Express & Star

Campaign to make theatre more accessible launches

A city theatre is urging the public to support its annual festive fundraising campaign to enable more people who may find the theatre challenging to experience live performances.

Birmingham Hippodrome is urging the public to support its annual festive fundraising campaign to increase their number of Relaxed Performances

Birmingham Hippodrome has set an ambitious target of £30,000 for The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2023, a match funding campaign which doubles all online donations for just seven days from today (November 28).

The donations raised will provide every Special Educational Needs (SEN) school in Birmingham with access to theatre.

The Hippodrome will support all 28 SEN schools by providing tickets for their students to come to a Relaxed Performance and the fundraising will also increase the number of Relaxed Performances offered across the Hippodrome’s stages.

Created for people who might otherwise find a trip to the theatre challenging, Relaxed Performances encourage an atmosphere where everyone feels safe and able to react to a show as they wish.

Attendees are welcome to walk in and out of the auditorium as they please and utilise calm spaces nearby with beanbags and sensory lights.

Certain aspects of staging are also adapted to suit the audience, including the reduction of bright lights and loud noises, with the house lights kept on so the auditorium is not completely dark.

Judith Greenburgh, head of fundraising and development at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “This year we’re raising £30,000 to help make theatre more accessible for everyone.

"By partnering with even more SEN schools and increasing our Relaxed performance programme, we will be able to give thousands of people the chance to experience theatre in a welcoming and comfortable environment, while supporting a key part of our five-year Hippodrome Unlocked plan to become the most accessible venue of our scale in the UK.

“Through match funding, The Big Give ensures your generous contributions make twice the impact.

"A £10 donation will be doubled to £20, which can pay for a young person to see a Relaxed Performance, making a huge difference to their personal development and wellbeing.

"With your support, we hope to help as many vulnerable young people as possible.”

Online donations can be made at

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