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Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Everything you need to know about your next theatre trip

First Published 26 April 2021, Last Updated 19 July 2021

UPDATE: As of 19 July, theatres are able to open to a full capacity under stage 4 of the government’s roadmap. If you have any questions, please check out our most up to date FAQ section here.  


London’s West End theatres are incredibly excited to have reopened their doors and started welcoming back audiences this summer. 

Since 17 May, some theatres have reopened with socially distanced audiences. These shows will continue to go ahead with social distancing measures in place, with even more due to open over the next few weeks.

Look out for our industry-wide ‘See It Safely‘ mark here on our website and on the show’s website and advertising – this means you can feel confident the show you are booking for is Covid-secure and following the latest Government guidance for live arts events. 

From 19 July, theatres hope to open at full capacity, under the guidance of the Government’s latest roadmap. While we currently do not have full details from Government on exactly what live events will look like by then, we will endeavour to keep theatre fans and ticketholders updated in the coming weeks, as plans become clearer.

Many shows are now starting to announce opening dates over the summer and autumn, and we are in direct touch with producers and venues to ensure we have the most up-to-date information on reopenings. You can check out what shows are opening when here.

Please be aware that while the situation remains changeable, reopening dates for theatres and shows may continue to shift. If you have tickets for a performance that is cancelled or postponed, you will be contacted by your point of purchase for a guaranteed refund or exchange.

We stand by our ‘Book with Confidence. Exchange with Ease’ pledge, as we know how important it is to be flexible in current times. If you are not able to come to the theatre due to Covid, you can exchange your tickets up to 24 hours prior to a performance.

You can always be spontaneous with our world-famous, trusted TKTS booth which will reopen this summer, and you can now get the same great last-minute deals online here.

If you’ve got any further questions, please head to our Frequently Asked Questions below.

We are so grateful for the patience and support our audiences have shown us over the past year. Please continue to play your part and book to see your favourite shows. Many theatres are still unable to reopen and need our continued support so we’ve also pulled together a handy roundup of ways to support the industry right here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When will theatres reopen?

  • The current government roadmap outlines that theatres are able to open currently with social distancing measures and without social distancing from 19 July.

I recently bought tickets for a performance but the show has just announced they will be delaying reopening. Why has this happened and can I exchange these?

  • The government announced on 14 June that the planned roadmap for relaxing social distancing measures will be delayed by four weeks. This means that shows cannot reopen without social distancing until 19 July at the earliest.
  • It is very difficult for producers who can only open once social distancing restrictions are lifted to make decisions about when to plan to reopen. Shows cannot open overnight as it takes time to build up an audience and rehearse the cast and crew.Please be reassured that if a performance is moved or cancelled your ticket provider will be in touch to arrange an exchange, credit note or refund. The shows really do appreciate your patience and flexibility.

My first night ticket was exchanged and now I’m not attending the first night?

  • As theatre fans ourselves we understand the frustration when things change. Theatres are trying to accomodate audiences as much as possible but with so much out of our control it is not easy. Please understand that this is a unique time and that our performers will be thrilled to see you whether it’s their first performance or their 50th.

My ticket has been exchanged for a future performance but there are tickets on sale for earlier performances – why?

  • Your venue or ticket agent will want to exchange your ticket as close to the same time and day as your original booking. With things so uncertain they will want to avoid you having to exchange your tickets more than once, so they will have put you into later performances as these are the most likely to go ahead.

When will theatres stop social distancing? Why can I buy tickets that aren’t socially distanced for some performances?

  • As of 14 June, the Government have announced that they will reduce social distancing measures no earlier than 19 July. Some shows are therefore not able to open before this date. 
  • Other shows may open socially distanced for now, and increase the capacity for bookings from 19 July onwards. It’s best to check directly with the show or venue you wish to attend for detailed, accurate information.

Why are some shows still socially distanced after 19 July?

  • Because the government roadmap is subject to change, some shows have decided to sell with social distancing even after the proposed date of 19 July where restrictions may be eased. If restrictions are eased, some shows may sell more tickets for performances that were previously at a reduced capacity or some shows may choose to continue performing to socially distanced audiences. For the most accurate information, we recommend you check with the venue you plan to visit.

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