Our mission is all about providing those ‘goosebumps’ moments; that indescribable feeling when watching a show, attending a festival or being part of an inspiring workshop. Goosebumps fire up emotions, spark creativity, imaginations and conversation, providing memories that last a lifetime, and we certainly delivered them in abundance over the last twelve months.

You’ll see in this annual review the focus of our five-year plan, including ambitions to become the most accessible venue in the UK, a commitment to creating original productions with a focus on new musicals, and ensuring we continue to offer our audiences and artists world class productions and facilities.

The last year has seen us launch two new departments who have begun transforming the Hippodrome into a place artists and creatives have begun to call home. Alongside developing new opportunities for West Midlands artists, they have begun developing new productions too.

We’ve welcomed record breaking audiences, including over 150,000 people to our spectacular 10 week run of Disney’s The Lion King. These audiences were the first to try our new pre-show dining experience in our refurbished Circle Lounge.

Our festivals programme continued to grow, and this year we delivered our biggest Birmingham Weekender Festival yet, with over 360 performances and installations across the city, attracting over 125,000 people. Weekender 2023 was also our most accessible festival to date, with carefully crafted support for visually impaired, deaf, disabled and neurodiverse audiences.

We supported over 40,000 young people in our Hippodrome Education Network partner schools and launched our Teachers Theatre Network, created for teachers and educators of any discipline to connect with the Hippodrome and network with other educators, artists and creatives.

2023 ended with our giant panto Jack & The Beanstalk and it really was a spectacular one. Panto is a very special time for all of us at the Hippodrome, and it turned out that just under 120,000 of you agreed, making it our best attended panto in over 20 years!

This annual review details an extraordinary year, only made possible by the extraordinary people we work and collaborate with. I would like to give enormous thanks to the entire team at Birmingham Hippodrome as well as our board, partners, members and supporters for their care and commitment. Together, I know we will make our 125th year a special one.