Birmingham Hippodrome has helped make and shape memorable theatre moments for generations of visitors.
Since our opening as the Tower of Varieties and Circus in 1899 we have had a fascinating history, with many changes to the building and the kind of events taking place here over the last 118 years. From crocodile wrestling to The Lion King, there have been variety acts, circus and major touring musicals performed on our stage.
Through the Hippodrome Heritage project, our fantastic volunteer team are bringing our dynamic and diverse history to life!
Take a look at the exciting opportunities below and find out how you can get involved:
Behind the Scenes Tours
Discover the world behind the curtain and gain access to parts of the theatre that are usually off limits to the public. The tour includes a visit to the royal box, access to rehearsal studios, and the loading bay where our spectacular stagesets arrive.
Our knowledgeable Heritage Guides and Visitor Services Assistants will share captivating stories from the theatre’s past and present and invite guests to take a sneak peek at the archive collection. An experienced Technical Guide will also be on hand to explain just what it takes to get a show onto our stage.
Tours take place at 10.30am & 11am on the following dates:
Sat 8 Apr, Sat 13 May, Sat 10 June, Sat 8 July, Sat 12 Aug, Sat 9 Sep, Sat 14 Oct, Sat 11 Nov, Sat 9 Dec
Tour only £8
Tour, hot drink, sandwich + cake £15.50
Roll up, roll up to hear fantastic tales of the shows and stars that have performed at Birmingham Hippodrome. See how the building was transformed from a circus into one of the UK’s biggest stages.
For a small donation, our fantastic Heritage Volunteers can provide a general overview of the 118 years of colourful history at the Hippodrome or develop a talk around a specific theme for your society or group.
We can cater for any size group either at the Hippodrome or at a different local venue. If offsite, our team will bring a sample from our archive collection.
Please email email@example.com to discuss your requirements.
Everyone has their own story to tell and share. This collection of oral history recordings is drawn from theatregoers, performers and the people behind the scenes who make shows happen and help the theatre run smoothly.
As the oldest surviving theatre in the city, these interviews help show the part ‘the Old Lady of Hurst Street’ has played in the story of Birmingham.
Listen to memories which take you on a journey from the 1940s to today.
Hippodrome Heritage Website
The Hippodrome Heritage archive has been drawn from many sources including the theatre’s own collection, private individuals and early material held by The Library of Birmingham.
On the Birmingham Hippodrome Heritage website, audiences can explore a historic collection of memorabilia including programmes, photographs, tickets, newspaper articles and documents spanning the theatre’s vibrant past. Travel along our timeline or search for your favourite show or star.
Making a donation to our archive collection
Do you have Birmingham Hippodrome memorabilia?
We are still collecting items which help tell the story of Birmingham Hippodrome and need your help!
You can download our Heritage Collection Donation Policy here. This outlines our policy for donations of materials and what we are able accept. If you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We still welcome donations for our ongoing collecting, research and preservation of our collection through our dedicated Heritage Volunteers. Contact Fundraising Manager Rachael Magson to find out how you can help email@example.com or call 0121 689 3067.