New celebratory season announced at Birmingham Hippodrome for its 120th anniversary

By Heather Large | Best of | Published: | Last Updated:

Spectacular musicals Les Misérables and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat along with world class ballet Swan Lake are among the highlights of a celebratory 2019 season at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Throughout the 12 months the theatre will be commemorating its 120th anniversary and a jam-packed programme of shows has been announced.

Bosses say it will be a year of mega musicals with Kinky Boots, Grease, Annie and Doctor Dolittle being among the line up.

The endlessly popular Blood Brothers and while making its debut in Birmingham will be Gary Barlow’s Calendar Girls the Musical.

While Birmingham Hippodrome will also co-produce its first ever production with The Color Purple.

There is plenty on the cards for dance enthusiasts with Matthew Bourne’s sell-out sensation, Swan Lake returning along with his new production of Romeo and Juliet coming to the city for the first time.

ZooNation’s Some Like it Hip Hop will also entertaining audiences and Carlos Acosta returns with Evolution from his own company, Acosta Danza. The Grand Final of BBC Young Dancer 2019 will also be broadcast live from Birmingham Hippodrome for the first time ever outside of London.

Families will not be left disappointed with Matt Slack returning for his seventh consecutive pantomime in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

While magical mayhem comes in the form of The Worst Witch and children’s favourite, Dear Zoo plays the Patrick Studio.


Some of the biggest names in comedy will also take to the stage in 2019 including The Great British Bake-Off’s Sandi Toksvig, Ireland’s top comedy trio Foil, Arms and Hog, The Last Leg star, Josh Widdicombe, multi award-winning Russell Kane and a sold-out visit from Tim Minchin.

Throughout 2019 the Hippodrome will also continue to welcome Birmingham and beyond with a host of free activities, projects and festivals including Chinese New Year celebrations, B-SIDE Hip Hop and the return of Summer in Southside.

The new exhibitions programme and school holiday activities will also run throughout the year, alongside new Fresh Fridays – free evening performances in the theatre foyers.

Fiona Allen, artistic director and chief executive at Birmingham Hippodrome, said:


“It’s always been Birmingham Hippodrome’s intention to amaze and delight audiences with international spectacle since our foundation as a theatre 120 years ago.

"Over the next 12 months, we’ll be celebrating that history, reflecting on the journey we’ve made to our current success, and unveiling some ambitious future plans.

“Dance remains at the heart of it all, suitably enough, as we open our new fully-funded Dance Hub roof extension later in 2019.

The choreographers of our new Associate Companies - Rosie Kay, Sonia Sabri and Kate Prince - will be challenging us with celebratory pieces, and there’s a welcome return from the Cuban star Carlos Acosta.

"Thanks to Matthew Bourne, we’re spoilt with two visits by New Adventures, and for the first time outside London, you can be present for the live televised finals of BBC Young Dancer.

“But that’s not all. Working with old friends and new, we’ll present our first mainstage co-production of The Color Purple, directed by the very exciting Tinuke Craig.

“Please join us as we celebrate 120 years, and share in the international spectaculars coming our way. Then, now, always, from anywhere and everywhere, we welcome you.”

Looking further ahead to 2020, two blockbuster musical hits have also announced a return to Birmingham as We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia! will have audiences dancing and singing along once again.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.


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