Find out what one of our Young Ambassadors thought to our Behind the Scenes tours – available on the first Saturday of every month.
By Natalie Timmins
In April, I was lucky enough, along with other Hippodrome Ambassadors, to get a glimpse at life behind the curtains in their exciting revamped backstage tours, taking you inside what makes every spectacular show.
I wasn’t quite sure what expect, but the range of places covered meant you had a good grounding of what the Hippodrome is all about. You start with the window art, chandeliers and safety curtains having their history and unusual representations explained (little did we know the safety curtain is a glimpse into the whole universe!), before moving onto the nitty gritty of the theatre world: life backstage, a sneaky glimpse into the dressing rooms, seeing the auditorium gearing up for shows, getting to step into the luxury of the boxes, going into the loading dock where truck after truck of set gets delivered…you’ll struggle to believe you can fit it all into an hour and a half!
My highlight had to be the heritage part of the tour; this is where you get to see all the old programmes and photos of the Hippodrome whilst one of the Heritage volunteers (whom, I have to say, was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, making everything doubly fascinating) talks you through the roots of the theatre right to the present day. Definitely look out for the picture of a digger in the stage area with the back missing to the whole theatre – it was a bit of a shocker!
This tour is a must for any theatre fan, and if you’re a Hippodrome regular it’s even better – getting to see how your favourite shows make it from the docking area to the stage is fascinating, and gives you a completely new appreciation for the immense work that goes into every single performance. It’s an insight that I certainly enjoyed, and hope many patrons get to enjoy in the future!