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Birmingham Hippodrome Spokespeople

The people below will be happy to comment on any media related enquiries - please contact either Mandy Rose or Ben Wooldridge using the link to the right.

John Crabtree OBE DL D.UNIVJohn Crabtree image
Chairman,
Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust
John Crabtree, a former senior partner of Birmingham law firm Wragge & Co., joined the board of Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd in 2001 and was appointed Chairman in 2005.
 
A former High Sheriff of the West Midlands and former president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he's currently Chairman of SLR Management Limited and regional business exchange Investbx Limited.
 
John is also a Director of Staffline Recruitment Plc., and of Worcester Warriors RFC; he was a board member of Advantage West Midlands (the regional development agency for the West Midlands).  He has collected several awards including UK Lawyer of the Year in 2003, Birmingham Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and Variety Club Midlands Businessman of the Year in 2004. 
 
John is also Chairman of Sense, the leading national charity for children and adults who are deafblind, for which he was awarded the OBE for his services. 
 
Mark Smith Mark  Smith
Chairman, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Development Trust

Mark is the Midlands Chairman and Birmingham office Senior Partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Having been with the firm for over 25 years, Mark has spent the majority of his career working with the Midlands business community, and has been a Trustee of Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Development Trust since 2006. He was appointed Chairman in 2009.

Mark, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, is married with two children and has strong links with the region.

When not running PwC's largest office outside London, sport is the name of the game for Mark. Born in Leicester, he is a fanatical Leicester Tigers rugby fan but he also still manages to find the time to catch the odd game at Villa Park. He and his family are also keen culture vultures, religiously attending the Edinburgh Festival every year as well as catching almost every show at Birmingham Hippodrome!
 
Stuart GriffithsStuart Griffiths image
Chief Executive
 
Stuart’s first appointment in theatre was at the Beck Theatre in West London - a middle scale theatre with a mixed programme of music, drama and dance.
 
In 1992 he moved to open the new Swan Theatre in High Wycombe, a large scale venue with a broad and mixed programme of drama, dance and music which over the following 10 years developed a national and international reputation for its ambitious dance programme.
 
In 2002, he moved to take up the position of Chief Executive at Birmingham Hippodrome following its £40m redevelopment which created one of the finest theatre complexes in Europe and a revitalised home for Birmingham Royal Ballet and the national dance agency DanceXchange. In re-establishing the Hippodrome as the most popular theatre in the UK, with an average audience of c.500,000 pa, he has introduced a programme of international performance featuring some of the finest companies in the world to complement the residency of Birmingham Royal Ballet. The theatre also presents the finest lyric and musical theatre from the West End, including the full repertoire of Welsh National Opera who regard the Hippodrome as their English home.
 
Stuart is Founder member and Co-Chair of the Dance Consortium, an alliance of 20 leading UK theatres dedicated to the presentation of international dance. He is a board member of Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery and Birmingham Opera Company.
 
Stuart is a representative for Birmingham Cultural Partnership, Birmingham City Centre Partnership and is an elected council member of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. 
Stuart is also Co-Artistic Director of International Dance Festival Birmingham co-produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and DanceXchange; and he chairs the Business Improvement District (BID) for the city's Southside area around the Hippodrome.
 
 
Rob Macpherson
Director of Marketing & Development
 
Rob MacphersonRob has worked in the arts and entertainment industry since 1991.  After graduating in Music from Bristol University, he spent a year with PwC before moving to the London Philharmonic Orchestra (working at the South Bank Centre and at Glyndebourne), and later with Sir Simon Rattle at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
 
He was previously at Warwick Arts Centre (University of Warwick) prior to taking up his post at Birmingham Hippodrome in 2003 where he now oversees marketing and communications strategies. He also has fundraising responsibility for the theatre’s charitable projects, building partnerships with corporate supporters, individuals, Trusts and statutory bodies, and working on the recent successful Stage Appeal.
 
Rob also works closely with the Chief Executive conducting research, developing new initiatives in education and access, and collaborations such as International Dance Festival Birmingham and the Southside BID. 
 
Paul Kaynes
Director of Creative Programmes
 
Paul KaynesPaul comes to Birmingham Hippodrome after 4 years of working on the Cultural Olympiad arts and culture programme which ran alongside the Olympics and Paralympics.  Paul was based at Arts Council England in Birmingham where his job was to commission and create theatre, dance, music, heritage and community events and exhibitions in the West Midlands. 

 

One of the most significant events was The Voyage, a huge free outdoor spectacular produced by Birmingham Hippodrome which formed part of the London 2012 Festival opening weekend.

 

Paul has over 25 years of working in the arts in the Midlands and has headed up the marketing teams for Warwick Arts Centre, mac Birmingham, The RSC and also ran Audiences Central, the arts marketing agency for the West Midlands.

 

Paul leads the work of Birmingham Hippodrome’s Education and Creative Programme team, creating new events and experiences and enabling many more people to experience all that the arts has to offer. 
 

Paul  works closely with the theatre’s Chief Executive, ensuring the creative programmes complement and enhance the main stage programme and are in line with developing new strategies to build and expand on the theatre's current success and help shape its vision for the future.

 
 
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Birmingham Royal BalletDanceXchangeThe Patrick CentreWelsh National Opera
Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Limited
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