- MISS SAIGON: Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical returns in a new Cameron Mackintosh production.
- BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET: resident company celebrate Shakespeare 400 with David Bintley premiere of The Tempest
- BRITAIN’S BIGGEST PANTOMIME: Barrowman’s back – with all-star cast & dazzling 3D.
- MATTHEW BOURNE RETURNS: new production of The Red Shoes
- THE WEST END COMES TO THE WEST MIDLANDS: Billy Elliot The Musical, Funny Girl and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- UK PREMIERE PRODUCTION of The Addams Family
- Hippodrome CREATIVE: new community projects and FREE events…
Birmingham Hippodrome, the UK’s most visited theatre, is delighted to announce spectacular new live shows and events for 2016-17. The newly announced season offers audiences a fantastic choice of world-class entertainment including the biggest names in West End musicals, the best in international opera and ballet, a world premiere ballet – plus the world’s biggest pantomime with an all-star cast and amazing 3D effects.
New productions on sale include a major new UK tour of Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s legendary musical Miss Saigon; a first time visit from original high-school musical Grease; direct from a record-breaking West End run, sparkling rags-to-riches musical Funny Girl; and an all-new production of The Addams Family – a kooky musical comedy from the writers of multi award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys, produced by Music & Lyrics in association with The Festival Theatre Edinburgh.
FIONA ALLAN, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Birmingham Hippodrome has an enviable reputation for the productions it is able to attract from West End musicals through to the best in international ballet and opera and, of course, the UK’s biggest panto. Building on this, our new season offers audiences of all ages another varied programme of world-class entertainment combining the best in UK touring productions with an enticing international repertoire.
“We are particularly delighted to welcome back Cape Town Opera in September (for the third time) with their trailblazing new work, Mandela Trilogy, a musical tribute to the life of one of history’s most remarkable leaders. This will be followed by a fourth visit to Birmingham Hippodrome from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, another firm favourite with UK audiences, now under the new stewardship of Artistic Director Robert Battle.
“Autumn sees an exciting world premiere ballet, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest from Birmingham Royal Ballet’s David Bintley. Continuing our successful co-producing partnership with Sadler’s Wells, we also welcome Latin dance extravaganza Vamos Cuba! in November, a spectacular new show featuring live music plus dancing that will set the pulse racing! And next February we welcome another Matthew Bourne world premiere production, The Red Shoes, a magical new staging of the classic fairy tale.
“We’re proud of our long-standing relationship with top West End producer Michael Harrison and look forward once again to playing host to the UK’s biggest pantomime Dick Whittington, staged by the team behind last year’s record-breaking production of Aladdin. Michael’s new UK production of Funny Girl, touring after a record-breaking run at The Savoy Theatre, is a Spring 2017 highlight arriving with us shortly after Billy Elliot The Musical which makes its first visit here following 11 years in the West End. The Addams Family is a brand new commission from long-term producing partners Music & Lyrics who brought us Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
“Next summer we are particularly delighted to welcome Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s multi-award winning London production of Miss Saigon which transfers to Broadway later this March before embarking on a major new UK Tour.
“Birmingham Hippodrome is perfectly placed, with its numerous creative and fundraising partners, to expand its reach, deepen engagement and make a big difference to people’s lives. Our Hippodrome Creative programme goes from strength to strength and this Autumn we present B-Side Hip-Hop festival in partnership with The Old Rep, a three-day celebration of local breakdance talent. And X-Ray is a digital-arts celebration of the 120th Anniversary of the first ever medical use, right here in the city, of this revolutionary technology, delivered with our partners at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.”
Other highlights include the return of Bill Kenwright’s much-loved production of Blood Brothers starring Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone, the popular UK touring production of Simon Beaufoy’s The Full Monty starring Gary Lucy, world-wide hit musical Million Dollar Quartet starring Jason Donovan as revolutionary record producer Sam Phillips, and the much-anticipated return of the National Theatre’s internationally-acclaimed production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
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FULL DETAILS AND LISTINGS
- The multi-award winning Blood Brothers (10 – 22 Oct) produced by Bill Kenwright, returns to the city for a two week run. Written by Willy Russell and starring Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone, the story charts the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the track only to meet again with fateful consequences. Affectionately christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, it features a memorable score including Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and Tell Me It’s Not True.
- Following smash-hit success in the West End and on Broadway, world-wide sensation Million Dollar Quartet (24 – 29 Oct) arrives in Birmingham for one week only in October. Inspired by the famous recording session that brought Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins together for the first and only time, Million Dollar Quartet stars Jason Donovan as revolutionary record-producer Sam Phillips and features a toe-tapping score of unforgettable rock hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tons, Great Balls of Fire, Walk The Line, Hound Dog and many more.
