Administration Assistant, Grace Morgan blogs about her first experience of a Press Night at the opening of Barnum…
Having started as an apprentice in the Box office aged 16, I now find myself on the sixth floor of Birmingham Hippodrome as Administration Assistant. Looking back to when I first started, I now feel so lucky to be involved in many theatrical goings on which recently included attending my first ever press night…
Myself and Ben Wooldridge (who works in the theatre’s press office) loaded ourselves into the car with full lunch boxes to head down to Bristol Hippodrome for opening night of BARNUM (despite the satnav taking us the longest route possible). This was my first ever experience of a press night and I was really excited, the theatre was buzzing and there were lots of people arriving. We collected our tickets and joined the press reception.
When we found our seats in the stalls there was a sea of Jugglers who threw balls over the audience, acrobats climbed and tumbled over the seats and we were drawn in to the world of the circus. I was particulary amazed by the young acrobat who was in front of me doing a hand stand on the back of a chair!
From the moment it started I was glued to the performance from start to finish – the set, costumes and choreography were amazingly colourful, making the auditorium itself feel like a real circus with light bulbs draped from the ceiling and the circus ring coming right into the front row of the stalls. My favourite, yet most nail-biting, scene was when Brian Conley, who plays the role of Barnum, tried his hand at tight rope walking – my heart was in my mouth! It was so intense you could almost hear a penny drop. At the end of the performance the audience went wild with a full standing ovation.
Afterwards we were invited to the Piano bar where I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Harrison the co-producer (who also directs our panto’s and is producer of the hit musical The Bodyguard) and the lovely Kathryn Rooney (who has appeared in several of our big pantomime productions). The cast of Barnum also joined us and I was lucky enough to spot the star of the show Brian Conley and Sir Cameron Mackintosh who also co-produces the show – not bad for my first official press night!
Back when I started as an Apprentice I certainly wouldn’t have thought I’d ever have had the privilege of attending a glitzy press night – it was a fantastic evening and I can’t wait to see the show again when it arrives here next year.
For more information and tickets for Barnum click here.
It’s that time again…the lights go down, the audience quieten and the curtain raises on a brand-new season here at Birmingham Hippodrome!
Slava’s Snow Show
This Winter a flurry of fantastic productions will be taking to the stage including Blood Brothers, Mariinsky Theatre’s epic Ring Cycle and a literal snow storm in the auditorium during Slava’s Snow Show. Grupo Corpo will be raising the temperature with hypnotic dance from Brazil whilst Birmingham Royal Ballet return with their ever-popular production of The Nutcracker and Britain’s biggest Panto, Jack and the Beanstalk bursts into life over Christmas!
Something extraordinary will also be taking to the stage this Winter as The Frozen Scream takes over our Patrick Centre with a chilling tale and theatre experience – don’t miss it! Plus, we bring the Southside district alive with unique video art installations in the FREE event, About Town.
In the new year we welcome back Matthew Bourne with his beautiful and haunting production of Edward Scissorhands, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Welsh National Opera return with brand-new seasons, the big, bright and beautiful Shrek – The Musical takes ogre Birmingham and Barnum rolls into town starring Brian Conley!
Now the moment you have all been waiting for…NEW SHOWS ANNOUNCED! We are delighted to welcome back the Olivier Award Winning musical Top Hat, a monster of a show for families – Dinosaur Zoo plus jaw-dropping circus, dance and performance from Cirque Eloize with Cirkopolis. The heart-racing Dirty Dancing will make a return due to popular demand next Spring, National Theatre’s multi-award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nigh-Time plus a brand-new production of the all-time classic musical Oklahoma! We are also very excited to announce that next Summer we will welcome the West End smash-hit musical The Bodyguard featuring all the chart-topping hits of legendary Whitney Houston.
It’s sure to be a show-stopping season and tickets for all new shows are on sale to Birmingham Hippodrome Friends NOW! To find out more about becoming a Friend click here.
Tickets go on general sale 10am Friday 12 Sep.
We are very excited to announce that Birmingham’s favourite showman, Brian Conley will return to Birmingham Hippodrome next Summer in the Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival Theatre hit musical BARNUM!
Brian Conley said “Birmingham Hippodrome is special to me, not only have I performed in some of the most well-loved musicals of all time but I’ve starred in a record breaking 6 pantomimes and was honoured to have hosted the 1999 Royal Variety Performance there.”
This spectacular production of BARNUM follows the irrepressible imagination and dreams of Phineas T Barnum, America’s Greatest Showman featuring a vibrant and colourful circus setting and plenty of ‘oooo’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’.
Tickets for BARNUM will go on sale to Friends at 10am on Monday 30 June, Groups Wednesday 2 July at 10am with General on sale on Friday 4 July.
For more information click here.
Take a look at the official teaser trailer below…