Take a sneak peek behind the scenes of the stunning musical Top Hat

Our guest blogger Sebastien Torka plays Italian fashion designer Alberto Beddini  in the award-winning musical Top Hat, he  blogs from behind the scenes of a typical day in theatreland!

Arriving at the theatre at 12.40pm, I go straight to my dressing room to find a piece of fruit left by my dear room mate, John Conroy. Today it’s a banana, sometimes it’s an easy-peeler (clementine)!!!!

Tracksuit and t-shirt on I head to the stage for a physical and vocal warmup with the rest of the company, not forgetting to take my two water bottles to fill at the cooler ready for the show.  I get through a lot of water, especially in act 2!

One of the most important parts of the ‘getting ready’ process is  ‘The Hair Taming’.    Honestly, I’m not using too much hairspray!!!! But I am getting through a lot  gel!!

It’s 2 o’clock and the show begins, here in Sheffield, but I’m only just putting on my costume as my first entrance on stage is twenty minutes into the performance. About now I start to get a little nervous and excited for what today’s performance will bring.

Funny, the little rituals we acquire along the way…I now check my pockets three times to make sure I’ve got my props! Even though I’ve never forgotten them!

My Act 1 done. The show seems more relaxed after the adrenalin of last night’s performance in yet another new space. Backstage traffic quickly becomes familiar and organised.

The matinee is over.  In the final bow John and I both notice a man on the front row who’s the doppelganger of the writer Alan Bennet.   The audience leave front of house, on a high, I go back to the dressing room, also on a high, to get changed and peel off my moustache.  I don’t lose time because now I’ve worked up an appetite.  So, it’s back to my digs  (only a fifteen minute walk away from the theatre)  for some food and phone calls to home. In a couple of hours time we’re going to be doing this all over again.

7.45pm and the show should start any minute now. I can hear the band warming up (no familiar tunes this time, just random notes and scales like something from Stockhausen) and the chatter of the audience which sounds like another full house.

I feel I need a bit of sugar this evening….in between Act 2 scenes I raid the sweet jar that’s kept at prompt corner.

2nd performance finished….People on their feet at the curtain call, that’s always a buzz.    In the dressing room I fill my tiny wash basket with damp clothing. Some poor thing, has to deal with that lot!!

The day is over…well, almost, a quick pint in the pub might be in order!!


Top Hat opens at Birmingham Hippodrome on 10 March #BHtophat

See more spectacular shows at Birmingham Hippodrome with our ENCORE deal

Want to save money on tickets?  Our new ENCORE deal does just that when you book two or more of the following shows – the multi award winning Top Hat; the brilliant interactive children’s show Dinosaur Zoo; the breathtaking Cirkopolis fusing , circus, acrobatics and theatre and Beautiful Thing, a glorious urban love story in our Patrick Centre starring Charlie Brooks (Janine in EastEnders).


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ENCORE gives you the chance to receive 15% off tickets and you can book online too.

Find out more here and tell your friends!  #BHencore


Raising the curtain on a new season…

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

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!

The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

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.