves dancing monks and Anthony Gormley. Fascinating. Sutra opens on Tuesday 7 May, and runs for only two days, so you’ll want to get your tickets booked sharpish.


Happy watching!