ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, CATS, Matthew Bourne's SWAN LAKE and More SEt for Birmingham Hippodrome's 2013-14 Season

ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, CATS, Matthew Bourne's SWAN LAKE and More SEt for Birmingham Hippodrome's 2013-14 Season

Birmingham Hippodrome has announced details of a spectacular new season of outstanding live entertainment. The 2013/14 season features a host of new productions, an outdoor event transforming the Southside district, and the return of a much-loved favourite with priority booking for Hippodrome Friends.

Stuart Griffiths, Birmingham Hippodrome's Chief Executive said: "We are proud to present a programme filled with such a wide range of the highest quality ballet, dance, opera, musicals and drama. New to this season is the brand new production of Fiddler On The Roof starring Paul Michael Glaser; the award-winning Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber masterpiece Evita starring Marti Pellow; and a new musical based on the massive hit TV series, Happy Days.

"We're delighted to bring you the first preview of International Dance Festival Birmingham which returns next spring for the fourth time. Hippodrome main stage highlights include a new work from Sylvie Guillem; from Argentina, we present M¡longa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; Geneva based Alias Dance Company will perform the hypnotic Sideways Rain; and Hip Hop lovers can also look forward to the ever popular Breakin' Convention. Full festival programming will be announced later this year."

Hippodrome residents Birmingham Royal Ballet return with the popular Still Life at the Penguin Cafe and their Christmas favourite The Nutcracker. Director David Bintley's new production of The Prince of the Pagodas set to Benjamin Britten's only commissioned ballet score received acclaim at its world premiere in Japan in 2011, with spectacular and imaginative costumes by War Horse designer Rae Smith. February sees its first performance in Birmingham.

All of Welsh National Opera's repertoire can be experienced live in Birmingham, and the company returns to the Hippodrome stage for an epic 2013/14 season of world-class performances. Autumn season highlights include Donizetti's rarely-heard The Tudors, an exciting operatic trilogy depicting thrilling political and private incidents from the lives of our Tudor monarchs.

War Horse: Only Remembered, a special concert taking place during the run of The National Theatre's production, is a chance to hear author of the original book Michael Morpurgo reading live extracts from his best-selling novel. John Tams and Barry Coope will accompany him with the rousing yet haunting songs specially composed by John Tams for the production. For one night, as part of the first ever Family Arts Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome's Patrick Centre studio will be transformed into World War One trenches for a special Sleepover inspired by War Horse. Organised by the theatre's Creative Learning team, the event will commemorate the songs, stories and art of The Great War with practical activities for families with children over 8 years.

With War Horse almost sold out this autumn, the Hippodrome's link with The National Theatre continues in 2014. With laugh-out-loud performances, satire, songs, slapstick and glittering one-liners, Richard Bean's award-winning One Man, Two Guvnors (based on Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters) has now been enjoyed by over 1 million people worldwide.

Following the success of the outdoor Summer in Southside performances for families, Birmingham Hippodrome presents Illuminate, a three-day event transforming parts of our Southside neighbourhood into a FREE light spectacular. Take in the darker autumn evenings with interactive street projections from Shanghai, live dance performances, and the extraordinary Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition - these brightly coloured, greater-than-life-size figures were originally created for the Beijing Olympics!

Chief Executive Stuart Griffiths continued: "I am delighted to announce that one of the best-loved and most well-known musicals of all time will be returning to Birmingham Hippodrome next year. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS, featuring a memorable score, will be a must-see for 2014. Priority booking opens soon for all our Friends.

"This year our fundraising focus is on the work of our expanding Creative Programme. We want to increase our access performances, summer schools, workshops, masterclasses, backstage tours, free events and careers days to reach more people, especially younger people, in our community. To find out more about how you can get involved and support our efforts, please visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com/fundraising."

For further information on how to become a Friend and to take advantage of ticket discounts and priority booking please visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com/friends or contact our box office on 0844 338 5000.

FULL DETAILS AND LISTINGS:

COMEDY & PANTOMIME

This Christmas will see a star-studded cast come to Birmingham in the world's biggest pantomime. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (19 Dec-2 Feb) will feature former Eastender and West End leading man John Partridge as The Prince; TV's beloved fashionista Gok Wan as The Man In The Mirror; Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham as The Wicked Queen; musical maestro Gary Wilmot making his first appearance as The Dame; Royal Variety ventriloquist Paul Zerdin as Muddles, and funny man Matt Slack as Oddjob.

The National Theatre's international smash-hit One Man, Two Guvnors (26-31 May) is a five star feast of comedy set in 1960s Brighton. Big, brash and fast-moving, the hilarious story (adapted by Richard Bean, based on the 1743 Goldoni masterpiece, The Servant of Two Masters) follows the misadventures of the easily confused and ever-hungry Francis Henshall in his quest to please his two unsavoury masters, a local gangster and an upper class criminal. Slapstick humour quickly ensues in a side-splitting evening of entertainment.

MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Award-winning producers Music & Lyrics bring a new production of the stirring Fiddler On The Roof (11-15 Mar) starring Paul Michael Glaser, best known for his role as Starsky in 1970s TV series Starsky & Hutch, and directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood. The timeless tale of Tevye and his family traditions ran on Broadway for a record-breaking 13 years featuring instantly recognisable songs such as If I Were a Rich Man, Matchmaker Matchmaker and Sunrise Sunset.

12,000 litres of water will flood the stage every night in the new West End production of Singin' in the Rain (18 Mar-5 Apr) starring screen icon Maxwell Caulfield as Studio Boss RF Simpson and Steps & West End leading lady Faye Tozer as Lina Lamont. The famed MGM musical features a classic score including Good Morning, Make 'em Laugh, and Singin' in the Rain.

