Birmingham Hippodrome

The new Harlequin Standfast vinyl floor has provided a new “world class” stage at the £1.2 million refurbishment of Birmingham Hippodrome – the UK’s busiest single theatre and the most popular dance venue outside London.

After thirty years and more than 1,000 performances since its last refurbishment, the main stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome was in desperate need of repair with splits, cracks and uneven surfaces. Versatile, durable and slip-resistant – as well as being the closest match to the original flooring – the hard-wearing and heavy duty Harlequin Standfast fitted the bill.

“We aim to provide something that is world class and that has to be world class in every aspect, front of house and on stage,” said Stuart Griffiths, Birmingham Hippodrome Chief Executive. “We have to provide the best working conditions for performers, musicians and technicians."

Following the removal of the original floor and the repair and levelling of the joists, Harlequin’s specialist installation team laid 630m² of Harlequin Standfast vinyl floor to form a stunning new stage area and rejuvenate the orchestra pit. Hot-welded at the joins, Harlequin Standfast vinyl flooring offers a seamless, continuous surface, which ensures a low maintenance finish that is designed specifically to stand up to the rigours and stresses of all types of dance.

Harlequin Standfast is a hard-wearing, durable performance floor. Ideal as a permanent multi-purpose dance or stage flooring for heavy-duty use, it can be laid on any hard, smooth sub-floor and is an excellent choice as a vinyl performance surface.

Specified in a black finish, this ensured Birmingham Hippodrome could use the surface as a finished floor whilst also allowing the addition of a portable floor over the top, as and when required. This flexibility and adaptability proved crucial in the specification of the Harlequin Standfast vinyl flooring.

With the theatre closed for just four weeks, from August 25th to September 26th 2012, the installation process had to be smooth, efficient and hassle-free. Harlequin utilised its extensive industry experience, working closely with contractors on site to meet the strict schedule whilst also keeping customer focus and product performance at the forefront of the project – from start to finish.

“The installation team were superb and always on hand to answer queries, listen to our requests and help facilitate the other works we needed to undertake,” said Barry Hope, Technical Manager at Birmingham Hippodrome. “They worked very hard due to the short  time scale, but were never phased by what was around the corner.”

The new-look Birmingham Hippodrome is sure to remain a key performance space for a wide variety of productions, ranging from opera and ballet to pantomime. And now with a stunning Harlequin Standfast vinyl floor stage to match the modern front of house facilities, this venue, which is over 100 years old, can offer the ‘world class’ stage befitting of its historical and renowned location.