Monday 5th of October 2015
A venue which attracts big name acts and thousands of guests every year, Birmingham Hippodrome is where you’ll find all those massive West End productions in the city. Opened in the early 1900s, the Hippdrome has a huge stage, state-of-the-art technology and is home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet. For fans of the arts and theatre scene the quality of the shows put on at the Hippodrome make it worth visiting from far and wide. It is particularly well-known for The Lion King and Wicked which were critically acclaimed for both the staging at the Hippodrome and the quality of the performances
Some of the biggest names in theatre have trodden the boards at Birmingham Rep, including Kenneth Branagh and Lauren Olivier. The Rep was opened in 1913 on Station Street by renowned theatre impresario Sir Barry Jackson and in the 1970s it made the move to its current site in Broad Street. It received a new lease of life in 2013 when it was brightened up alongside the refurbishment of the new Library of Birmingham and it offers a combination of well-known touring productions as well as works from new writers, many of whom are local and looking for their first chance to be noticed. It is centrally located in Birmingham so you can hope in your Easirent hire car, check into your hotel and be at your chosen show very quickly and conveniently.
The Midlands Art Centre (mac) is a diverse and popular venue which specialises in making arts, of all kinds, accessible. This includes theatre of all kinds as well as comedy, dance and visual arts performances. It has been at the heart of the Birmingham arts scene for decades and has the claim to fame of Mike Leigh, known for his gritty, hard hitting British films, as one of its resident theatre directors. Alongside the theatre space with regular local shows as well as larger productions, mac is home to a wide range of workshops, special events and offers courses in everything from stand-up comedy to photography. It has a tiny cinema too for independent films and rarities you may not find elsewhere.
The Old Joint Stock Theatre
With a rich history that dates back to its construction in 1862, The Old Joint Stock Theatre was designed by Sir Julius Alfred Chatwin who also helped to design St Phillip’s Cathedral which sits opposite the theatre. The Old Joint Stock is Grade II listed and actually only became a theatre in 2006, beginning life as first a library and then becoming the Birmingham Joint Stock Bank. It is a small and intimate venue that holds around 100 people and it is not unknown to come face-to-face with performers as you make your way up the stays to the main room of the venue. It is popular with comedians on their way up to the Edinburgh Fringe and stripped back, alternative drama.
Blue Orange Theatre
An entirely unique space in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham is the home of the Blue Orange Theatre. It’s a brand new endeavour, with less than 5 years under its belt and the Blue Orange stands out as something different in the busy cultural environment that Birmingham offers. The main room of the theatre has an ‘in the round’ design and Mark Webster, the brains behind the studio, is committed to offering something new to Birmingham, holding nights of new writing. Despite its local feel Webster’s theatre is committed to expanding further afield, with his company touring around the Midlands and beyond.
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