Birmingham Hippodrome is one of the UK’s busiest and most vibrant theatres welcoming over 500,000 visitors every year to see world-class musicals, ballet, opera, contemporary dance, comedy and pantomime. We also engage many more through our ambitious programme of festivals, community work and transformational learning projects. In 2024, they celebrated their 125th year.
Why we joined Without Walls
We focus on bringing the best of outdoor arts into the city and beyond with participatory experiences for all to experience to deepen engagement with younger and ethnically diverse audiences, and those with lower levels of cultural engagement. Without Walls provides opportunities and support to present exciting and engaging outdoor arts performances – forming an integral part of our festival programme for several years – recognising the value the consortium offers for subsiding incredible work.
The network offers us key training that may not have been possible without being part of the network, such as sustainability and access training, and the chance to meet with other partners and learn from best practice nationwide. We are particularly interested in developing Birmingham and the West Midlands into an area of creation and commissioning of new work in the future.
Birmingham Hippodrome's impact on their local community
Fundamental to their strategy over the next five years is “Hippodrome Unlocked” whereby they will create unprecedented access to artistic work, reflecting the youngest, most diverse city in Europe in everything they do. Over the coming years they will build on the continued success of their annual festivals which reach over 200,000 people each year.
Birmingham Hippodrome recognises that younger and ethnically diverse audiences, and those with lower levels of cultural engagement, are under-represented in audiences for their main stage productions. Directly addressing this, their festival programmes (delivered successfully for over twelve years) are proven models of engagement with under-represented audiences, and year on year, deliver an increasingly diverse audience profile.
Birmingham Weekender 2023 Highlights
Banner – Museum of the Moon, © Luke Jerram