As we head into the summer months, there’s a packed schedule of events, entertainment and attractions taking place across the Midlands. We take a look at some of the season’s must-sees to add to your calendar
What: Disney’s The Lion KingWhere: Birmingham HippodromeWhen: July 6 to September 16
A theatrical phenomenon with a whole host of awards, including no less than six Tony Awards and two Olivier Awards, Disney’s spectacular The Lion King comes to Birmingham’s Hippodrome this summer for a strictly limited season. Set against the majesty of the Serengeti to the evocative rhythms of Africa, The Lion King tells the story of Simba’s epic journey to fulfil his destiny as King of the Pridelands.
Director Julie Taymor uses breathtaking theatrical magic to bring Disney’s beloved animated feature to life in a production which has thrilled more than 110 million people around the world. With music by Sir Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, it’s a must-see show which is sure to delight audiences young and old.
For more information and to book tickets visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com
What: TILT FestivalWhere: West Midlands Circus Centre, DigbethWhen: July 10 to 16
TILT FESTIVAL, one of the UK’s largest aerial and physical theatre festivals, is back this summer celebrating its eighth year in Birmingham.
Produced by Birmingham’s award winning highly physical theatre company RoguePlay, TILT23 will run for seven days and will bring together some of the world’s most renowned artists presenting jaw-dropping, breathtaking physical theatre and aerial performances right in the heart of the city.
A highlight of this year’s exciting programme is Pro Night on July 14, a truly spectacular night of performances by the professional artists. PRO NIGHT offers a fast-paced evening of everything from five minute circus acts to brand new shows providing audiences with the chance to experience up close and personal performances within the intimate setting of the Circus Centre studio.
For more details and to book tickets for shows and workshops, visit www.tiltfestival.com
What: Showstopper! The Improvised MusicalWhere: Lichfield GarrickWhen: July 14
Direct from the West End and now heading to the Lichfield Garrick comes spontaneous musical comedy at its absolute finest.
With 12 years as an Edinburgh Fringe must-see phenomenon, a BBC Radio 4 series, a critically acclaimed West End run and an Olivier Award to their name, The Showstoppers have delighted audiences across the globe with their ingenious blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity.
A brand new musical comedy is created from scratch at each performance of this award-winning show as audience suggestions are transformed on the spot into all-singing, all dancing productions with hilarious results. These incredible performers are guaranteed to impress as they create shows packed with drama, dazzling dance routines and catchy melodies –it’s just all made up on the spot!
So whether you fancy Hamilton in a hospital or Sondheim in the Sahara, you suggest it and The Showstoppers will sing it!
For more information and to book tickets visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com
What: Dirty Dancing: The MusicalWhere: The Alexandra, BirminghamWhen: July 18 to 22
Exploding with heart-pounding music, breath-taking emotion and sensationally sexy dancing, Dirty Dancing returns to Birmingham following a season at London’s Dominion Theatre. See the hit film come to life before your eyes with this fantastic, emotional and triumphant live stage show.
Seen by millions across the globe this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.
The iconic story features the hit songs ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping ‘(I’veHad) The Time Of My Life’, and an incredible cast of dancers.
For more information and to book tickets, visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham
What: The BeachWhere: Lichfield CathedralWhen: July 22 to September 3
The UKs most landlocked Cathedral is allset to welcome back The Beach this summer.
Back by popular demand, the Beach will be returning to Lichfield Cathedral from Saturday, July 22, to Sunday, September 3. Sand, decking, deck chairs, children’s activities and refreshments will be available throughout the school summer holidays for everyone to enjoy. There is no charge to visit The Beach, with free children’s activities organised alongside it.
Every weekday during the school holidays from 10am-12pm, Lichfield Cathedral will be hosting a free Craft Club for children and big children alike.
Each week will see a different activity with the opportunity to create artwork that will be on display in the Cathedral during the autumn installation: ‘Journey Through Creation.’ Children will be making light catchers from recycled materials, fish, feathers, clouds, and much more.
New for 2023, Lichfield Cathedral adds the water element to the Beach. Every Monday and Friday during the school holidays from 10am-12pm there will be water play on the West Front, perfect for families with younger children.
Also installed during the summer will be an art installation: Wellspring by Carolynn White. Wellspring will feature representations of water cascading and bursting from the Font, representing new life and refreshment for the body and soul. The artwork will be installed in the summer and added to by children’s creations made during the Craft Club.
The Right Revd Jan McFarlane, Dean of Lichfield would like to invite everyone to come along: “Come for the day, bring a picnic, and enjoy the sand trickling through your toes. Join in with children and adults alike, making sandcastles, sunbathing, and simply enjoying relaxing in one another’s company. Life is tough at the moment, with worries about household bills and the cost of living. Child-like play is good for us grown-ups as well as the little ones. Please know that you are always welcome at Lichfield Cathedral –your Cathedral.”
For more information on the Beach, visit www.lichfield-cathedral.org
What: Summer eventsWhere: National Memorial Arboretum, AlrewasWhen: Selected days throughout summer
A beautiful and inspiring place, the 150-acres of the National Memorial Arboretum form a living landscape that everyone will enjoy visiting. A home to more than 400 fascinating memorials, it is a space where everyone can explore, discover, and remember. There’s lots to do throughout the year, and as well as daily walks, tours and exhibitions, events designed for visitors of all ages help to tell the stories of those remembered in the grounds. This summer visitors can enjoy: A journey through ‘The New World: July 20 -September 1
This summer families of all ages can immerse themselves in an extraordinary free interactive experience. The New World takes its inspiration from the natural surroundings of the Arboretum and the powerful stories of service and sacrifice shared within its grounds. Created in collaboration with
immersive environments arts organisation Wild Rumpus, the New World introduces five distinct themed areas that encourage creative, physical, and reflective activity drawing on the themes of journeys and travel, encouraging people to contemplate the experience of exploring new places. Visitors can journey through The New World from 10am to 5pm daily.
Summer Proms: August 4 and 5 – This year’s Summer Proms welcomes the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Mezzo-Soprano Louise Callinan, Baritone Rodney Earl Clarke and all female a cappella quintet Black Voices to the stage for a fabulous evening of live music, rounded off with a spectacular firework finale. Advance booking required.
Carnival Windrush: August 6 – In collaboration with Black Voices, the Arboretum presents Carnival Windrush, an immersive and vibrant day-long event of captivating poetry, invigorating music, song and dance. Carnival Windrush will celebrate and commemorate the remarkable individuals of the Windrush Generation, including invited Guests the Windrush Pioneers.
The National Memorial Arboretum is open from 10am-5pm daily and is free to enter. Advance booking is recommended to guarantee entry, and save on parking, visit thenma.org.uk.
Aerial August BBC birmingham Birmingham Hippodrome Book Tickets Carnival Windrush Circus Craft Club Critically Acclaimed Digbeth Dirty Dancing Disney featured festival July Lichfield lichfield cathedral Lichfield Garrick Lion King Live Shows midlands musical National Memorial Arboretum Performers september Showstopper summer Summer Events Summer Proms The Alexandra TILT Festival West End West Midlands what's on