What’s it all about?
As a funkier and more vibrant cousin to London’s West End, Birmingham’s Theatreland is a veritable paradise for lovers of all things theatre and cinema.
Located in Birmingham’s Southside area, Theatreland sits comfortably next to Chinatown and the Gay Village.
Famous Hippodrome Theatre
Theatreland’s main landmark is the famous Hippodrome theatre, home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet. As the UK’s busiest theatre, the Hippodrome hosts an immense variety of different shows including ballet, dance, drama, comedy and music productions performed by large-scale touring companies.
Southside is part of Birmingham city centre and one of the city’s most diverse and bustling areas. Characterised by excellent nightlife, a vibrant and diverse music scene, award-winning clubs, bars and restaurants as well as a wealth of cultural establishments, Southside is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Benefiting from excellent transport links, Theatreland is located in the immediate vicinity of New Street Station.
Interesting facts about Theatreland
– Theatreland is home to the country’s oldest operating cinema, the Electric Cinema on Station Street. In addition to new releases, this historic venue regularly hosts screenings of vintage classics and indie flicks.
– Situated just a few blocks down the road from the Electric, the Old Rep is Britain’s oldest repertory theatre. Opened in 1913, the theatre now regularly stages productions from small theatre companies and local amateur drama groups.
Things to see and do
Theatreland is among Birmingham’s most popular areas, attracting a large number of tourists every year. Just a stone’s throw away from New Street Station, this neighbourhood is easily accessible for both visitors and locals.
Theatreland boasts a vast amount of entertainment venues, restaurants, pubs and bars for every taste and budget. Located next to the Gay Village and Chinatown, the area benefits from an influx of visitors from all walks of life. Don’t forget to explore the adjacent areas when visiting Theatreland. While Chinatown is known for its restaurant serving delicious cuisine and myriad of quirky shops, the Gay Village is extremely popular with clubbers and proponents of the LGBT scene.
Birmingham’s theatres are more than just entertainment venues: many of the buildings housing the city’s various drama and dance companies are veritable architectural highlights. While retaining some of their original features, most theatres have undergone serious change throughout the decades. The Hippodrome was first constructed in 1895 and rebuilt a mere four years later. The theatre experienced several facelifts and name changes in the 1960s and 1980s, with its most recent remodelling taking place in 2001.
If you’re up for an evening of hilariousness and laughter, a visit to the Glee Club in the Arcadian complex on Hurst Street is guaranteed to set the mood for the night. Experience the best in British comedy and head out for tapas and tipples later on.
Now you can also do it yourself! Take a dance class at DanceXchange, Birmingham’s answer to London’s Pineapple Studios. With over 40 weekly classes in different styles on offer, DanceXchange offers a great way of boosting your fitness and learning new skills. Classes cater to all ages and levels of ability, from beginner to professional.
– Theatreland benefits from excellent transport links. You can reach the area by train, bus or car.
– The area is brimming with independent retailers, specialist shops and big name brands. The Bullring shopping complex, arguably Birmingham’s finest and best-known mall, is located within walking distance of Theatreland’s most prominent entertainment venues.
– The Chinese Quarter is a great place to taste authentic Chinese cuisine from different parts of the country. Stock up on your favourite Chinese snacks in the area’s many small shops catering to the Chinese community.
– Theatreland and its adjacent areas are home to some of Birmingham’s best and most-beloved clubs and bars. Across the road from the Arcadian complex is Bambu, a stylish and trendy club spinning the latest tunes in glamorous surroundings. If you are on the lookout for a venue with an indie feel, try out the Sunflower Lounge in Smallbrook Queensway. Regularly hosting up-and-coming acts and bands, the Sunflower Lounge is a veritable treasure trove of new and raw talent.
Getting around Birmingham couldn’t be easier. The city benefits from an excellent public transport system, and taxis as well as private hire cars are aplenty. New Street Station, the largest and busiest of the city’s three railway stations, is located within immediate reach of Theatreland and its main landmarks.
Parking can be tricky, therefore it is advisable visitors use public transport or park their car further away from the hustle and bustle of Theatreland.