Often we move at such pace through our lives we give too little time for reflection. Last week we published the Hippodrome’s 2016/17 Annual Review, which gave all who work here a moment to look back on what has been another busy, creative and successful year at Birmingham Hippodrome. And I think , just for a moment, we paused and gave each other a pat on the back.  Then back to getting ready for Miss Saigon, opening this week.

This year marked my very first full year at the helm, and of course I have some highlights of my own to reflect on.  Please indulge me, just quickly…

  • Getting to know the Hippodrome team. What an extraordinary group of hardworking and talented people.
  • My first gala dinner. I’d been told that a black tie dinner on stage was a magical occasion, but hadn’t been quite prepared for the size and spectacle. Stunning.
  • Our first B-Side Hip Hop festival, with 5000 attendances to an entirely free programme of battles, performances and workshops
  • Establishing The Movement, our new partnership with Sadlers Wells Theatre and The Lowry, around developing new dance initiatives like Dance: Sampled
  • The big musicals-  Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot and the extravaganza that was our panto- Dick Whittington
  • After months of brainstorming with the Birmingham dance community, coming up with a plan to build a new ‘dance hub’ – on the roof!

It wouldn’t be fair to list highlights without at least one low-light. And for me, that was John Crabtree stepping down as Chair of Birmingham Hippodrome.  John was a generous mentor and friend to me as I found my feet here at the Hippodrome, and I miss his nearly daily phone messages, which could range from serious topics to passing thoughts.   The silver lining to that cloud came in the form of our new chair Andy Hogarth, who took up the mantle in April.

That’s it from me- it’s a short blog this month, to allow you plenty of time to read the copy of our Annual Review, attached.


Fiona Allan – Artistic Director & Chief Executive
Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust