Watch: The show must go on! Birmingham theatres bounce back from Covid

The Alexandra and Birmingham Hippodrome theatres are celebrating full houses and packed calendars after a rocky period throughout the pandemic

The Alexandra and Birmingham Hippodrome theatres are seeing a strong return following lockdown.

Both venues are seeing regular full houses for their shows. Box offices are also busy with high demand for future events.

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Theatre management believe that many are tired of sitting at home watching box sets and are ready for the unique experience of live entertainment.

Birmingham Hippodrome

How bad was the effect of the pandemic on theatreland in Birmingham?

The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for the performing arts industry; months of empty theatres and for many staff empty pay packets.

Forty percent of those in the industry nationally were made redundant and fifteen percent believe their careers will never recover.

It’s a different experience guests that have returned to. Checks are made to ensure victors are either double vaccinated or have recently had a negative Covid test result and for those not except, masks are worn within the building.=

The good news for theatres is that many people are keen to get back out and enjoy live entertainment.

Simon Creed, Theatre Director, The Alexandra

What is happening at The Alexandra?

The Alexandra say they are confident for the future - seeing huge numbers return for a host of first class shows, including the Heathers and Everyone’s talking about Jamie.

Simon Creed, Theatre Director, The Alexandra said: “Without furlough, it would have been challenging.

“We have also been lucky here in Birmingham to have had some grant money from the local council.

“The company which runs the Alex, ATG, furloughed staff and they’ve been really well looked after.

“Obviously the extra Covd checks add a bit of time to the customer journey, and it hopefully reassures our audience.

“It’s been a long and hard 18 months and it’s just great to be back with full audiences, with a full auditorium. The place is buzzing - it’s great!”

Fiona Allan, Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome

How about Birmingham Hippodrome?

Birmingham Hippodrome is also seeing  a strong reopening with strong demand for their lucrative Christmas pantomime, Jason Donovan starring in Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Fiona Allan, Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome, said: “Very enthusiastic. We had a sold out week last week and pantomime bookings, especially since we announced the cast, have really shown everyone’s joy of returning.

“To sit in the theatre and be there for a live performance that you’re enjoying in the same space at the same time - it’s second to none.”

Why the show must go on!

This winter the safety net of government financial support is no longer available. For theatres. in order to avoid collapse it really is a case of the show must go on.

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