How long have you worked at Birmingham Hippodrome?
I’ve been at the Hippodrome for 3 years and 3 months but it feels like I’ve been here a lot longer!
Describe your job?
In short, I help run the marketing campaigns for our shows. This involves a lot of different activity, including building show pages on the website for when a show goes on sale, ordering and distributing leaflets and posters, creating emails to send to potential bookers, placing adverts in magazines and newspapers, booking in outdoor adverts on digital screens or posters, creating direct mail, updating the screens in the building (including the one outside the main entrance that so many customers love taking pictures of!), scheduling adverts for social media, and liaising with the visiting companies to get artwork designed for everything.
With the development of our new season for our second stage, the Patrick Studio, I lead on the campaigns for these shows so it’s fun to be working on promoting such a range of different works.
I usually get involved in our press nights too, whether that’s putting up banners or fun selfie stations for VIPs and customers to pose in front of, or working alongside videographers to capture audience reactions (vox pops) after a show.
Describe a typical working day?
I’m not sure there ever is a ‘typical’ working day as my job is so varied. However, most days will involve desk time where I can carry out the day to day activity, plan and be creative with our campaigns, and then usually some time where I’m around the building sorting out print or checking the front of house screens are working as they should. With such a range of different tasks, I can be resizing artwork for the website and an hour later be escorting John Barrowman to New Street Station!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
One of the best times of the year is our panto launch, where the cast meet for the first time, we film our TV advert, get loads of press to talk to the stars, before holding a meet and greet event for those who’ve joined our Friends scheme. It’s an incredibly full-on day, but it’s great to see so many different departments across the building pull together to put on such a spectacular day.
What are you most proud of achieving here?
While it is of course fantastic to sell out our shows and see the amazing feedback that we get from our audiences, I’d have to say some of my proudest moments have been working with my colleagues when I was on the Hippodrome’s Employee Rep Group. We created a rewards and recognition scheme for Hippodrome staff and it was wonderful to see all the amazing feedback that came in alongside nominations, and the surprise on the faces of those who won the awards.
What show are you most looking forward to in the coming season?
Definitely Les Mis! It’s one of those shows that I simply haven’t got round to seeing in the West End despite it being on my list for years, so I’m very much looking forward to finally seeing it here at the Hippodrome.
If you could do anyone else at Birmingham Hippodrome’s job for the day, what would it be?
It would have to be one of the techies so I could experience the incredible shows that come to us from backstage. It might seem odd working in a theatre but the auditorium and stage are areas that most of us don’t actually get to visit most days. So I’d love to be able to see the shows more up-close and work with the companies that come to us.
As many of us do who work in the arts, I also perform and direct in my free time. I’m currently directing – and playing the dame Widow Twankey! – in the pantomime Aladdin with an amateur theatre company I run over in Solihull. I’ll also be performing as Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol the Musical next month where I get to fly for the first time on stage – which is incredibly exciting if not a little nerve-wracking!