As grand as a Hippo – The Bristol Hippodrome

The Bristol Hippodrome is one of the must attend attractions in the Bristol area. This busy venue showcases items from ballet, music, comedy and drama.

Its name lit up in lights of an evening it is hard to miss. If you are in and around Bristol and are looking for a Bristol Website Design company to help put your business up in lights on the internet, then it is worth taking a look at Lets have a closer look at the Bristol Hippodrome

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Whenever I hear the words Hippodrome I wonder if a live Hippo has ever been called to perform on it like in a circus act. There is no record of one appearing at the Bristol Hippodrome since it’s opening in 1912 but it has seen a lot of acts come and go through it’s doors since then. It started with a melodrama called Sands O’ the Dee. This featured gallons of water and diving horses so that gives you an idea of the scale of thing. How they got the horses to perform dives remains a mystery but it’s certainly an impressive start to the locations career. The theatre was a special project as it turned out to be the last work of the great theatre architect Frank Matcham.  It was a vast undertaking, even with the cinema industry just around the corner theatre owners knew that they would need to up the ante in getting the paying punters through the door.

Matcham’s plans contained a huge water tank, needed for those horses to dive into, made into four independent sections that could be lowered or raised as the need arose. You could have waterfalls or waves if the production required it. The stage itself was five thousand square feet and the rear could raise so that the front could withdraw and allow the water tanks to be used. It was an incredible feet of engineering. Don’t be fooled by the smallish entrance it hides a vast and caverness theatre which quite takes the breath away when you enter and will make you think they’ve constructed a TARDIS of some kind.

In the auditorium there was white and black marble. Cleverly light porticos and scence of Shakespeare’s plays to get you in the mood. Apparently, this was needed as the frontage was quite austere that people were unsure what to expect by the underwhelming frontage. You can always rely on the British class system to be respected, especially back in 1912 when it was in full effect. You could prepay and via neat entry system come in through a door way related to the ticket that you paid. That way as in the theatre itself you could save yourself to trouble of mixing with the riff raff and everyone can know their place. With its renaissance finish and art deco styling it remains a gem and worthy of the plays it holds to this day.

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