Marcus Hubbard joined us as a voluntary First Night blogger in 2011. Here he writes fondly about his year spent working with us and his hopes to tread the boards of his favourite theatre in the future.
For those people who might not know, Birmingham Hippodrome has a great scheme giving young people the chance to access discounted tickets for pretty much every show at the theatre. Way back in 2011, I was invited by the Hippodrome to be an ambassador, a face and a voice if you will for the First Night Scheme, along with fellow blogger (and now friend) Alex. At the time ‘First Night Blogging’ was unheard of and none of us really knew what we were getting in to, we didn’t know how it was going to work, or if it was going to be a success. Well, four years down the line the scheme is going strong and since myself and Alex there have been numerous new bloggers recruited by the theatre to carry the banner for First Night representing the voice of young theatre goers in the Midlands (however, we still pride ourselves at being the originals!)
I have nothing but wonderful memories of my time at the Hippodrome: from being asked to walk around Birmingham wearing video camera glasses for the day, swinging from a trapeze in the middle of the city centre as part of the theatre’s outdoor progamming, to donning my best outfit for the press night of the UK tour of ‘Top Hat’ and meeting such wonderful people both from the Hippodrome and other areas of the Birmingham media and entertainment scene. Particular highlights include attending the press launch for the first UK tour of ‘Dirty Dancing’ at the Aston Villa ground (which included a tour of the grounds and a theatrical lunch with exclusive previews of some of the songs from show) as well as witnessing the spectacle that was The Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe’s Swan Lake – she dances on his head!
After my time was up as a First Night Blogger I swapped the bright lights of Birmingham for the bright lights of London to go to stage school for three years. My time there was everything the movies make it out to be – if not better (or worse at times!) and now I’m out in the big old world of showbiz auditioning for various projects in theatre and for screen. Even though the main goal is to be on stage in musicals, I’ve occasionally blogged and wrote articles for various different mediums since my time at the Hippodrome.
Having moved down to London, the Hippodrome is still a big part of my life… Now in 2015 I can still drop Media and PR Manager Mandy an email to come in for coffee (and recently donuts) and a catch up to hear all the latest from behind the scenes at the theatre – it’s not every day you find yourself stuffing a donut in your face backstage whilst getting to see Shrek’s fat suit!
Watching the First Night Scheme grow over the years has been wonderful, and now watching new bloggers – and these days vloggers – continue to represent the scheme has been even better (even though I’m a little jealous of them!) Growing up at the Hippodrome was a big part of my life and to be able to be a tiny part in the working cogs of the best theatre in the UK was a real honour, and who knows, perhaps I’ll get to play the Hippodrome stage one day…
First Night is a free membership scheme for 16-24 years olds check out our latest offers and keep up-to-date with our current bloggers.
For more theatrical anecdotes, follow Marcus on Twitter @marcusjhubbard