Birmingham's biggest theatre is asking people to dig deep into their pockets and support a £1 million appeal to fund a new stage.
Hippodrome chief executive Stuart Griffiths said the current 30-year-old stage was in dire need of a replacement.
Decades of heavy scenery for dance and musicals as well as specific problems such as repairing a hole cut through the floor to house the mechanics for a flying Chitty Chitty Bang Bang have taken their toll.
Mr Griffiths has called on theatre-lovers to support the £1,137,000 Stage Appeal which was launched in the summer and has already received grants and donations of more than £400,000.
The Hippodrome will be closed for four weeks next summer for the work to take place.
Mr Griffiths said he was confident the money would be raised by next summer and the work would have to go ahead even if the appeal had not achieved its total.
“We schedule our shows three years ahead so we have made the commitment to those four weeks and we have to stick with it,” he said.
“All the money comes from one pot so, if we didn’t raise the total, something would have to give. The stage needs replacing because nothing has been done to it for 30 years. In that time we have had 650 different productions and about 10,000 different performers.
“Nothing was done to it during the refurbishment of 1999/2000 but we can’t wait any longer. In order to put on the best performances from the best companies we need to provide the best stage.”
The Hippodrome, which is not subsidised, is home to Birmingham Royal Ballet and a touring base for Welsh National Opera as well as playing host to West End shows.
Helping to officially launch the appeal was 18-year-old Katie O’Neill who has recently completed a BTEC National Dance course at Walsall College and was chosen to perform in a curtain-raiser for Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at the theatre in February.