Last Friday, we celebrated International Women’s Day in style here at Birmingham Hippodrome. The atmosphere in our building was electric as we had performances, a Makers’ Market, exhibitions and more, all inspired by women.

We kicked off the celebrations on Tuesday with a visit from New York Times and Amazon UK bestselling author Angie Thomas. She was in conversation with Rakeem Omar alongside live performances from Lady Sanity and Afro Queen. She talked about her novel On The Come Up – a story about hip hop, freedom of speech and fighting for your dreams. It was an incredibly inspiring and empowering evening.

Then on Friday, we kicked off with the launch of our new gallery – Once Upon A Time: Women who Dared to Dream. It is an exhibition that features 30 illustrations of some of Birmingham’s most awe-inspiring women, past and present. On in our Level 2 gallery, come along and check it out for free.

We hosted a Makers’ Market in our foyers displaying the work of Birmingham-based female artists. With everything from arts and crafts, to home decor and more, there was a real creative buzz in the building.

We also held a free Extraordinary Women Heritage Talk that delved into the women who have shaped the history of theatre. This included those who have been portrayed on our stage, those who appeared here and those who have had an impact on the local area.

Afterwards, we went straight into our special International Women’s Day Fresh Fridays performance of NOVAE’s Theatre’s It’s Not A Sprint. This smash-hit Edinburgh Fringe show told the story of Maddy, a typical millennial, bad at life admin and celebrating her 30th birthday by running a marathon – tied to a balloon.

Then on our main stage, we had WNO’s Roberto Devereux, a dramatic opera focusing on the fierce Elizabeth l. Whilst in our Patrick Studio we had a Hit The Ode International Women’s Day Special. This unique performance poetry night brought together world-class spoken word artists. It featured actor, writer and poet Rosie Fleeshman, music project AGAMA and international writer Malika Booker.