The triumphant musical biopic of Argentina's first lady, Evita (8-19 Apr) returns to Birmingham starring Wet Wet Wet front man Marti Pellow as Che. Winner of over 20 major awards across the globe, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's extraordinary musical features a sweeping score packed with beautiful and memorable songs such as Another Suitcase in Another Hall, On This Night of a Thousand Stars and the epic Don't Cry For Me Argentina.
Happy Days (22-26 Apr) are here again as a new tour heads into town written by the legendary creator of the television series, Gary Marshall, with creative consultancy from TV's original 'Fonz', Henry Winkler. Set back in the Rock 'n' Rollin' 1950s, the production boasts 21 new songs by Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning Hall of Fame Songwriter, Paul Williams. This brand-new production stars Heidi Range, best known as the longest serving current member of the multiplatinum-selling British girl group, The Sugababes.

Now celebrating 10 years on Broadway and 7 years in London's West End, Wicked (9 Jul-6 Sep) flies into Birmingham for the very first time for summer 2014. With the untold story of the Witches of Oz, the acclaimed musical reveals the secret about how the misunderstood Elphaba became the infamous Wicked Witch while her friend GLinda Rose to goodness to become Glinda the Good.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's CATS (9-27 Sep) played a total of 8,950 performances during its 21 year run in the West End. Now the memory returns to Birmingham. Tickets go on sale to Friends on 7 October from 10am, to Groups on 14 October at 10am, and general on sale over the phone, online and counter on 16 October at 10am.

DANCE

Birmingham Hippodrome's resident company Birmingham Royal Ballet return to the mainstage this Autumn with a mixed bill including a host of animals in 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café, the award-winning E=MC² by director David Bintley and Tombeaux (3-5 Oct). The sumptuous full-length ballet The Sleeping Beauty (8-12 Oct) also makes a return featuring beautiful sets, costumes and choreography.

This Christmas, Birmingham Royal Ballet present the much-loved family favourite, The Nutcracker (22 Nov-12 Dec). Complete with a flurry of magical, snowy scenes and fairytale characters, it's the perfect start to everyone's Christmas season.

Other highlights of upcoming BRB seasons include a triple bill entitled Three of a Kind (19-22 Feb), the British premiere of David Bintley's The Prince of the Pagodas (25 Feb-1 Mar), three early works from choreographer Frederick Ashton in Darkness and Light (4-7 Jun) and the comic romp La Fille Mal Gardée (11-15 Jun).

With Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake (5-15 Feb), the acclaimed contemporary choreographer brings his stunning retelling of the classic ballet back to Birmingham following previous sell-out Birmingham seasons.

Next May will see the return of the biennial International Dance Festival Birmingham co-produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and DanceXchange. Highlights of the festival are set to include award-winning contemporary Dance Company Alias from Geneva with Sideways Rain (29 & 30 Apr); the return of world-famous ballerina Sylvie Guillem in 6000 miles away (6 & 7 May), the return of the popular international festival of Hip Hop Breakin' Covention (20 & 21 May), and Sidi Larbi's M¡longa (23 & 24 May) featuring a talented cast of Argentinian tango dancers and musicians. Also part of International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 will see acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne Now, unite a cast of New Adventures dancers with remarkable young talent from the West Midlands in an extraordinary adaptation of William Golding's classic novel Lord of the Flies (14-17 May). Golding's legendary characters are brought to life with raw energy, emotional intensity and breathtaking performances. This chilling, beautiful and hugely entertaining piece is set to inspire a generation of new audiences to dance.

OPERA

Birmingham Hippodrome is the only UK venue outside Cardiff where audiences can see all of Welsh National Opera's full repertoire. This Autumn's season from WNO entitled The Tudors is based around three historical figures from the period in three brand new productions of Donizetti's works: Anna Bolena (13 Nov), Maria Stuarda (14 Nov) and Roberto Devereux (15 Nov). The company also performs Puccini's haunting Tosca (12 & 16 Nov).
2014's WNO Spring season, Fallen Women, includes Puccini's Manon Lescaut (5 & 7 Mar), Henze's Boulevard Solitude (6 Mar) and Verdi's La traviata (4 & 8 Mar).

Summer 2014 features Schoenberg's Moses und Aron (18 Jun) and Verdi's Nabucco (19 & 21 Jun). The company will also perform Getty/Debussy's The Fall of the House of Usher (20 Jun).

Booking Information: Ticket Sales: 0844 338 5000. Select your own seat online: www.birminghamhippodrome.com. Groups Hotline: 0844 338 7000. Restaurant reservations: 0844 338 9000 (StageSide Bar and Restaurant, Thorp Street/Circle Restaurant on Level 3 Foyer). Call charges vary from 5p per min; 5% transaction charge on all ticket purchases inc redeemed Gift Vouchers

For more, visit Twitter: @brumhippodrome, Facebook: Birmingham Hippodrome, Blog: www.BirminghamHippodrome.wordpress.com, Instagram: www.instagram.com/brumhippodrome or Youtube: www.youtube.com/birmhipp

Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity. The unsubsidised Hurst Street based venue averages over 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. With no public revenue funding, it is home to Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange, presents all of Welsh National Opera's repertoire, welcomes the best in international dance, West End and Broadway musicals, and the world's biggest Pantomime.

Birmingham Hippodrome is currently expanding its Creative Programme building on its successful work in schools, in the community, and with free outdoor performances. With partners including Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and private funders, the Hippodrome has recently enjoyed co-producing and producing new events including Six Summer Saturdays, International Dance Festival Birmingham, The Voyage (for the London 2012 Festival) and Summer in Southside. It has recently produced the 4 Squares Weekender of outdoor arts performances in celebration of the opening of the Library of Birmingham on behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership.

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