In the hundred years the Bristol Hippodrome has been open, it has delighted and intrigued visitors with some of the best in travelling theatre and entertainment. It is considered one of the UK’s major venues for The Arts, notorious for exhibiting world-class musicals from Broadway and the West End, and bringing Bristolians a versatile programme of opera, ballet, pantomimes, comedy and more.
Its status as the Bristol West End is backed by the many shows it has received since opening in 1912. Matilda, Miss Saigon, Hairspray and Wicked have all toured at the Hippodrome; The Lion King kickstarted its regional tour there, and Mary Poppins and the English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker performed their world premieres at the venue. The Hippodrome even has its own choir that supports its array of musicals.
The theatre was designed by Frank Matcham, a renowned theatrical architect of the late Victorian and Edwardian era. One of its special remaining features from Matcham is the dome located above the stalls, which can retract on clear evenings to reveal the night sky. It is believed to be the only operating dome in theatres across the UK. More contemporary embellishments include the Stairway of Stars, where visitors can flaunt their names in the grand foyer for up to two years.
The theatre has weathered it's fair share of disasters, having survived World War II but succumbing to a fire three years later. However, it still retains its grand stature as a must visit attraction for theatre lovers.