London’s West End theatres are incredibly excited to reopen their doors and start welcoming back audiences this summer. Here’s what you need to know so that you can book your theatre trip with confidence and exchange with ease, dependent on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
From 17 May, some theatres will be reopening with socially distanced audiences. Look out for our industry-wide ‘See It Safely‘ mark 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. For more information on the measures venues are taking to make your experience as safe and comfortable as possible, watch this video.
From 21 June, theatres hope to open at full capacity, providing the roadmap goes ahead as planned. 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 we are in direct touch with producers and venues to ensure we have the most up-to-date information on reopenings. We’ve put together a list of shows opening from May 17 with social distancing and shows planning on opening this summer once social distancing restrictions have been lifted. You can check it out 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 post-17 May 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.
And if planning ahead is all too much at the moment, you can be spontaneous with our world-famous, trusted TKTS booth which will be going online from 17 May – so you can book on-the-day tickets for shows as they reopen. Mark your diary and be sure to check back here then and if you’ve got any further questions, please head to our Frequently Asked Questions here.
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.
Theatre really is nothing without its audiences and we can’t wait to welcome you back very soon! #BackOnStage
When will theatres reopen?
- The current government roadmap outlines that theatres will be able to open socially distanced from 17 May and without social distancing from 21 June.
I recently bought tickets for a performance but the show has just announced they will be reopening after my booking date. How come this happened and can I exchange these?
- With the next stages of the roadmap still to be met, it is very difficult for producers who can only open once social distancing restrictions are lifted to make decisions about when to reopen. Shows cannot open overnight as it takes time to build up an audience and rehearse the cast and crew. We would advise booking for shows once they have announced their new dates as currently things are subject to change.
- 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.
I’m struggling to get any news on a performance I have booked before 17 May. My understanding is the roadmap would still have theatres closed. When will we get confirmation to allow us to cancel travel plans?
- In line with the government roadmap no performances can go ahead before 17 May. If you have a ticket dated before this time your ticket provider will be in touch to exchange or offer a credit note or refund. With many of the industry on furlough to help survive the financial impact of being closed for over a year, this may take a little longer than usual, so please be patient as you will be contacted. If you have made travel plans to come to the theatre prior to 17 May it is best to cancel them.
What if a performance after 17 May is cancelled?
- If a performance is cancelled after 17 May you will have the opportunity to exchange your ticket for a later date or be offered a refund or credit voucher.
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 and with things so uncertain they will want to avoid you having to exchange your tickets more than once which is why they have put you into later performances as these are the most likely to go ahead.
When will theatres stop social distancing and/or why can I buy tickets that aren’t socially distanced for some performances?
- The government roadmap states that they hope to be in a position to reduce social distancing rules no earlier than 21 June. For some shows this means that they are not able to open before this but are selling tickets now for that date onwards. For other shows they may increase the capacity for bookings from 21 June onwards.
- Finally, some shows may choose to continue to only sell socially distanced and either increase capacity nearer the time or continue with social distancing. It’s best to check directly with the show or venue you wish to attend for detailed, accurate information.
How are shows able to sell tickets to open this July without social distancing?
- The government roadmap states that they hope to reduce social distancing rules from 21 June, with this date as a guide, some shows have announced their plans to reopen. This is because they need to sell tickets so that they are able to cover the costs of rehearsing and running their shows again as without an audience shows are simply not viable. Thanks to our ‘Book with confidence. Exchange with ease’ pledge, customers can feel reassured that if shows are not able to go ahead they will be able to exchange for a future date or get a credit note or refund.
Why are some shows socially distanced after 21 June?
- Because the government roadmap is subject to change, some shows have decided to sell with social distancing even after the proposed date of 21 June 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.