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Birmingham Hippodrome reports record attendance, boosted by 'blockbuster productions'

Touring shows such as ''The Lion King'' and ''War Horse'' helped increase ticket sales

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The Lion King tour boosted attendances

Birmingham Hippodrome has announced a record-breaking 12 months, which saw the venue sell over 625,000 tickets in the 2013/14 financial year, a rise of 23 percent.

The theatre, an independent registered charity, reports an average of 85 percent capacity, driven by a "unique season of blockbuster productions" including Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and War Horse.

Chief executive Stuart Griffiths said: "It's not very often that these programming moments come together so perfectly, but with more than a little help from our producer partners Cameron Mackintosh, Disney, the National Theatre and pantomime producers Qdos, alongside others, it looks like we've shattered all previous known records."

Fundraising too saw a "bumper year", with generous donations for projects such as pantomime's first 'Relaxed Performance' for autistic children. Corporate membership improved by over 30% and higher-level individual giving, through the expanding patrons' scheme, nearly doubled.

"We've checked the archive as far back as possible to find that last year sets a new standard," said chairman John Crabtree. "There is no doubt that Stuart Griffiths and his team along with our producer partners have delivered a particularly impressive set of results, and we would like to thank our loyal audiences and the many thousands who came to the Hippodrome for the first time this year."

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