The Birmingham Hippodrome will welcome Deirdre O’Halloran as the new head of New Musical Theatre later this year.
She is currently the literary manager at the Bush Theatre, and her previous work includes Anoushka Lucas’s Elephant, Lenny Henry’s August in England, and Waleed Akhtar’s Olivier Award-winning play The P Word.
Birmingham Hippodrome announced plans earlier this year to house the first UK-based in-house musical theatre department. O’Halloran will lead the new department to create new opportunities in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.
“Birmingham Hippodrome is a venue that is fizzing with ambition and passion for musical theatre and I am delighted to be heading up this brand new department to develop new musicals for a range of scales and platforms. There is a huge contingent of talented and dedicated musical theatre artists in the UK and I am so excited to make the Hippodrome their home, a place to develop their craft and make brilliant new work,” said O’Halloran.
Jon Gilchrist, artistic director and chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, added: “Dee is a theatre marvel: her compassion for and understanding of artists, combined with a rare dramaturgical insight, make her the perfect pioneer to lead this new department. I am certain that her love and understanding of musical theatre will help ignite a new generation of writers and composers. I am also delighted that the brilliant Vicky Graham will be continuing with us as the department becomes a reality.”
O’Halloran will start her new role in October 2023. The Hippodrome will also continue to work with Vicky Graham as associate producer (New Musical Theatre) within the new team.