Last summer I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the Birmingham Hippodrome's First Night Bloggers. So far it has been such privilege to be able to spend many happy nights at the theatre, glass of wine in one hand and my ticket in the other. What do I have to do in return? Review the shows. Sounds like I win on both ends here!
Our first experience of press life was at the Dance Consortium's Sutra, a dance show that combined contemporary dance and kung fu. With that in mind I entered the auditorium for the first time as a First Night blogger and sat through the most incredibly bizarre performance I'd ever seen. It was absolutely sensational!
Next we were invited along to the Welsh National Opera where I saw Wagner's Dream. This was my first experience of the WNO and I had only ever seen one opera before. It was clearly for quite a niche audience but unfortunately I was not part of that niche. Thinking back to the plot now, it actually left me with a lot to think about and even inspired one of my dissertation ideas.
Over the summer we attended the Youth Arts Summit. The event opened by showcasing some of the talent that resides among Birmingham's youth and was then followed by a debate. Although I felt that the adults dominated most of the discussions, I hope to see some changes come about from what the younger attendees had to say.
My first day back at university had the most perfect start at the Snow White panto press event. It was a sparkling morning where the press had the opportunity to meet the cast and meet the Hippodrome's latest Snow White, Danielle Hope.
Illuminate lit up Birmingham for a wonderful weekend, providing all sorts of thrills for audiences of all kinds. Just knowing that I attended two out of the three days should tell you just how much I enjoyed it.
War Horse galloped into our hearts in October with a series of related events. We had the opportunity to speak to some of the cast of the show as well as the acclaimed writer Michael Morpurgo. We returned to the Hippodrome again later to hear the man himself read extracts from his book as part of Remembrance day. Such a beautiful book and every event that trotted into the Hippodrome did it complete justice.
Finally to top off a fabulous experience - so far - I embarked on the world of panto. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs definitely held up the shimmering reputation of panto at the Hippodrome and was a perfect way to end 2013 at the theatre.
I think it is obvious that I have enjoyed every second of this experience so far and I cannot wait for another fun filled year at the Birmingham Hippodrome in 2014!
Here is what to expect: