Birmingham Hippodrome has housed some of the most legendary and iconic musicals known to the world. But for the first time ever (and a first for UK venues) it will start to develop its own original musicals in the West Midlands. It will launch the first in-house musical theatre department at a UK venue.
The new department will be led by a Head of New Musical Theatre, who will create new production opportunities in Birmingham and beyond. It will commission, develop and produce new musicals, alongside offering skills development, employment, and a new Writers Lab, supporting more sustainable career pathways in musical theatre.
“Over 260,000 people come to see musical theatre at the Hippodrome every year and we know our audiences are hungry for new musicals,” said Jon Gilchrist, Artistic Director and CEO of Birmingham Hippodrome. “This next phase in our artistic ambitions sees the organisation make a long-term commitment to developing musical theatre on-site and making more opportunities for careers in musical theatre.
“Audiences will play a key role in every step of the process, from invites to work-in-progress sharings, first performances in our studios, all the way up to large-scale new productions.”
Operating from a new studio space at the Hippodrome, the team’s work will be presented on all the Hippodrome’s stages and partners across the country. As part of its commitment to developing new musicals, long-term creative development opportunities will be available to those aiming to make a career in musical theatre. This includes a year-long Writers’ Lab launching later this year, which will be led by writer Victoria Saxton.
“This is cause for real celebration. While there is no shortage of musical theatre writing talent in the UK, there is a need for consistent space, support and production opportunity,” said Vicky. “The Hippodrome – with its enthusiastic musical theatre audience base, passionate and skilled team, and well-equipped space – is perfectly placed to respond to this need. It’s an honour to be a part of it.”
The first fully Hippodrome-produced musical will aim to be staged in the Patrick Studio in 2024, with produced work becoming a regular feature on its stages following after. Applications for the Head of New Musical Theatre at Birmingham Hippodrome close June 9. To apply head here.