Life in Birmingham

Birmingham is one of the major cities in the UK and is considered to be the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands.

The city is a stepping stone between London and the North and is increasingly becoming a destination city for events, shopping, nightlife and those wanting a cosmopolitan lifestyle without the hefty price tags of other cities.


Cultural city

Welcome to Birmingham, the culture capital of the Midlands.

A bustling metropolitan area with myriad music venues, theatres, galleries and museums Birmingham is a dynamic, creative industries hot spot. Venues a plenty house some of the biggest musicals and the UK’s most spectacular pantos. It also has a thriving TV scene with Peaky Blinders, Hustle and Line of Duty among many others being filmed there.

Birmingham has a year-long programme of fantastic festivals and events including the Birmingham Film Festival, the Flat Pack Film Festival, the Birmingham International Jazz Festival and the Fierce Art Festival, to name but a few. Perfect for a city that had gained the reputation of being one of the youngest cities in Europe, with around 40% of its population aged under 25.

Find your stage

Birmingham is a city with a vibrant cultural scene; there is so much to see and do every day of the week, including art galleries, museums, live music and theatre.


Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst Street

The Hippodrome is the venue for West End touring theatrical shows, such as Wicked, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lion King, Matilda, Mary Poppins, Annie, Grease and We Will Rock You. Although best known as the home stage of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, it also hosts a wide variety of other performances including visiting opera and ballet companies, touring West End shows, pantomime and drama.

The Old Rep Theatre
Station Street

The Old Rep is the United Kingdom's first-ever purpose-built repertory theatre, constructed in 1913, located on Station Street in Birmingham, England. The theatre was a permanent home for Barry Jackson's Birmingham Repertory Company, formed in 1911 from his amateur theatre group, The Pilgrim Players, founded in 1907.

The Alexandra
Suffolk Street Queensway

The Alexandra, commonly known as the Alex, is a theatre on Suffolk Queensway in Birmingham, England. Construction of the theatre commenced in 1900 and was completed in 1901. The architects were Owen & Ward and the theatre was opened on 27 May 1901 as the Lyceum Theatre on John Bright Street.

The Custard Factory
Gibb Street

Described as Birmingham’s creative quarter, The Custard Factory is a massive 15-acre cultural hotspot set in the old factory of Sir Alfred Bird, the inventor of powdered custard. The area underwent massive regeneration in the late 1980s and now is a thriving centre where a theatre, art galleries, TV studios, creative and digital enterprises, and boutique shops all co-exist. The venue is also host to many events including festivals and concerts.

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Brook Street

The RBSA is part of the backbone of the city’s prosperous arts scene, supporting the practice and engagement of visual arts in Birmingham through exhibitions, events, workshops, demonstrations and more. RBSA’s own gallery consists of three exhibition floors, with the ground floor being dedicated to crafts, jewellery and solo shows of work by RBSA Members and Associates.

Music life

The Birmingham music scene is both vibrant and expanding in equal measures. The so-called ‘Second City’ has long been – rather unfairly – overlooked when it comes to its music – but the current crop of artists coming out of Brum means that it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. Birmingham-bred music is booming at the moment with its own unique brand of UK grime and rap – it’s good news that the rest of the UK is now finally sitting up and taking notice.

Since the days of The Streets, there’s been a specific Birmingham-led sound, with MCs getting more and more confident about staying true to themselves and their upbringings. Lady Leshurr, who released her first mixtape at just 14, has made her Brummie accent a cornerstone of her bars and can now be seen across the mainstream media.

Living here

Birmingham is fast becoming the destination of choice for those wishing to escape the expense of London, but still lead an affordable cosmopolitan lifestyle.

The city comes alive at night, with a vibrant and eclectic mix of bars, clubs and venues. It is a bustling, lively city which boasts some of the best nightlife in the UK.

Any questions?

For any questions regarding Birmingham student life or if you’d like more information on how to apply to ICTheatre, please contact our Admissions Team on 0344 2 646 666 or email


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