In Fiona Allan’s latest blog, she introduces our 2018-19 Annual Review and looks back on another show-stopping year.

As we currently celebrate Birmingham Hippodrome’s 120th year, there has been the chance for much reflection.

One thing is clear; the Hippodrome’s success has been the result of farsighted individuals who have shared a vision for Birmingham as a truly great city, a city that needs a cultural heart as much as commercial prosperity.

Here at the Hippodrome, we continue to operate with commercial success, through our regular seasons of pantomime, BRB’s annual The Nutcracker, and a slate of quality touring productions.

Over the last few years, our efforts have also been put into expanding and making more visible our charitable activity, and our efforts to enrich the cultural life of the region through developing and investing in regional talent.

In looking through our 18-19 Annual Review, you will see that in addition to the 590,000 people who saw a show in our theatres- including Matilda the Musical, War Horse and Wicked, another 250,000 engaged in our charitable work.

How? Our Hippodrome Education Network has expanded to 18 schools, we have established youth companies specialising in hip hop, musical theatre and poetry, we run regular daytime programmes for toddlers, holiday workshops and free performances. Our programme in the Patrick Studio, our second space, has also significantly expanded. We also began the process of co-producing two main stage productions for 2019/20, The Color Purple and West Side Story.

On top of that, we now have seven Hippodrome Associate Artists and Companies, who we help commission and present work on and off our stages. Our dedicated festivals team delivered our largest outdoor programmes to date, including Chinese New Year, Summer in Southside and B-Side Hip Hop festival along with free monthly activity in the Bullring.

Over the year we also constructed the Dance Hub, a new extension to our campus built on top of BRB’s Thorpe street studios, which will be a new home to OneDance UK, making the Hippodrome campus the largest dance cluster, we believe, in the country. And whilst finishing one build, we have been planning another- a revamp to our public spaces to better enable us to serve our public all day every day. More news on that to come.

Just as Birmingham Hippodrome – both the buildings and the charitable Trust – were the result of visionary groups of individuals, so too do we continue to owe our development to our supporters.

Thank you for your support over the last year. We cannot do it alone.

Hope to see you here soon,

Fiona Allan
Artistic Director and Chief Executive

You can view our 2018-19 Annual Review here