Birmingham Hippodrome

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Birmingham Hippodrome
Tower of Varieties, Tivoli
Birmingham Hippodrome.jpg
Birmingham Hippodrome
Address Hurst Street
Birmingham
England
Coordinates 52°28′29″N 1°53′51″W / 52.4746°N 1.8976°W / 52.4746; -1.8976
Capacity 1,935 seats
Current use Ballet, Opera, West End shows, Pantomime and Drama
Opened 1895 (1895)
Website
www.birminghamhippodrome.com

The Birmingham Hippodrome is a theatre situated on Hurst Street in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham, England.

Although best known as the home stage of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, it also hosts a wide variety of other performances including visiting opera and ballet companies, touring West End shows, pantomime and drama.

The Hippodrome is the venue for West End touring theatrical shows, such as Wicked, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lion King, Mary Poppins and We Will Rock You. The pantomime from the company QDOS is held there annually. Celebrity fashion guru Gok Wan, John Partridge, Stephanie Beacham, Paul Zerdin, Matt Slack and Danielle Hope starred in the 2013/14 production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the theatre's most successful pantomime in ten year. The theatre's Chief Executive is Stuart Griffiths.

With a regular annual attendance of over 600,000, the Hippodrome is the busiest single theatre in the United Kingdom,[1] and the busiest venue for dance outside London.[2]

History[edit]

Banner advertising the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Birmingham Hippodrome

The first venue built on the Hippodrome site was a building of assembly rooms in 1895. In 1899 a stage and circus ring was added together with a miniature of Blackpool Tower (removed 1963) and the enterprise named the "Tower of Varieties". After failing, this reopened as the "Tivoli" in 1900, finally becoming "The Hippodrome" under the ownership of impresario Thomas Barrasford in October 1903. The current neo-classical auditorium seats 1,900 and was designed by Burdwood and Mitchell in 1924.

The exterior of the theatre was substantially rebuilt by Associated Architects and Law and Dunbar-Nasmith in 2001.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birmingham Hippodrome". The Dance Consortium. Retrieved 2012-09-25. ; "Birmingham Hippodrome Achieves Business Continuity with SteelEye LifeKeeper". PRWeb. Menlo Park, CA: Vocus PRW Holdings. 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-25. ; "Glenn Howells and Mike Hayes join board of Birmingham Hippodrome". Birmingham Post (Trinity Mirror Midlands). 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  2. ^ "International Dance Festival Birmingham 2010". Birmingham City Council. 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 

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