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Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire

SOLT and UKT help facilitate new mass testing for theatre workers

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 15 January 2021, Last Updated 19 January 2021

Last week, the government announced that they would begin rolling out a programme of mass testing for those that must leave home to go to work while there is a national lockdown.

This means that all workers who cannot work from home – not just key workers – will have access to regular lateral flow testing, funded by the government until 31 March. Lateral flow tests take only half an hour to produce results, and don’t need to be sent away to a lab.

SOLT and UKT will be helping to facilitate these tests across the theatre industry and to develop safe practices for using this scheme across the UK. Right now, we’re assessing how many tests our sector will need and where we can best use these.

These tests will be of huge help to those in our industry who cannot carry out their jobs from home. That includes both those rehearsing for shows which are planning to re-open as soon as their areas return to Tier 2, and those who are able to perform live-streamed events, such as the Old Vic’s In Camera series.

This new programme will be extremely helpful in reducing the risk of asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a government statement on Sunday:

“Lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases quickly – and every positive case found is helping to stop the spread – so I encourage employers and workers to take this offer up. We must all do all we can to stop the spread of COVID, right now.”

Nimax Theatres announced last week that, following their successful pilot programme at the Palace Theatre (home of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), they would be opening up their six West End venues for use as testing hubs.


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Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. 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.

For more than 40 years, TKTS was our on-the-day theatre ticket box office in Leicester Square. Currently closed due to the current situation, we are now selling our great last minute seats and prices online. Click here to learn more.

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.