Birmingham Hippodrome has confirmed that FIONA ALLAN will become its new Chief Executive in the autumn. Current CEO Stuart Griffiths OBE moves to Ambassador Theatre Group in July, as announced in January.
Fiona Allan has had over 20 years experience in the cultural sector, with a career that spans both artistic and organisational leadership. She has been Chief Executive of Leicester’s acclaimed Curve Theatre since 2011, before which she was Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre. A native Australian, her career started at Sydney Opera House where she was Head of Programming, before being appointed CEO of Sydney Film Festival.

Fiona has led a programme of organisational expansion at Curve, overseeing the development of a new artistic strategy and a growing reputation for supporting new musical theatre, the expansion of its conference and events business, and the development of a comprehensive programme of community and learning activity. Under her leadership Curve has enjoyed financial success and is now recognised as a leading visitor attraction for the region, and a driver of Leicester’s social, cultural and economic development. Fiona sits on the national boards of UK Theatre and Dance Consortium UK.

Announcing Fiona’s appointment, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Chair, John Crabtree said: “We are delighted that Fiona has agreed to join us at such an exciting time in our continued growth. Our diverse programme and loyal audiences, our fantastically engaged education and community programmes, and our commitment to world-class standards in all that we do puts us in the perfect position to achieve future ambitions with like-minded partners under Fiona’s leadership. With my fellow Trustees and the whole team at the Hippodrome, I look forward to working with Fiona as we enter a new phase in our history.”

Fiona Allan added: “I could not be more thrilled to be joining the brilliant team at Birmingham Hippodrome at this exciting moment in the venue’s journey. It’s a nationally acclaimed organisation with infinite potential that has achieved so much under Stuart Griffiths in recent years, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be part of its, and Birmingham’s, future. At the same time, after an extraordinary four years at Curve, it is with sadness that I say goodbye to the many wonderful friends and colleagues I have made here. I leave in the knowledge that the organisation is in terrific shape, and that Artistic Director Nikolai Foster has exciting plans for further developing its reputation as a producing powerhouse.”

Birmingham Hippodrome is at the heart of Birmingham’s cultural life, enjoying record-breaking paid admissions last year exceeding 625,000. With the leading producers, it presents a wide range of musicals, international dance and ballet, opera, drama and comedy, and the world’s biggest Pantomime. With its resident partners Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange, the theatre is firmly established as a centre for dance, co-producing the award-winning International Dance Festival Birmingham since 2008.

-ENDS- 30 April 2015

Notes to Editors

  • Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity. The Hurst Street venue averages over 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. With no public revenue funding, it counts Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange as resident partners; presents all of Welsh National Opera’s repertoire; welcomes the best in international dance, major touring dramas, West End and Broadway musicals; and is home to the world’s biggest Pantomime. It also houses the 200-seat Patrick Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • The theatre has extensive meeting facilities and operates all its own catering services, including two restaurants. As a charity, Birmingham Hippodrome receives generous support from the business community through sponsorship and other partnerships; from individuals through donations and memberships; and from grant-making Trusts and Foundations for special programming and infrastructure projects. It is a major employer and plays a leading role in the Southside Business Improvement District (BID).
  • Birmingham Hippodrome is currently expanding its Creative Programme – Hippodrome Creative – building on its successful work in education and in the wider community. With partners including Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and private funders, the Hippodrome has recently enjoyed co-producing and producing new events including International Dance Festival Birmingham, The Voyage (for the London 2012 Festival), Summer in Southside, and the 4 Squares Weekender celebrating the opening of the Library of Birmingham on behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership. More recently Birmingham Hippodrome produced Birmingham Weekender on behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership.
  • Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd, Charity No. 510842. Hurst Street, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB. Box Office: 0844 338 5000.