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Ten ways you can help the theatre industry

First Published 19 March 2020, Last Updated 30 July 2020

We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people asking us how they can help to support theatres, shows and theatre professionals during this difficult period. Here are a few ways you can help.

1. Buy Theatre Tokens

Theatre is nothing without its audiences, so if you are able to, why not treat yourself or your loved ones with Theatre Tokens so you have something wonderful to look forward to when we all get through this.

The brilliant thing about Tokens is they have no expiry date so you can feel confident in these uncertain times that you will be able to see a show at more than 260 theatres across the country including the West End as soon as we reopen.

SOLT and UK Theatre are not-for-profit organisations and have run Theatre Tokens for 36 years and so you can be reassured that every penny you spend with us is supporting the industry when we need it most, both now and in the future – so thank you.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our article on 5 reasons to buy Theatre Tokens.

2. Donate to the Theatre Artists Fund

The Theatre Artists Fund has been set up to provide emergency support for theatre workers and freelancers across the UK. It is for theatre professionals who are in need of urgent and critical financial support due to the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the theatre sector.

The fund has already raised over £2 million, including a £500k donation from Netflix and many generous donations from celebrities and industry leaders. Incredibly, more than £120k of this so far has been gathered through public donations.

This money will allow us to give grants of £1,000 to at least 2,000 people in urgent need, but we had over 4,000 applicants in the first week of applications. You can donate below to help us help more struggling theatre workers and freelancers.

3. Watch theatre online

Since lockdown, many theatres have turned to online content to keep us entertained – both streaming past shows and creating brand new theatre especially for online audiences.

Some of these shows are ticketed, some are put on in return for pay-what-you-can donations. With most physical theatres closed to performances, this is a great way to continue supporting your favourite theatres all while getting your hands on some exclusive content.

Why not check out the brand new At Home With… series from Theatre Tokens in partnership with Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. For only £5 you can watch live as stars chat all things career, life and whatever else takes their fancy! Our first guests are Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery.

4. Engage with your local theatre

Even if they’re closed to performances, theatres are starting to open back up again. Check out your local theatre to see what they’re up to! Many of these community hubs are offering summer programmes for adults and young people, either online or in new socially distanced set ups.

Some theatres are even opening their bars, cafes and libraries back up again. The Bush Theatre recently announced they’re opening their Library Bar and the Royal Court Theatre has even announced a brand new pop-up bar and cafe in Sloane Square for the summer!

Find out what your favourite theatres are up to this summer, because it may be more than you think!

5. Buy limited edition The Show Must Go On merch

The Theatre Support Fund have brought together the world-famous artwork of London’s West End musicals raising vital funds for Acting For Others, The Fleabag Support Fund and the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.

After the success of their snazzy t-shirts, they’ve now expanded the collection to totes, notebooks, mugs, badges and more. You can even get your hands on a The Show Must Go On face mask! So grab a gift for yourself or your theatre-loving best friend while supporting the industry. It’s a win-win!

6. Book theatre tickets 

With news that outdoor theatres and socially-distanced indoor theatres can open from 1 August, many theatres have started to announce when their productions will restart.

From big West End musicals in Spring 2021 to comedy in the park this month, there’s plenty of theatre coming up in London, with more being announced as government timelines get clearer. Check out our article of confirmed rescheduled shows and book your tickets today!

7. Share a video of what theatre means to you 

Are you missing theatre as much as we are? The Public Campaign For The Arts was created so that you, members of public, can tell the world all the reasons why theatre is so important to you and why we need the governments to support the industry now more than ever. Whether theatre keeps your mental health in check and helps you to connect with people or whether it has taught you new things about the world or a particular culture, all you need to do is record a video and submit it, and if you’d like to do more to help, there are plenty of other options too. Find out more below.

8. Buy a venue membership

Many theatres have venue memberships or friends and loyalty schemes available to buy on their website. By purchasing one for you or your friends, you will not only inject funds into a theatre when it needs you the most, but you’ll also get plenty of perks and special access to tickets once theatres reopen.

9. Buy theatre merchandise

If you or your loved ones have a birthday or special occasion coming up, why not buy some theatre merchandise? There are various theatre-owned online stores including The Globe, The RSC and The National Theatre, where you can find the perfect stagey gift or pick-me-up.

10. Subscribe, stay tuned, and look ahead! 

While it is currently unclear as to when theatres will reopen, we must look ahead to all the exciting things we have to look forward to when they do. Visit venue websites, sign up to their newsletters and follow their social channels so that you can snap up tickets as soon as they’re available and so that you can support us when we need you.

Stay up to date with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, where we’ll be aiming to keep you entertained and uplifted as well as informed. Check out our YouTube, too, where there are years and years of news, interviews and exclusive performances to pass the hours while continuing to support your favourite shows. Plus, we’re sharing details of all the other live streams, resources and more from across the industry.

We are so looking forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can. But in the meantime, sign up to Official London Theatre’s newsletter here so that we can keep you updated with all the latest news too.

Sign up to stay up to date

For details on current venue closure dates, please visit our venue pages here

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If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.