Saturday 12th September 2015
A very full and jolly day at my favourite theatre in the UK, the Hippodrome, Birmingham.
Just now the city is experiencing a new renaissance- in a week’s time the Grand Central shopping complex and the New Street station will emerge from the hoardings and scaffolding, a fabulous atrium style station complex to rival the Bullring- and where better to enjoy the buzz than here at the Hippodrome, where a band of volunteers are striving, with the help of lottery funding a fund raising, to preserve the heritage of this Theatre!
The Grand Central!
The Station about to emerge!
Meanwhile, on stage at the Hippodrome:
Andrew Ryan and I arrived in the morning and handed over two fabulous gowns, worn by Danny La Rue and now in our safe keeping. They went on display on the main stage, beautifully lit- I felt that Dan would be very proud of how it all looked. Tables laid out for a very special fundraising afternoon tea on the main stage, hosted by Midlands TV personality, Joanne Maling. Joanne made her early stage appearances here on the Hippo Stage, starting with a “Jack & The Beanstalk” with Russ Abbott and Bella Emberg!
Here is a photograph of Joanne and me from a business event last year. Two stunning red heads, I’m sure you’d agree!
The foyer was alive with face painting, pop up shows and talks, and tours of the building. Two Music Hall style ladies were teaching children songs from the halcyon days of the Hippodrome, and Teresa Nalton at Qdos had kindly supplied some stunning “Aladdin” costumes to decorate the foyers.
For some excellent photographs taken by Paul Painter, click on the photos below: Stunning photos of the afternoon!
Talking of “Aladdin” pantomime- Andrew Ryan managed to fit in a press call in readiness for this season’s “Aladdin” before a swift Quick Change to join me and Peter Tod on stage for the Afternoon Tea and interviews.
Here are a couple of Andrew’s Twankey Moments at the Hippodrome this afternoon.
The afternoon was spent with Heart FM giving interviews about pantomime at the Hippodrome, and enjoying a fabulous afternoon tea on the main stage. Joanne asked Peter Tod, Andrew Ryan, and myself to join her in a chat about our Hippo experiences, and the several Pantomime Roadshows we have appeared in over the years, including “Tower” a show we toured about the History of the Hippodrome and its early beginnings.
At the end of the day we met up with Jenny Smith the project Manager, and With Rachael Griffin the Development Manager and recorded “Oral History” for the Theatre’s archive and interactive displays. I think I’ve recorded a podcast as well which will be on the Hippodrome site shortly.