- One of the most beloved musicals on stage today, Billy Elliot The Musical (7 Mar – 29 Apr), comes to Birmingham Hippodrome for the very first time following 11 extraordinary years in London’s West End. Set in a small mining town in the north east of England, against the background of the 1984/1985 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dreams come true. Featuring a timeless score by Elton John, sensational dance numbers and a powerful story that has captivated millions around the world.
- Hot off the heels of a record-breaking West End run, Michael Mayer’s ‘utterly irresistible’ new production of Funny Girl (9 – 13 May) will visit Birmingham Hippodrome as part of a major new UK Tour in 2017. Telling the unforgettable story of a chorus girl’s rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star, this glittering rags-to-riches tale brought global fame to Barbra Streisand 50 years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history including People and Don’t Rain On My Parade.
- The original, electrifying West End production of Grease (29 May – 3 Jun) will visit Birmingham Hippodrome for the first time featuring all of the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including You’re The One That I Want, Grease Is The Word, Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You, Sandy, Greased Lightnin’ and many more.
- Everyone’s favourite kooky family make their first visit to the stage in the UK premiere production of The Addams Family (6 – 10 Jun), a new musical comedy from the writers of the multi award-winning hit musical Jersey Boys, with music and lyrics by Tony Award nominated Andrew Lippa. Join Wednesday Addams, Morticia, Gomez, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and more in this heart-warming story of love, family and friendship with a twist featuring live orchestra and an extraordinarily original score.
- Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon (26 Jul – 23 Sep) will make its long-awaited return to Birmingham Hippodrome in 2017 as part of a major new UK Tour. A recent smash hit in the West End, the new London production of Miss Saigon swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com awards winning a record-breaking nine awards, the most awards ever won by a single show in the ceremony’s 15 year history, including Best West End Show and Best Revival of a Musical.
COMEDY, DRAMA & PANTOMIME
- Based on the smash-hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy, The Full Monty (14 – 19 Nov) is the hilarious and heartfelt story of six out-of-work steel workers with nothing to lose who took the world by storm. Winner of the UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production 2015, the smash-hit British comedy features a cast of 14 including Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick, Chris Fountain, Anthony Lewis and Kai Owen and features great songs by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones.
- Following last year’s record-breaking production of Aladdin attended by nearly 120,000 people, Birmingham Hippodrome is proud to welcome the world’s biggest pantomime, Dick Whittington (19 Dec – 29 Jan). Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest panto producer, this year’s spectacular pantomime stars John Barrowman in the title role of Dick Whittington. Soap star Steve McFadden will be telling a different ‘tail’ this Christmas starring as the evil King Rat. Joining John and Steve are the legendary double act The Krankies playing Councillor and Jimmy Krankie. Best-known for winning the coveted role of Nancy in the West End revival of Lionel Bart’s Oliver!, actress and singer Jodie Prenger joins the cast as Fairy Bow Bells. For a fourth year running Hippodrome favourite Matt Slack returns to make Birmingham audiences roll in the aisles with his hilarious physical comedy and quick wit in the role of Idle Jack. Completing the cast is Birmingham’s favourite panto Dame Andy Ryan in the role of Sarah the Cook.
- One of the UK’s most highly acclaimed and original comedians, Sean Lock, returns to Birmingham Hippodrome following a three year absence with his brand new show Sean Lock – Keep It Light (13 Nov 16, 27 & 28 Feb 17).
- Following a sell-out run in 2015, The National Theatre’s internationally-acclaimed production of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time (3-8 Jul) returns to Birmingham Hippodrome in 2017 for a strictly limited run. Winner of seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards including ‘Best Play’, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to life on stage, adapted by two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens and directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning director Marianne Elliott.
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (23 – 24 Sep) return to Birmingham Hippodrome after a five year absence from the UK with a dazzling repertoire performed over two days, which include Ailey classics as well as new works by some of today’s most critically-acclaimed choreographers. Running on Fri 23 Sep, experience the movement and music of Cuba with Open Door and sizzling Argentinian tango re-imagined in Piazolla Caldera. This will be followed by the hip-hop inspired Exodus on Sat 24 Sep, Four Corners and the dreamlike After the Rain Pas de Deux. This spectacular programme culminates in a performance of one of the most widely-seen modern dance works in the world, beloved crowd-pleaser
- B-Side Hip Hop Festival (23 – 25 Sep) is a free, three day celebration of all things Hip Hop. Bringing together the city’s many hip hop talents including Break Mission, Dance Nuvo, Juice Aleem and Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere, this exciting festival will see local street dance crews take to the streets of Southside for a fun-packed programme of talks, pop-up city centre performances, film, spoken word, workshops, D/VJs and graffiti art.
