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Theatre and performing arts

Among the many theatres in Birmingham, the largest are the Alexandra ("the Alex"), The Rep, the Hippodrome and the Old Rep. The Crescent Theatre and Old Joint Stock Theatre are other city centre theatres.

Outside of the city centre are the Drum Arts Centre (on the site of the former Aston Hippodrome) and mac. The Fierce! festival collaborates with The Rep to present an annual series of performances from local and national companies.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet resides in the city as does the world's oldest vocational dance school, Elmhurst School for Dance.

Entertainers who were born or who have lived in Birmingham include comedians Sid Field, Tony Hancock, and Jasper Carrott and the actors -Paul Schofield, Trevor Eve, Adrian Lester, Julie Walters and Martin Shaw.

The Birmingham Opera Company under artistic director Graham Vick has developed an international reputation for its avant-garde productions, which often take place in factories, abandoned buildings and other found spaces around the city. In 2010 it was described by The Guardian as "far and away the most powerful example that I've experienced in this country of how and why opera can still matter." More conventional seasons by Welsh National Opera and other visiting opera companies take place regularly at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

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