Tag Archives: News

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Birmingham born Drew McOnie on choreographing a new production of classic musical Oklahoma!

Here from 30 June to 4 July, a new Music & Lyrics production of feel good musical Oklahoma! has been choreographed by Birmingham born Drew McOnie. We chatted to Drew about his Brummie roots and the inspiration behind the boot stomping dances in Oklahoma! Tell us about Oklahoma! What inspired your choreography for this? Oklahoma! […]

mid * point: Fierce Festival Announcement

Fierce Festival press announcement: 

Fierce returns for 2015! Headline events announced

  • Fierce Festival returns, 7-11 October 2015
  • Eight UK premieres, ground-breaking live art, music, dance, installation and the infamous Fierce parties
  • Highlights include Sleep with a Curator at Eastside Projects and a huge performance art party on Saturday night
  • The last Festival for Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison 


An ambitious eight UK premieres will be presented in Birmingham during one weekend as part of Fierce Festival 2015.

Fierce returns to the city from 7-11 October 2015 with a mix of live art, music, dance, installation and the infamous Fierce parties.

Fierce Festival 2015 will be the last Festival for its current Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison, who have been at the helm since 2009.

A highlight of the weekend is Sleep with a Curator at Eastside Projects, where audiences are invited to bring a sleeping bag and spend a night in the Digbeth gallery before enjoying a communal breakfast. Curator Gavin Wade will join in the sleepover, reading a selection of bedtime stories and cooking bacon pancakes in the morning.

The weekend is marked with eight UK premieres by artists from across the world – from Brazil and Canada to Belgium and Germany. Simone Aughterlony will present Supernatural, a dance piece exploring gender roles that has been well received at festivals in Europe and the USA, and is hotly anticipated in the UK.

In Happiness Forgets, performer Season Butler will re-enact the opening sequence of all seven series of 1990s TV classic The Cosby Show, which feature the Huxtable family doing a series of dance moves.

Music forms an important part of Fierce 2015. The DJ Who Gave Away Too Much Information sees the Canadian company PME-ART sharing personal stories connected to their vinyl collection during a ‘listening party’ at COW Vintage clothing store in Digbeth.

Fierce would not be Fierce without its infamous parties. For 2015, DJs and performers Anklepants, Gazelle Twin, Sarah Farina and Miguel Gutierrez’s Deep Aerobics will perform into the early hours on Friday and Saturday nights, complete with animatronic masks, neon sports wear, face-paint and lots of dry ice.

This will be the last Fierce Festival for Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison, who will leave the organisation in autumn 2015 to pursue new creative projects. Since their appointment in 2009, McDermott and Morrison have filled the city with performances, including in Edible Eastside, an urban allotment in Digbeth, and last year in the beautiful Moseley Road Baths. The new Director of Fierce will be appointed later this year.

Please see details and sample images attached. Tickets go on sale Wednesday 1 July atwww.wearefierce.org

Further details will be released during the summer.

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Special event brings Trustees past and present together

We will be saying a very sad farewell to our Chief Executive Stuart Griffiths on 3 July after 13 years. Ahead of him leaving,  a special drinks reception was held in Studio 5 which brought together Trustees, past and present, of Birmingham Hippodrome Development Trust and Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust boards to thank Stuart for […]

mid * point: Talking Birds a finalist in national Tech4Good awards!

Coventry theatre company Talking Birds is excited to be a finalist in the prestigious national Tech4Good awards for its pioneering invention – The Difference Engine – which makes live performances more accessible for deaf and disabled people, throughcaptions and audio description (and more!), broadcast to mobile devices: smartphones and tablets.

Nominated in the Accessibility category, Talking Birds are hoping that with the help of the public – including mid*point colleagues – they can win the People’s Award!

Votes can be cast until the end of June via the Tech4GoodAwards website, (one vote per email address) AND via twitter using the hashtag #T4GTalkingBirds e.g. “I support #T4GTalkingBirds in the @Tech4GoodAwards” – all uses of the hashtag count as votes, and the judges will be monitoring sharing on other social media too.

As the only arts company in the finals, Talking Birds would be really grateful if mid*point colleagues could vote, make lots of noise on twitter, promote it to your networks, and encourage friends, family and colleagues to vote too!

The Tech4Good Awards recognise the work of organisations and individuals which use digital technology to improve the lives of others. Talking Birds’ Difference Engine is a prototype tool which puts access into the hands of deaf, hard-of-hearing and sight-impaired audiences: it broadcasts captions and audio description, using technology that people already own (smartphones and tablets) to give them access to cultural events that they are currently excluded from. The Difference Engine is really flexible and low cost, so it can be used by small scale companies, and by those creating experimental work or performing in non-traditional spaces. It can also be used for audience interaction and feedback.

Talking Birds developed the Difference Engine because they found that existing access tools – like the large captioning machines that are used in conventional theatres to provide subtitles – often weren’t suitable for the sort of work that they do, which includes shows in unusual venues and promenade performances where the audience move about. They’ve used it on a number of their shows, and are hoping to roll it out to other arts organisations later this year – so watch this space!

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: From small change to major donors your support really does make a difference

Rachael Griffin, Development Manager (Individual Giving and Trusts) blogs about recent donations. As a registered charity Birmingham Hippodrome relies on the generous support of individual donors at all levels to support our programme of outreach, education and access work via Hippodrome Plus.  As a result of your support, last year our Creative Learning team worked […]

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Brandon Lawrence gives us an insight into life as a dancer for Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet First Artist, Brandon Lawrence gives an insight into being a dancer with a world renowned ballet company and their upcoming season at Birmingham Hippodrome… To be honest, I started dancing out of nowhere, so I was taken to a local dance school with no intention or expectation that I could have a […]

Women and Theatre: Boys Talk performance



Our Boys Talk performance at mac birmingham on 23 May went extremely well.  The weather behaved itself, and stayed dry for the two performances in the Outdoor Arena, and we had great audiences too. With live music, spoken word, dance, and a bit of stand up comedy thrown in, there was something for everyone. The audience found it interesting to see the responses to the questions How, When, Why, Where and to Whom boys talk…

Excellent! Thank you. Very thought provoking. Boys’ emotional needs are definitely overlooked in our society ….

Very powerful – congratulations to all involved. More things like this needed – compulsory work in our schools?!


Women and Theatre: One word to explain why I love W&T: Benedicta Agbonze

Over the past month we’ve been featuring some of the individuals who contribute or feature in the work we create.  We’ve been asking them to think about why they love our company and which particular element of our work they most admire. We’ve already featured Ali Belbin and Emmi Isham. Now it’s the turn of one of our most enthusiastic project contributors Benedicta.

We first met Benedicta Agbonze a few years ago when she featured in our 2013 production of Loving Me, part of our stand of work with Looked After Young People. In the years since then we have watched her grow from a quiet shy girl into a confident and plucky young woman. She is currently involved with our project Womens Work

W&T on a number of projects. In her career she has worked with Round Midnight Ltd. where she was Artistic Director before moving to pursue the creation of her own company, Bonanza Creative. Emmi has chosen the word ‘Champion’ to describe the work we create. Here’s her explanation of why she chose it: