The Countdown is on to give big with Big Give…

Development Administrator, Rosie Milsom writes…

Following the success of our Big Give Christmas Challenge 2014 in support of our first ever Relaxed Performance, the Hippodrome Development team are once again gearing up for the campaign to raise funds for the next Relaxed Performance at this season’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

And we can’t wait! We are dusting down our sparkly trilbies and plan to make sure as many of our audience members as possible know that an online donation to the Big Give Christmas Challenge will make a BIG difference to the lives of hundreds of young patrons with autism, sensory impairments and learning disabilities. It’s a chance for them to come into the theatre with their families and carers to enjoy a specially adapted version of the pantomime featuring an amazing line-up of stars.

Donations made during the specific Big Give Challenge period have the chance to be doubled. This means we can transform the auditorium and foyer spaces into an environment where visitors with a variety of conditions can receive an extra special Hippodrome welcome. Our fabulous, long-standing pantomime partner, Qdos Entertainment, adapts a spectacular performance with the needs of our patrons on that day in mind.

In the meantime, there’s so much to do, including making a dedicated pre-visit film that to helps visitors prepare and feel reassured about their trip to the theatre, source sensory and anxiety-reducing toys and provide dedicated training for our Front of House teams and volunteers with Relaxed Performance partner, Autism West Midlands.

Every Hippodrome staff member is looking forward to a repeat of this fantastic project because the feedback was overwhelming, with comments from audience members such as:

“I’ve waited 9 years to be able to take my autistic daughter to the theatre and for her to enjoy it”

And for this reason we’re very excited that we’ve been accepted onto the Challenge again. Our target during the online donation phase is £6000. And you can play YOUR part during the online donation phases on Thu 4, Fri 5 and Sat 6 Dec.

We want to make even more dreams come true this Christmas but we will need a little help from you. Donations from as little as £5 made online during the challenge could be doubled by our Big Give Champion, making your gift worth twice as much to us.

You’ll be hearing more about The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2014 over the coming weeks, but for now, put December dates in your diary and find out more info about the project here. Birmingham Hippodrome and its patrons – making theatre accessible for all.

Introducing our new First Night Bloggers…

Meet our First Night bloggers team!   They  work alongside our Media and PR team  to bring you all the news and reviews surrounding our First Night scheme offering discounted tickets for 16-23 years olds – find out more about First Night HERE. 

Heather Kincaid is our First Night Bloggers Ambassador – leading the  scheme by taking you behind the scenes and to opening night. Heather said; “After more than a year enjoying an amazing array of shows, backstage tours and interviews, all while building up a diverse online portfolio and honing my journalistic skills, I’m now thrilled to be guiding two new writers through the First Night Blogging scheme, and can’t wait to see how the project grows and develops over the next few months.” Keep up to date with Heather’s blog here.

Our first  bloggers is Amy Stutz – take a look at Amy’s page for regular updates here On her new position Amy commented; “I am very excited to become a blogger for the first night scheme as it is an incredible opportunity to combine my two passions, writing and theatre. I can’t wait to get started and begin writing about all the fantastic shows and events the Hippodrome has coming up over the next year. The Hippodrome provides a huge variety of shows and I am thrilled to watch and review them in my blog whilst also networking with many industry professionals.”

Last but certainly not least, Rebecca Gibson takes the role of our second First Night Blogger – check out her posts here. Rebecca said “I am really excited to have be given the opportunity of joining the first night scheme and cannot wait to get started. The First Night Scheme is not only a great chance for me to write about and see some amazing things shown by the Hippodrome but hopefully a way for me to encourage people to go to the theatre.”

Don’t forget to give them a follow on Twitter: @Heather_LJ, @AmyStutz and @rebecca_jane29.

Discover the range of arts and culture available to pupils across the West Midlands

PrintBirmingham Arts Partnership (BAP), a partnership made up of 14 arts and cultural organisations, including Birmingham Hippodrome,  is inviting teachers and educational professionals to a special event to discover the range, breadth and depth of arts and culture available to pupils across the West Midlands. The conference takes place on 22 October, 8am – 12.30pm at mac Birmingham.

The day will include a key note address from Professor Mick Waters, who is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for pupils, and from Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of The Rep. Teachers will have a chance to discover the offer from 14 BAP member organisations, all of whom have a mission to connect with schools and young people and tell the organisations involved about the needs of their schools.

During the morning attendees will have the opportunity to attend a number of breakout sessions that will allow them to take part in workshops or listen to presentations from BAP members about their offer to schools. Session vary and include ‘How to make ballet accessible for all’ led by Birmingham Royal Ballet, ‘Composing in the secondary classroom’ with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group to ‘How schools can get involved in the World Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences’, the first time the festival will be held in the UK with The REP, to ‘Singing Playgrounds’ with ExCathedra.

Interested?  Click here to find out more