Originally known as the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Old Rep was the United Kingdom’s first ever purpose built repertory theatre and today, it attracts a range of top quality theatre, comedy and musical theatre performances. The Old Rep is dedicated to showcasing professional productions as well as more amateur events so that they have a platform to show their talent. The Birmingham Rep also provides an exciting space for young people to take part in training opportunities within production, theatre, management, marketing and technical theatre.
Located in the very heart of Birmingham city centre, the Old Rep is a Grade II listed building which boasts unique, intimate venue which has retained many of its original features as a In 2016, the Old Rep win the Best Small Theatre/Art Venue in the What’s On Reader Awards. From 2014, the Old Rep has owned by the Birmingham Ormiston Academy who strive to make it a creative space for young people in Birmingham.
The Old Rep Birmingham is a relatively small auditorium, which can seat up to 385 people. Depending on where you choose to sit in the Old Rep, views of the stage and therefore ticket prices vary considerably.
The Old Rep Birmingham theatre auditorium is only divided across two levels: the Stalls and the Balcony.
As the largest section of the theatre, the Stalls is closest to the stage and provides the most intimate theatrical experience.
This section of the theatre is furthest away from the stage, but still offers some great views as it is still a small auditorium.
Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm
The box office counter is open 1 hour 30 minutes before an event.
The Old Rep Theatre is located on Station street and can be accessed by both public transport and by car. The full Old Rep Theatre address is:
The Old Rep Theatre, Station Street,
Birmingham, B5 4DY
Old Rep Access line: 0121 359 9444. Please call this number to discuss any requirements before you visit and to ask about complimentary tickets for carers to accompany a wheelchair user.
The Old Rep is dedicated to providing an inclusive space and are happy to assist access customers in any way that they can. Given that the theatre is in an old building, it can be fairly difficult to climb the stairs in the steeply raked auditorium. We therefore you recommend that you use the Hinckley Street entrance. From this entrance, there are two wheelchair spaces in the first tow of the stalls.
There is an accessible toilet located in the Hinckley street bar.
The closest car park for blue badge holders is located in Dudley Street Car park B5 4PJ.
You are welcome to bring any assistance dogs into the auditorium with you or alternatively, staff are happy to look after the dogs for the duration of the performance in the the Old Rep Box office.
For visitors who are hearing impaired, the theatre is fitted with a Sennheiser infra-red hearing enhancement system. You can collect a receiver from the Box Office in order to use this system.
Following venue construction from October 1912 for four months, The Birmingham Old Rep first opened on 15th February 1913 with the performance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, followed by a performance from Barry Jackson of the poem The Mighty Line by resident playwright John Drinkwater. Originally built for Barry Jackson’s amateur theatre group, many of his plays were performed here. The Old Rep made its mark in history as the first purpose-built repertory theatre in Birmingham.
When the Birmingham Rep company were unable to join the war effort in 1915, they worked together on Sundays to make shells at the local aluminum works. In 1917, the Birmingham Rep was groundbreaking in appointing the first female stage manager, Maude Gill. In 1921, there was a fire which damaged the front curtain and the set but the Old Rep still showed the matinee performance the following day.
Receiving a gold medal from the Birmingham Civic society and a knighthood in 1923 for his services in the theatre, Barry Jackson’s contribution to Birmingham arts scene have been widely recognised. In 1955, he was also awarded the freedom of the city.
During World War 2 Blitz, a bomb tragically fell on the Old Rep but the next day the show still wne ton! In 1971, the Old Rep moved location from its Station Street venue to the newly biolt theatre on Broad Street which is owned by Birmingham City Council. Yet the Old Rep returned to its station street home between 2011- 2013.
Despite undergoing several ups and downs financially, the Birmingham Rep remained a thriving centre of Birmingham’s cultural and arts scene and it has continued this reputation today.