Press night of Cameron Mackintosh and Michael Harrison’s production Barnum was made even more special as one of the show’s producers, Michael Harrison, paid tribute to its star Brian Conley, who this month celebrates an outstanding 600th performance at the UK’s most visited theatre.
Brian received a standing ovation from the delighted audience as fellow cast members brought on a giant cake specially made by Cake Moda for the occasion.
Brian made his Birmingham Hippodrome debut in Aladdin in 1992 alongside Brit Ekland and Danny La Rue. He has since starred in a further five pantomime productions at the theatre including Dick Whittington, Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates and three productions of Cinderella. Over these years Brian has entertained audiences of over 600,000 achieving a Birmingham Hippodrome record for the most pantomime appearances.
As well as traditional pantomime, Brian has also performed leading roles on the Hippodrome stage in a variety of West End musicals including Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray and Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s award winning production of Oliver!
In 1995 Brian starred as Jolson in the award-winning musical of the same name and, just four years later, compered The Royal Variety Performance in front of HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Brian also showed off his ballet moves when he appeared in a tutu in a special performance of Sir Peter Wright’s acclaimed The Nutcracker called The Crack’d Nut performed by the theatre’s resident company Birmingham Royal Ballet. He also appeared in a special midnight matinee charity performance in aid of The Grand Order of Water Rats, and was a surprise guest star in the Morecambe and Wise spoof, The Play What I Wrote.
See Brian in Barnum here at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 1st August. For tickets visit our website or call our box office on 0844 338 5000