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Van Gogh Alive at the Birmingham Hippodrome

One of the best things about the end of lockdown is that the theatres will be opening up again. We love visiting the Birmingham Hippodrome and have really missed it this year. I had won cheap tickets to see Book of Mormon just as lockdown started and the theatre was so good about arranging to pay back the money. I got a voucher instead of my money back as I knew we would visit again as soon as we were able to. We used the voucher to visit the Van Gogh Alive multi sensory experience before Christmas. It was such a wonderful show and I recommended it to so many people so I’m really pleased it is back on May 25.

If you are worried about going out then Van Gogh Alive is the perfect show for you. There is a staggered ticket time so there are not too many people in the exhibit and everyone was wearing masks when we were there. It didn’t feel crowded at all. It was also such a calming sensory experience. It felt wonderfully uplifting.

I am not surprised that this is the most visited immersive multi-sensory experience in the world. It was totally memorable. You feel like you are standing in a painting. It really brings Van Gogh to life. The main part of the experience is in the main auditorium. Projectors take you through van Gogh’s career showing over 3000 images of his paintings on the wall. It is a vibrant symphony of light, colour, sound and fragrance. It helps understand the context of the paintings and gives social history to what happened at the time.

The paintings come alive and move. There was something wonderful about watching a flock of birds fly across the surface of the painting and the stars in Starry Night start to twinkle and spiral across every surface.

You can move freely around the exhibit and see the pictures from different angles. I felt like I could have stayed there all day.

After this there were two more levels. There was a 3D version of one of van Gogh’s most famous paintings of his bedroom in Arles. This is a great photo opportunity but also gives you a real life experience of Van Gogh’s perception of his room.

This is a brilliant show for all the family. My art-mad girls loved it and it really inspired them to get painting when they got home. We would have liked to have brought sketch books into the auditorium! Luckily, you could  attend a live drawing class where you are shown how to speed draw a couple of the paintings. We were surprised with how much we could achieve in just a couple of minutes, although the twins did get a little stressed that it kept moving so fast. There is also a sunflower room with clever mirrors so it seems like you are in a field of sunflowers.

Van Gogh alive is at the Hippodrome from May 25 – July 11, 2021.

Tickets are really reasonable and it makes a brilliant day out.

Adults (16+)
Tue, Wed & Mon 31 May £20
Thu – Sun £22.50

Children (ages 5-16)
Tue – Sun & Mon 31 May  £12.50
Under 5s (including babes in arms) go FREE, but need a ticket

The program of shows at the Hippodrome looks incredible. There are so many things I want to see. For example, Pricilla Queen of the Desert in August, SIX and Hairspray  in September, Tim Minchin and the Play Which goes Wrong in October and of course this year’s pantomime of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in December. It’s a brilliant line up and we can’t wait to visit again!

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