With a little imagination…you can do a whole LOT! And that’s certainly the case at Birmingham Hippodrome this Summer. From the West-End and Broadway blockbuster Matilda The Musical on our main stage to free exhibitions, foyer-themed fun and summertime silliness on the streets of Southside, there’s never been a better time to experience the magic of storytelling in the heart of the city.
Kid about on the streets of Southside….
Birmingham Hippodrome’s two-day family festival Summer in Southside, sponsored by Arts Council England, heads back to the carefree days of childhood with a programme full of free fun for all ages from Sat 14 – Sun 15 July.
There will be theatrical delights for all, with plenty of exciting pop-up shows throughout the weekend including a new commission from The Fabularium, who performed at Summer in Southside 2017 with their amazing show, Reynard the Fox. This year, The Fabularium return with the brand new outdoor performance There be Monsters featuring the cranky but noble knight Don Quixote and his long-suffering, fortune-seeking side-kick who embark on an epic quest to revive chivalry and confront monsters.
Another exciting new aspect of the festival is the construction of French artist Olivier Grossetête’s Perrott’s Chinese Tower. Over the weekend, the giant structure is built, completed, pulled over and then squashed! From Monday 9 July Birmingham Hippodrome are running FREE public participatory workshops in preparation for the festival where you can help construct the building blocks for this immense tower.
Other highlights include Actual Reality Arcade, a life-sized interactive pop-up game zone inspired by classic arcade games, installation specialists Dot Comedy, pop-up theatre performances from Pif Paf, live brass band Bostin Brass, funk-rock outfit Gorillabot and Fun DMC, featuring a daytime Block Party for kids and parents!
Visitors can also stroll through the independent food stalls, have their face painted and have a go at a whole range of craft workshops and family activities in our theatre foyers.
Summer blockbuster Matilda The Musical continues…
After opening to five-star reviews and standing ovations earlier this month, the Royal Shakespeare company’s Matilda The Musical continues its run at Birmingham Hippodrome until Sat 8 Sep.
With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
Inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl, Matilda The Musical has won over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda continues to delight audiences in London, Australia and on tour around the USA.
This will be accompanied by a specially adapted Relaxed performance on Thurs 19 July at 2pm designed to create a more calming atmosphere for audience members with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning disability.
Cover to Cover: Roald Dahl Around The World
To celebrate the arrival of the much-loved Matilda The Musical in Birmingham, this eye-catching exhibition of international book covers celebrates the world’s number one storyteller.
Published over 200 million times in 59 different languages, Roald Dahl’s tales are enjoyed by children and adults alike all over the globe. His stories have fired the imagination of illustrators and publishers from Poland and Germany to Brazil and Japan.
The display over three floors showcases illustrations reproduced from the collection of The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden. Look out for familiar British covers from Quentin Blake alongside the not-so-familiar from artists based further afield.
Hit The Ode with Pooja Nanska, Kareem Parkins Brown and Jess Green
New for 2018, Hit The Ode is a unique performance poetry night bringing world-class spoken word artists to the heart of Birmingham, one regional, one national and one international alongside open mic performers from across the city and beyond.
Artists this month include Pooja Nansi, whose work has been described as “unflinching, lyrical and quietly honest”. Her one woman show You Are Here which opened in Singapore, explores her family history of migration and has since toured to Australia for the Queensland Poetry Festival. Her work has also been performed in New York, Myanmar and India. In 2016, she was a recipient of the Young Artist Award, Singapore’s highest accolade for Arts practitioners under the age of 35. She is also Singapore’s first Youth Poet Ambassador.
She will be joined by Kareem Parkins Brown, a London based poet and Barbican Young Poet alumni who has featured/shared poems at events across the country including Verve Poetry festival 2017, Sofar Sounds and Tate Lates.
Completing the line-up is Jess Green; a performance poet and playwright who has performed at Glastonbury, Latitude, Bestival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Jess’s first collection, Burning Books was published by Burning Eye Books in September 2015 and shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2016.
Audience members wishing to share their own work on stage can sign up on the night from 7pm – 7.30pm by entering their name into the open mic lucky dip draw. There are up to 10 slots up for grabs on the night, each a maximum of three minutes each, selected at random.
The next instalment of Hit The Ode takes place on Fri 13 July at 7.45pm with tickets priced at £5 in advance and £8 on the door.
Behind The Scenes Tours:
Discover the world behind the curtain and learn more about the amazing story of Birmingham Hippodrome’s fascinating history with our new season of Behind The Scenes tours running from Sat 11 Aug – Sat 9 Mar.
Our knowledgeable Heritage Guides and Visitor Services Assistants will share captivating stories from the theatre’s past as you peek behind the scenes and explore the public and private areas of this fascinating building. You will also get to meet one of our technicians who will explain just what it takes to put a show onto our stage.
Behind The Scenes tours are priced at £8 per person and last between 60-90 minutes each.