1 month to go – Panto countdown begins…

Oh yes it is! Just one month remains until we open Britain’s biggest pantomime right here in Birmingham…

Last week we were joined by two of the stars of the show, Blue’s Duncan James who plays Jack and Coronation Street’s Chris Gascoyne who takes on the role of the evil Fleshcreep as they met members of the media for an exclusive chat ahead of the beginning of rehearsals in a few weeks time.

As the countdown continues we thought we would share with you some great shots from last week’s launch day…


It’s time to Give Big again this Christmas – with ‘The BIG Give’

Time is ticking away and we are getting ever closer to this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge when you can help someone see a special Pantomime performance… oh yes you can!

Last year, for the first time, we adapted one performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs so that it was suitable for anyone on the autism spectrum, with learning disabilities, or with a sensory and communication disorder.

It was our first ‘relaxed performance’ and it went down brilliantly.

Special technical adaptations to the performance were made (such as reduced sound levels and lighting adjustments, plus some adapted special effects); soft play and breakout spaces were kitted out for patrons to relax in before or during the show (this was particularly important for many young patrons visiting us for the first time); extra training and support was arranged for our front of house team; and, with some special needs teenagers, we created a short preview film for patrons to see exactly what was in store. Ticket prices were also heavily discounted.

As an unsubsidised charity ourselves, we were only able to achieve all this through the generous help of supporters like you who contributed donations as part of The Big Give.

The feedback from last year’s visitors about what the staging of this special relaxed performance meant to them was inspirational:

“Thank you for thinking so much about being an all-inclusive venue – it really matters!! Probably more than you will ever realise.”

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

This year’s target: £24,000

This year for Jack and the Beanstalk, we have set ourselves the ‘gigantic’ target of raising a total of £24,000 to make our relaxed performance on 29 Jan 2015 even bigger and better than last year. Already grant-making trusts have donated nearly £6,500. But we still need to raise £6,000 in online donations in December, which will then be doubled.

It’s so simple: From 10am on Thurs 4 December, Fri 5 December and Sat 6 December your donation could be doubled via the Big Give Christmas Challenge, just visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com/biggive

Only with your help will all this be achievable. So please put those December dates in your calendar, keep your eyes peeled for our blogs, emails and reminder tweets in the coming weeks; and spread the word with friends and family.

The countdown continues…….
The Big Give was founded in October 2007 and enables donors to support their favourite charitable projects. Since its launch, The Big Give has raised over £50 million, with the majority of this raised through Challenge Funding, where donations made on the specific dates are doubled. Last year the campaign raised over £11 million for 387 participating charities.

Biggest Panto in 10 years…oh yes it is!!

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s spectacular Pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has welcomed over 115,000 theatregoers since we opened the show on 19 Dec, making it our best-selling Panto for over a decade!

This year we have been treated to one of the most star-studded casts of recent years – John Partridge, Gok Wan, Stephanie Beacham, Gary Wilmot, Paul Zerdin, Matt Slack and Danielle Hope – who will have played a phenomenal 77 performances attracting audiences from across the country.

Thank you to all of you who came along, making this year’s show one of the most magical ever.

See you at Jack and the Beanstalk from this December!

In the meantime, here’s some great pics as we welcomed the great and the good of Panto Land for last night’s end of Panto party…