Fiona Allan, our Artistic Director and Chief Executive, introduces the 2017/18 Annual Review looking back on another incredibly busy year on our stages and beyond!
This year saw us put significant efforts into growing our community and outreach activity: our bigger than ever B-Side Hip-Hop festival attracted over 5,000 participants and audience members across a range of Hip-Hop and urban arts, we produced the Chinese New Year celebrations on behalf of our local Chinese community, and again we played a major part in the direction and production of Birmingham Weekender festival. Indeed, we directly engaged 84,000 people through festivals and another 24,000 through schools activity.
And of course, on top of this, we welcomed over 570,000 to our two theatres – the main auditorium and the reinvigorated, smaller Patrick Studio. Highlights included hit shows like Funny Girl, The Red Shoes and Miss Saigon and of course Britain’s most popular pantomime – this year Cinderella starring Beverley Knight. We invested in a varied and exciting programme in the Patrick Studio, including co-commissioning a new work from Aakash Odedra #JeSuis, our co-production Hansel & Gretel with MBD and Open Theatre Company, and ZooNation’s Groove on Down the Road – a hip-hop retelling of The Wizard of Oz, with a young cast of 24 local performers.
As we like to say here at Birmingham Hippodrome we have a commercial head and a charitable heart. Our active fundraising, together with any surpluses from our most popular productions, as well as our bars and Circle Restaurant, are reinvested back into Hippodrome Projects. This is our own curated programme of local artists, indoor and outdoor live performance, community engagement, and our Hippodrome Education Network (HEN). As a charity, we are doing more to support our mission to enrich the cultural life of the region, and the support of our business community is also vital.
Thanks to all our supporters – without which our achievements of the last year would not be possible.
Our Annual Review can be accessed on the right-hand side of this page – enjoy the read!
Fiona Allan – Artistic Director & Chief Executive
Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust