This is a past event and is currently no longer running.


A little bit tongue in cheek, this Hit The Ode is coming at you with an enormous line up. Apples and Snakes has now entered it’s 40th year – XL for all the decades (or more so because it’s 40 in roman numerals. See what we did there?)

Performers on the evening include: Steve ‘Polarbear’ Camden, Cecilia Knapp, Yomi Sode, Roy McFarlane, Jay Mitra & Catherine Savage.

Hit the Ode is a unique performance poetry night bringing world-class spoken word artists to the heart of Birmingham to perform alongside open micers.

Whether you’re a regular or new to spoken word, we guarantee Hit The Ode will hit that poetry sweet spot! Wish to share your own work on stage?

Sign up on the night from 7pm – 7.30pm to enter your name into the open mic lucky dip draw – 10 slots up for grabs, maximum 3 minutes each, selected at random – what have you got to lose?


£5 in advance, £8 on the door

Prices and discounts subject to change

Running Time

2 hours and 15 minutes

Age guidance




Discounts & Concessions


We offer a range of discounts and concessions to enable everyone to enjoy an affordable visit to Birmingham Hippodrome.


£2.50 tickets in all seating areas.
2-for-1 for disabled patrons who require the service/support of a companion.

CLICK HERE for more information on our Access Performances


Discounts and Concessions are offered subject to availability at the discretion of the Information and Sales Manager. Top three price bands only, unless otherwise stated. Restrictions may apply. Only one discount per ticket may apply, unless otherwise stated. Offers are non retrospective and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid ID must be presented where applicable. Additional discounts may be offered from time to time.

Food & Drink

The Proscenium Lounge

Add some VIP sparkle to your Hippodrome experience with a Diamond or Champagne package in our luxurious lounge.

Coffee Bar

Drop into our NEW coffee bar located in the theatre’s main entrance foyer.

The Bars

You’ll receive a warm welcome at our Foyer Bars, conveniently positioned for both Stalls and Circle levels.


Steve ‘Polarbear’ Camden

Steven Camden (Polarbear) is one of the most respected spoken word artists in the UK. Internationally performing his work since 2007, Camden has graced stages from Kuala Lumpur to California via Glastonbury and The Royal Shakespeare Company. His work has featured on BBC Radio 1, 3 and 6. He is also a multidisciplinary author, having written three young adult novels, plays, scripts and a poetry collection. As a playwright, Stephen’s debut play Back Down, was produced by the Birmingham REP and toured nationally in 2015. He was co-writer and script mentor on the Akram Khan Company’s Olivier Award winning production Desh, as well as script writer for LIFT festival’s acclaimed production Turfed. His theatre piece Mouth Open, Story Jump Out, received five star reviews and toured internationally. His most recent play, I Knew You, was performed at the Birmingham REP in 2017 and toured nationally. Steven’s first Radio 4 play, Sleeping Dogs, aired in 2013, and he is developing an original television series with Expectation Entertainment.

Cecilia Knapp

Cecilia Knapp is a poet, playwright and novelist and the Young People’s Laureate for London 2020/2021. She was shortlisted for the 2022 Forward prize for best single poem. She is the winner of the 2021 Ruth Rendell award and has been shortlisted for both the Rebecca Swift Women’s prize and the Outspoken poetry prize. Her debut poetry collection Peach Pig will be published by Corsair in 2022. Her poems have appeared in  The Financial Times, The White Review, Wasafiri, Popshot, Ambit, Magma and bath magg and anthologised. She curated the anthology Everything is Going to be alright: Poems for When you Really Need Them, published by Trapeze in 2021.

Yomi Sode

Yomi Ṣode is an award-winning Nigerian British writer. He is a recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was shortlisted for The Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021. His acclaimed one-man show COAT toured nationally to sold-out audiences, including at the Brighton Festival, Roundhouse Camden and the Battersea Arts Centre. In 2020 his libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with award-winning composer James B. Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra premiered on BBC Radio 3. In 2021, his play, and breathe… premiered at the Almeida Theatre to rave reviews. Yomi is a Complete Works alumnus and a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. He is the founder of BoxedIn, First Five, The Daddy Diaries, and mentorship programme, 12 in 12. Yomi’s debut collection, Manorism wasvpublished via Penguin Press in 2022. He has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award.

Roy Mcfarlane

Roy was born in Biringham and now lives in the Black Country. He has previously held the roles of Birmingham Poet Laureate and Starbucks Poet in Residence. His writing has appeared in magazines including Under The Radar, The Reader, The Cannon’s Mouth and The Undertow Review. His poems have been included in anthologies including Out of Bounds (Blood Axe 2012) and he is a co-editor and writer for Celebrate Wha? (Smokestack 2011) His play – For The Love Of Auset – premiered at The Drum in Birmingham and his short story – Conversation With An Ant – was published in Original Skin. He has been Performer In Residence for Warwickshire Poetry Voices and his debut collection Beginning WIth Your Last Breath was published by Nine Arches Press.

Jay Mitra

Jay Mitra is an award winning punk poet and artist based in Hull/Manchester and a founding member of Hull’s poetry collective No Larkin About and a member of Manchester based collective Young Identity. They have facilitated workshops around the country for The Poetry Society. In 2021, Jay won the Oooh Beehive UK Slam Championship and the Margate Bookie poetry award. In 2022, Jay became the Shambala Festival Slam winner and Roundhouse Slam and Ledbury Poetry Slam finalist.They also have performed poetry live for BBC’s Contains Strong Language, Freedom Festival, Save Me A Seat Festival, Manchester Punk Festival, Awareness Festival,  and was commissioned by Humber Mouth Literary Festival, Middle Child Theatre and Wakefield Litfest. Jay’s poem ‘The Green Flame’ was featured on BBC Radio 6 in September 2022 on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show.

Catherine Savage

“I’m Catherine, I’m from Redditch. Been writing off and on for about 6 years but only really properly for 3. Unpublished, only done open mic at Hit the Ode, rubbish at social media! I’m interested in the complexity and intensity involved in emotions and relationships – rarely is either black and white. I take inspiration from people watching and fury, not always at the same time.”


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