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A great night, and not a hippo in sight
The Birmingham Hippodrome (Birmingham)
Member Name: eatingpinkzebras
The Birmingham Hippodrome (Birmingham)
Advantages: Pleasant theatre with easy parking and lots of nearby restaurants
Disadvantages: Could do with extra toilets
Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a showing of Les Miserables at the Birmingham Hippodrome theatre. I was really impressed, not just with the performance but with the theatre itself as well, and so I thought it deserved a review!
The theatre is situated in the centre of Birmingham and is easily arrived at by car by following the signs to Theatres or City Centre. You can park in various places, including a car park at the Arcadian Centre which is literally a few feet away. We parked in the multi-storey car park on Pershore Street which was about a four or five minute walk away and very easy to find. It cost around £2.50 for a full evening's parking which I thought was very good value.
If you are arriving by public transport then you can easily get a bus, or if you take the train to New Street Station you will find it to be only a short walk from there. Obviously taxis can drop you right by the theatre!
The theatre is really well equipped for food. There are two restaurants and a bar in the theatre itself, although these have quite high prices and didn't look particularly special. Next door to the theatre is a Chinese restaurant and a few feet away is the Arcadian centre with a choice of Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Latin American restaurants, many of which feature cheap set meals and pre-theatre options. So you really are spoilt for choice with dining options!
Inside the building, the lobby areas and stairs are very modern and attractive which is probably due to the recent refurbishment. There are bars or food and drink kiosks on each floor for use before the performances or during the intervals.
The theatre itself is very nice. The chairs are comfortable and not too narrow, and although there is not a massive amount of leg space I have definitely been in theatres with less! There is a stalls area and a large circle area, plus a few private boxes which can be hired for a price!
We sat at the very back of the theatre, on the back row where the cheapest seats are, and our view was still good. The stage wasn't obstructed at all and although we were too far back to distinguish facial expressions, we saw everything else very well. So I would say if those were the cheapest seats then the view from the more expensive ones would probably be excellent!
I only spoke to a couple of staff within the theatre but found them to be smiling and very helpful, so I have no complains there. The only problem with the theatre was that the toilets were a bit limited and I had to queue for around ten minutes during the interval. There seemed to be four women's toilet cubicles on the top floor which wasn't really enough.
The theatre runs all sorts of shows including ballets, comedy, musicals, opera and dance shows. Musicals are my favourite and coming up in the next few months are performances of Blood Brothers, Hairspray, The Sound of Music and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, so there's certainly a good array of shows planned. Tickets tend to range from around £17 for the cheaper seats to around £50 for the best seats, although boxes will cost more if you wish to hire them.
I would recommend this theatre because of its excellent location, the ease of access, the food options available nearby and the pleasant atmosphere and level of comfort inside. For more information or to book tickets, you can visit the Hippodrome's website which is extensive and informative.
I hope this was helpful and has encouraged anyone who lives nearby to attend a performance here!
Summary: I'd go again