Darcey Bussell pictured with Dance Track Students
Following a dramatic transformation costing around £2.7m, Birmingham Royal Ballet unveiled its new look home at the Birmingham Hippodrome complex this week to a selection of invited guests who have supported the fundraising campaign including Campaign for the Future President, Darcey Bussell CBE.
Now YOU have the opportunity of seeing the new look as the company hold a free Open Day this Sunday (25 January) – find out more here and please tell your friends! #BHbrb
With just over 4 weeks of its 6 week run to go, Jack and the Beanstalk, the UK’s biggest pantomime, is currently playing to packed houses at Birmingham Hippodrome. We know the audiences are loving the production from many wonderful comments we’ve received about the show, its stellar cast, the scenery and special effects, but what do the media think? Here’s just a few media quotes from the many reviews for you to cast your eyes over.
Over 100 members of the national and regional press, from across broadcast, print and online media, attended Jack and the Beanstalk’s official press night on Monday 22 December. A week later and the reviews are still coming in.
The Stage, the theatre industry’s main publication, gave the production 5 stars and said “Pantomime doesn’t get much better than this all-star show, which takes giant steps forward in production values.”
Simon Sladen for The British Theatre Guide touched on Birmingham Hippodrome’s mission to reach new audiences through its many presentations as he said “the show embraces its variety roots and demonstrates how pantomime can act as amber, locking in the past, keeping it fresh and presenting it to audiences anew.” He finished “A Brummie Beanstalk full of magic, the Hippodrome safely retains its crown as Britain’s biggest panto”.
Another 5 star review came from Roz Laws for the Birmingham Mail, she said “Hippo’s panto is bigger and better than ever … oh yes it is!” Roz, a huge supporter of Birmingham Hippodrome added “last year’s record-breaking Hippodrome pantomime was a corker, setting the bar high for Britain’s biggest production. But I reckon this year is even better. It’s a joy from start to finish or, as Cilla might put it, a lorra lorra laughs.”
The Birmingham Post agreed with its sister paper and said “When people pour out of the Hippo chattering excitedly and quite obviously well pleased, it’s a sure sign the panto has come off with a bang.”
Kyle Pedley’s review is published in 8 newspapers across the Midlands Newsquest Media Group. His comments picked up on the ‘old’ and ‘new’ aspects of the production in what he called a ‘traditional’ panto. He added “Jack and the Beanstalk, invigorates the formula with a resplendent, pitch-perfect cast, a host of dazzling technical innovations and sky-high production values and an all-round pantomime extravaganza of truly impressive proportions.” Kyle finished his ***** review by saying “Jack and the Beanstalk is an absolute must-see for all panto enthusiasts, and the one-stop ticket for all-round family entertainment and side-splitting fun in the Midlands this Christmas and New Year.”
Many more reviews appeared via online publications including ‘10 out of 10’ from Alison Brinksworth for Weekend Notes who said “Birmingham Hippodrome panto seems to get bigger and better every year, but this season’s offering of Jack and the Beanstalk is the best yet.” Jack and the Beanstalk “reaches for new heights” said Polaroids and Polar Bears.
The Arts Desk headlined their review with “Home of UK’s biggest pantomime delivers again” it seems many members of the press and our loyal audiences would agree!
And in the The Times today (5 Jan) Dominic Maxwell, who has reviewed many a pantomime, gave it a massive thumbs up by saying “Is January too late to be seeing a pantomime? Blimey, not when they’re as big, brash, bawdy and brilliant as this one.”
Thank you for all your positive reviews of Jack and the Beanstalk. We look forward to welcoming you to Birmingham Hippodrome again soon. Happy 2015 to you all!
Earlier this week we welcomed the full company of our pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk including our wonderful cast Jane McDonald (Enchantress) Duncan James (Jack), Chris Gascoyne (Fleshcreep), Gary Wilmot (Dame Trot), Paul Zerdin (Simple Simon) and Matt Slack (Silly Billy) with Robyn Mellor as Princess Apricot.
They started to arrive from last Sunday and once the set was finished being built the company went straight into rehearsals on stage.
At the moment (18 Dec pm) the first full technical run through is taking place to ensure everything works and everyone knows where they need to be on stage, from lighting to sets, to special effects and of course the amazing 3D. It really is going to be a big show!
Before the Tech we invited members of the media to attend a photocall on stage with the cast (look out for pictures in the Express and Star, Post and Mail, nationals and BBC Midlands Today).
Tonight the company perform their first full dress rehearsal and we can’t wait to see it.
Here’s a sneaky peek of the full cast in costume taken today. (photographer: Simon Hadley)
Jack and the Beanstalk opens tomorrow 19 December and runs until 1 February. Click here to book tickets.