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Birmingham Hippodrome

ethanedwards

Brummie Muso
Birmingham Hippodrome

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The Birmingham Hippodrome is a theatre situated on Hurst Street
in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham.

Although best known as the home stage of the
Birmingham Royal Ballet,
it also hosts a wide variety of other performances
including visiting opera and ballet companies
touring West End shows, pantomime and drama.

Every summer, the Hippodrome usually houses
a major West End touring show,
some of these consist of Starlight Express,
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cats and Mary Poppins.
Every year, the Hippodrome houses a pantomime
from the company QDOS

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The first venue built on the Hippodrome site
was a building of assembly rooms in 1895.
In 1899 a stage and circus ring was added together
with a miniature of Blackpool Tower (removed 1963)
and the enterprise named the "Tower of Varieties".
After failing, this reopened as the "Tivoli" in 1900,
finally becoming "The Hippodrome" in October 1903.
The current neo-classical auditorium seats 1,900
and was designed by Burdwood and Mitchell in 1924.

The exterior of the theatre was substantially
rebuilt by Associated Architects
and Law and Dunbar-Nasmith in 2001.


Similar to The Odeon,
The Hippodrome also hosted many 'Package shows'
consisting chart toppers of the the 60' and 70's.
Eddie Cochran,Gene Vincent, The Walker Brothers and many
more name too numerous, to remember, appeared here.

I met John Walker of The Walker Btothers,
outside the foyet, and what a nice fella he was!
 

shardeen

master brummie
hello all, i had the pleasure of meeting the original Platters outside the stage door in Inge st and Frankie Lymon, and had quite a nice chat.


shardeen
 

The Baron

master brummie
I had the good fortune to see some fantasic Stars at this great venue. BUD ABOTT & LOU COSTELLO, OLIVER & HARDY ,ROY ROGERS & DALE EVANS + TRIGGER, TOMMY STEEL,ALMA COGAN, JIM DALE, DES O'CONNER & Many many more/
Most I had sign my book at the stage door, had to go to the old QUEENS HOTEL to get Roy Rogers. Saddly on our move to NEW OSCOTT after our wedding I lost the book!
 

anthea

master brummie
I remember seeing Petula Clark at the Hip. Her pink sports car (may have been an MG) with her personalised number late PET 1. Must have been in the 1950's. Anthea.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
hi all
I remember the Gene Vincent/Eddie Cochran dates visiting Brum so excited but no money to see them hung about for hours with mu mate Mike Whitehead but did,t get to see em
paul
 

jennyann

master brummie
Staff member
Hi Baron: When Roy Rogers and Dale Evans visited Birmingham to appear at the Hippodrome and stayed at the Queen's Hotel . They brought his horse, Trigger, to the hotel one afternoon and Trigger walked up the staircase. Apparently, he did this in Glasgow and Liverpool as far as I know at hotels in those cities. Shame that you lost your autograph book.
 

Ray Barrett

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN R.I.P.
Went to the Hip.to see Guy Mitchell,didn't know I would have such a close encounter.
Having gone across to The Cross Keys for a pint during the interval,I bumped into the man himself.
he gave me this photo.:)
 

ethanedwards

Brummie Muso
Hi Baron: When Roy Rogers and Dale Evans visited Birmingham to appear at the Hippodrome and stayed at the Queen's Hotel . They brought his horse, Trigger, to the hotel one afternoon and Trigger walked up the staircase. Apparently, he did this in Glasgow and Liverpool as far as I know at hotels in those cities. Shame that you lost your autograph book.
When I was a kid, I saw Roy, Dale and Trigger at The Plaza Theatre in West Bromwich.
He asked all the kids who were wearing cowboy suits onto the stage and we all,
one by one had the treat of sitting on top of Trigger.
He gave us all a blue Lone Star gun as a gift. Only wish I still had it!!!
They were a charming friendly couple, and those moments are well cherished.

Here's a profile I've written on Roy.
https://www.dukewayne.com/showthread.php?t=2110
 

Weoley

knowlegable brummie
My dad was the Stage Manager of the Hippodrome in the 70s (He worked there from the 50s to about 1980).

I inherited all his memorabillia (30 years worth!) when he died a few years ago.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
After my father returned from military service at the end of 1946, he would for the next two or three years, take me to the Hippodrome.

What wonderful entertainment was to be seen by a young child: why before entering the theatre a performance by the street busker, usually on the spoons r bones, delighted all queuing.

Many were the unknown acts -usually about eight or ten I think - that I saw and of course there was the top of bill artiste. The interval resulted in fathers return with crisps and a beverage (I was not allowed in the bar, wherever that w;)as )

The evening out was as much part of the night - traveling into the City and home again.

Why have so many lost the art of simple pleasures nowadays?
 
W

Wendy

Guest
I still love to go to the Hippodrome. The panto's, shows, ballet are brilliant and some fantastic musicals........oh if I were a rich man....sorry that should be woman. Oliver is coming next year. I would love to go more often!

Weoley how lovely to have your Dad's collection!
 

Shortie

master brummie
We have lost the art of simple pleasures I suspect because we have generally become more sophisticated as a result of the computer age. Everything if not having a micro-chip installed is endowed with 'special effects'. Children have to have sophisticated toys - all as a result of progress. Some of it I like, some I am not so sure of. Shows with special effects are usually spectacular rather than just entertainment. I am going to the Hippodrome myself tomorrow night to see Midnight Tango. A surprise visit, I had not got a clue I would be going, so I don't know if this show is full of special effects or whether it will be just dancing. Whichever way, I shall just love it, I am sure.

Shortie
 

cearnegiant

master brummie
Johnny Cash,Roy Oberson,Laural and Hardy,Larry Grayson,Des Oconnor in Cinderalla,Mke and Bernie Winters in Babes in the Wood,The Who and The Small Faces[ with Arthur Brown] Morecombe and Wise, The Cadbury shows,The Comedians. Cats and many more at the Hippodrome,And not forgetting seeing Hair original tour show.Think also Odeon in New street to see The Beach Boys,La Dolca Vita to see Grumbleweeds and Tiny Tim.Meeting Freddie Starr at the Castaways club. Joe Loss at Larcano.Those were the days in Brum
 

lorz

proper brummie kid
The grumbleweeds r they still going, the castaways and La Dolce Vita i worked there r they still there? Freddie what can anyone say about him thats printable RIP!! Have not been back to Brum for about 20 years, find this site so interesting.
 

cearnegiant

master brummie
Grumbleweeds still going and now double act.Freddie Starr back on tour after his health problems. Dont know if La Dolce Vita still going. Also liked going to the Alexandra. saw few pantos there.I really wish had visited the Birmingham Rep. Started careers of some well known actors including Laurance Oliveir.
 
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