The Birmingham Hippodrome
has had to postpone its eagerly awaited reopening, after its £30m redevelopment, from September 11 for an unspecified number of weeks. One of the problems facing any theatre director opening a new building, or in this case reopening an old one, is the impossibility of breaking it in slowly. Of course there are deadlines when you open a new shopping centre with all the similarities of fitting out a public building by a multitude of different contractors, and yes there is a deadline and an opening schedule announced in advance. But nobody books to go and so no precise date has to be committed. With the pressure of ensuring full houses right from the start and maximising income, theatres have to open their booking months ahead and usually programme something high profile to ensure the greatest impact. Sympathy then to Peter Tod for whom the pressure must be severe, and to the Birmingham Royal Ballet whose royal premiere of the second part of Arthur
has been temporarily put back in the stone.