Hippodrome celebrates anniversary with new programme launch

Roll-up, roll-up for an all-singing, all-dancing new season at Birmingham Hippodrome.

This October will mark Birmingham Hippodrome’s official 120th birthday. To celebrate, the greatest show on earth will come to the city centre with a range of free performances and workshops honouring the theatre’s origins as a circus.

On Saturday 26th October, everyone is invited for a day of free family fun in and around Birmingham Hippodrome, as well as at Bullring & Grand Central. Try your hand at circus workshops where you can learn a range of performance skills, watch a variety of jaw-dropping circus acts such as jugglers and stilt walkers, and delve into the theatre’s rich history with a range of talks.

Continuing the celebration of the theatre’s heritage from 120 years ago, the circus returns to its Birmingham roots in the main auditorium as Circus 1903 (25th October-2nd November) comes to the city for the very first time direct from a sell-out run at London’s Southbank Centre and packed with the thrills and daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-the-century circus. The show also includes sensational lifesized elephants stunningly created by puppeteers from War Horse!

Birmingham Hippodrome’s Patrick Studio has announced a new season of bold, creative work as the theatre brings the best in new cabaret, comedy, dance and drama to the studio space.

Just announced for the main stage, the Broadway and West End smash-hit musical Sister Act (15th-26th September 2020) will come to Birmingham Hippodrome with a brand-new production starring Brenda Edwards and produced by Whoopi Goldberg. Nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, SIX (21st-25th July 2020) is the new musical phenomenon everyone is losing their head over as it comes to Birmingham for the first time.

Now in its 33rd phenomenal year in the West End, The Phantom of the Opera (29th July-12th September 2020) will haunt the Hippodrome with the spectacular and brilliant original production . Tickets will go on sale to Birmingham Hippodrome Friends and Patron scheme members on Tuesday 10th September at 11am, to groups on Tuesday 24th September at 11am and to the general public from Thursday 26th September at 11am.

This year’s pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (21st December–2nd February 2020) promises to be one of the most spectacular yet featuring sets and costumes direct from the London Palladium. The all-star line up features Lesley Joseph, Matt Slack, Joe McElderry, Faye Brookes, Flawless, Doreen Tipton and Andrew Ryan.

Continuing theHippodrome’s reputation as a hub for the best in dance from across the globe, South Africa’s internationally renowned choreographer, Dada Masilo, presents her fearless re-imagining of the iconic classic, Giselle (15th & 16th October) plus ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company return with Some Like It Hip Hop (18th & 19th October).

Resident ballet company, Birmingham Royal Ballet bring their timeless classic productions of Giselle (25th-28th September), The Nutcracker (22nd November-14th December) and Swan Lake (18th-29th February 2020).

Some of the biggest names in comedy take to the stage including Ben Elton (14th November), Rob Beckett (6th & 7th February 2020) and Romesh Ranganathan (3rd & 4th May 2020) plus a return home for Lenny Henry (20th October) as he opens his brand new tour here in Birmingham.

Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Birmingham Hippodrome’s 120th year led me to reflect on this theatre’s rich heritage as well as our continual quest to remain relevant and exciting to an evolving population. As an independent charity, we have remained successful as the result of a shared a vision for Birmingham as a truly great, and global, city.

“Whilst perhaps we will always be best known for our thriving musicals and pantomime seasons, over the last few years, our efforts have also expanded into more visible charitable activity, and our efforts to enrich the cultural life of the region through developing and investing in regional talent.

“Our new season provides a huge range of productions for audiences to choose from- from blockbuster musicals like The Phantom of the Opera to smaller, experimental work presented in The Patrick Studio like Fantasia, a brand new piece from Hippodrome Associate Rosie Kay. I’m particular excited about new shows on sale like Whoopi Goldberg’s brand new production of Sister Act and the sensational SIX which tells a very different, and much sassier, story of Henry VIII’s many wives.

“With the official 120th birthday month of Birmingham Hippodrome fast approaching in October, we’re also busy preparing to celebrate our circus origins with hit show Circus 1903 rolling into town direct from London, and on Saturday 26th October, our big birthday open day steps back in time presenting spectacular performers, family-friendly workshops and heritage talks and tours. Don’t miss the fun!

“As we move forward, remember there is so much more to Birmingham Hippodrome than the work you see on stage – there is an ambitious charity sitting behind it all- working hard to make this city and region synonymous with culture and creative talent.”