Update for West End theatre audiences
Statement from the Society of London Theatre (SOLT)
London’s West End looks forward to welcoming audiences back into our theatres. We are working closely with the government to explore ways in which we can safely reopen.
Please note that various venues and productions will be making announcements for their individual shows and so, we would advise you to check the particular show’s website to find out which performances have been cancelled.
Ticketholders for affected performances do not need to do anything. They will be contacted by the organisation from which they bought their tickets to arrange a refund, credit note or exchange for a later date.
The decision to reopen theatres will be made based on government and scientific advice on gatherings and events. Different theatres and productions are likely to reopen at different times
We are grateful to customers for the continued patience and kindness they are showing during this challenging time for our industry. With 300,000 people visiting West End theatres in a normal week, it remains a major undertaking to process refunds, exchanges and credit notes, particularly when many staff are working remotely. Please rest assured that we are all working as quickly as we can, and we appreciate the continued support and understanding of our audiences.
Frequently asked questions
When will theatres reopen?
● The decisions to reopen theatres will be made based on government and scientific advice on gatherings and events.
● Official London Theatre keeps the most up-to-date information we have on our venue pages here. We will continue to update you on what is happening with the theatre industry as a whole like this too.
How do I find out whether a performance has been cancelled?
● You can check the individual show’s website to see which performances have been cancelled. You can find current closure dates for SOLT member theatres on our venues information page here.
I have a ticket to a cancelled performance, what should I do?
● If the performance you booked for has been cancelled, you do not need to do anything. You will be contacted by your ticket provider to arrange a refund, exchange or credit note.
● We are working as quickly as we can to contact customers, but this may happen after the performance date for which you have tickets.
Can I get my money back if I have a ticket to a cancelled performance?
● Yes. All West End shows will provide a refund if requested.
● Some theatres and ticket agents are encouraging customers to opt for an exchange or credit note to help support the theatre industry in these difficult times.
Why haven’t I received a refund for a cancelled performance?
● If you have not yet been contacted, please be patient – box offices and ticket agents are dealing with a very large number of bookings and enquiries. Please be aware you may not be contacted until after your performance was due to take place.
● We ask that you do not get in touch with box offices or ticket agents unless more than 3 weeks have passed since the date of the cancelled performance, as this can slow down their efforts.
● Similarly, please do not contact your credit card company – this can also slow the refund process and put an additional burden and cost on ticketing teams.
There may be other reasons why you haven’t yet received your refund:
● Refund transactions can take 3 to 5 days to appear in your account
● If you booked through a ticket agent rather than directly with the theatre box office, your booking could take slightly longer to process, as ticket agents need to wait for the venue to confirm that the booking has been cancelled on their system, and the ticket money has been transferred back to the ticket agent.
● If you were attending a performance with a group, and others in your party booked tickets through different ticket providers, your refunds may come through at different times.
● Always remember to check your junk/ spam email folder in case you have missed a correspondence in there.
When will performances begin again?
● Theatres and producers will have different requirements and timelines for restarting performances so this will take place at different times across the West End.
● Announcements about when individual productions will resume will be made by the theatres and producers.
What happens if I paid for my ticket with a Theatre Token?
● If you purchased through Official London Theatre, once your refund has been processed by the ticketing company, your ticket will be refunded as a Theatre Tokens eGift that will be emailed to you.
● If you paid only in part with a Theatre Token, your payment will be refunded in part by a Theatre Tokens eGift which will be emailed to you and partly paid direct to your account.
● Other retailers may refund Theatre Tokens as different payment types, so read the communications from your ticket provider carefully.
What if I still want to see the show?
● If the show you have booked for is planning to reopen after the shutdown ends, you can opt for an exchange or, with some retailers, a credit note. An exchange will change your ticket to a later date in the show’s run. A credit note can be used to rebook tickets for a date of your choice through the same retailer when the show reopens.
● If you are provided with an automatic refund, please consider rebooking your ticket for later in the year when theatres hope to be open again. If you rebook for a later performance that is subsequently cancelled, you’ll receive another refund.
How can I help support the theatre industry through these difficult times?
● Any support you are able to give to your local theatre or the theatre industry in general is very much appreciated. Here are some ways you can help:
● If you have tickets for a cancelled performance, choose a credit note or exchange rather than a refund, or rebook tickets for a later date.
● Rather than receiving a refund, you can donate the cost of your ticket to the theatre.
● Many theatres have information about how to donate on their website. You can find links to donate to SOLT member theatres here.
● Give to a theatrical charity such as Acting For Others or Make A Difference Trust, which will distribute funds where they are most needed in the industry.
● Buy Theatre Tokens for yourself or as a gift for someone else to use once theatres reopen, as a commitment to supporting theatre, or book your Autumn/ Winter theatre trips now.
● Check out our page about how to get your theatre fix online here; many of the productions listed are available to watch online in return for a donation to the theatre or to theatre charities.
Where can I find information about online streaming and other activities theatres are doing during the shutdown?
● Here on Official London Theatre, we have put together a page for anyone still wanting to get their ‘theatre fix’ during the shutdown – this contains information about upcoming live streams, online activities and other content from theatres and shows, with links to the relevant websites. You can find all that information here.
● We’re also posting calendar updates on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram stories every evening, so you can see what’s coming up in the online theatre world.