- From the creators of the smash-hit Havana Rakatan, Vamos Cuba! (1 – 5 Nov) is the spectacular new Cuban dance show from acclaimed choreographer Nilda Guerra. Set amidst the crazy chaos of Havana airport, Vamos Cuba! brings together traditional and modern dance styles including salsa, rumba, cha-cha-cha and reggeaton, with a live band led by Julito Padron and a cast of the hottest dancers Cuba has to offer.
- Avant Garde Dance Company and The Place bring the untold story of Fagin’s youth to life in Fagin’s Twist (20 -21 Oct) – a poignant, coming-of-age tale brought to life through contemporary hip hop dance. See Dickens’ Oliver Twist in a new light as Tony Adigun’s Avant Garde Dance Compant flip expectations of five familiar characters, performed in the intimate surroundings of The Patrick Centre.
- Resident Ballet company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, return with a breath-taking new season of world-class dance including the world premiere of David Bintley’s The Tempest – an original new ballet for Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, the return of Sir Peter Wright’s evergreen production of The Nutcracker (25 Nov – 13 Dec) acclaimed as one of the best in the world and a classic evening of fairy tale enchantment in Cinderella (15 – 25 Feb), a sure fire mix of wonderful dance, spectacular scenery and a cast of characters guaranteed to capture any imagination.
- Running alongside the Birmingham Royal Ballet production of Cinderella, First Steps: A Child’s Cinderella (17 Feb) is an hour-long interactive show designed for ages 3 – 7 year olds performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s amazing dancers and orchestra. A perfect introduction to the music, characters and technical magic of BRB.
- Re-uniting the team behind the New Adventures’ world-wide hit, Sleeping Beauty, Matthew Bourne’s intoxicating new adaptation of the beloved fairy tale and Academy Award-winning movie, The Red Shoes (7 – 11 Feb) brings together sumptuous design by Lez Brotherston, Paule Constable and Paul Groothius and a sumptuous new score arranged by Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann.
- Following its premiere in Birmingham in May 2015, Dance Sampled (3 – 4 Mar) returns for 2017. Sample an outstanding array of live dance, from tango to hip hop, ballet and Kathak to the best in contemporary, Dance Sampled offers audiences the opportunity to sample dance differently. Dance: Sampled is part of The Movement, a dance producing partnership between Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry and Sadler’s Wells. Supported by Arts Council England, The Movement aims to nurture talent and bring large scale dance productions to even wider audiences.
- Shobana Jeyasingh Dance: Material Men (27 – 28 Mar) is a virtuoso piece for two dazzling performers of the Indian diaspora. Featuring a newly commissioned score by acclaimed Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, performed live by The Smith Quartet, this dynamic exploration of rhythm and location brings together classical Indian dance and hip hop as well as a shared history rooted in colonial plantations.
- Presented by Wales Millennium Centre and Cape Town Opera, The Mandela Trilogy (20 – 21 Sep) is a large-scale musical celebration and tribute to the man who touched hearts and minds around the world. Told in three acts by a cast of 60 South African performers, Mandela Trilogy charts the remarkable true story of Nelson Mandela’s journey from freedom fighter to president and features music by Peter Louis van Dijk & Mike Campbell. Featuring the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the impressive score (written in three acts by two different composers) brings together upbeat jazz and swing-influenced numbers, authentic Xhosa folk music and contemporary opera.
- Welsh National Opera, who perform all of their repertoire at Birmingham Hippodrome, return with a stunning triple-bill celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death which includes The Merchant of Venice (8 Nov) by Andre Tchaikowsky, Macbeth (9 Nov) by Verdi & Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate (10 – 12 Nov), the classic musical from Cole Porter full of wit, dance, show business and hit songs!
- Marking the 120th anniversary of the first medical X-Ray performed in Birmingham, X-Ray: The Unknown Quantity is an innovative new digital dance film and sonic soundscape. The film is a collaboration between award-winning performer/ choreographer Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere, sound artist Justin Wiggan and British Institute of Radiology artist in residence Hugh Turvey. The film will be launched on the digital screens in our foyers, and in partner venues to coincide with World Radiography Day on 8 Nov.