Up close with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s first soloist and star of this years Nutcracker, Kit Holder
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m a first soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet, the UK’s premier touring classical ballet company. We perform a broad range of productions, from famous classical ballets like The Nutcracker to new innovative ballets by some of the most exciting choreographers in the world. All of our performances feature live music played by our own orchestra, the wonderful Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
Our studios are behind the Hippodrome Theatre, so easy to reach by public transport. My wife also works in the city centre so if we are on the same schedule we will drive in together. If not, we commute by train or bike.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
The migration of major businesses to Birmingham reflects the view of our city as a great place to be. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the cultural sector to life here. Since the development of Symphony Hall and the relocation of our ballet company to the city in 1990, the opportunities to engage with world-class culture have continued to grow. The recent Birmingham Weekender free arts festival highlighted how the cultural sector is thriving. Happily, 41 per cent of visitors said they were attracted by the city’s dance programme.
Medicine Bakery, New Street has great coffee and even better freshly baked goods. With an ever-changing line-up of cronuts and cruffins there is always something delectable – and Instagram worthy!
Quarter Horse Coffee is just around the corner from our studios and is part of a row of great little shops on this re-developed stretch of Bristol Road. A special mention to the Hippodrome Theatre’s own backstage canteen which provides quality food.
The Museum and Art Gallery in Victoria Square is an oasis of calm in the city. It’s really convenient just to dip in during a lunch break and re-charge the batteries. The ever-changing line-up of exhibitions means that there is always something to explore. I went to the exhibition celebrating 50 years of Black Sabbath several times…
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
There’s nowhere I’d rather be on a Saturday afternoon than at Villa Park with 40,000 or so of my closest friends!
Cherry Red’s in John Bright Street is cosy, independent and friendly and does great food – pancakes are a particular favourite. The Red Lion, Warstone Lane is not only a great boozer for watching live football on TV, but is also in the Sunday Times’ list for the UK’s best Sunday roasts.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
Improved cycle lanes! The network is far from comprehensive. If people could feel safer cycling then more commuters would leave their cars at home, improving congestion and air quality in our city.