It has been a year since the theatre world was forced to lock its doors to the public owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the most iconic West End shows such as Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera have been out of action for the longest time. However, as we navigate through a new year, the question that has been plaguing the minds of all theatre enthusiasts – when will theatres reopen – is about to be answered.
Navigate the West End Reopening Guide
- West End Reopening Date – 17 May 2021
- West End Shows that are Opening Soon
- What to Expect When West End Shows Reopen?
- COVID-19 Safety Measures for West End Shows & Theatres
West End Reopening Date – 17 May 2021
After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few productions had reopened briefly in December 2021 with social distancing methods firmly in place. But the steady rise in the number of cases forced these productions to shut their doors to the public once again, which continued on to 2021 when the country entered a national lockdown.
However, in a recent development, it has been announced that viewers can expect West End shows to resume from 17 May 2021- with social distancing methods firmly in place, of course. And with the vaccination program gaining momentum, it gives us reason to hope that the theatre viewing experience, be it indoors or outdoors, will go back to normal before the end of the year.
West End Shows that are Opening Soon
The past few weeks have seen numerous West End shows announcing their new opening dates. So if you wish to catch the first West End curtain rise, these are the shows you have to look out for. Viewers can book tickets online or by telephone.
- Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: 17th May to 29th August
- 7th June to 11th October
18th May to 13th June
- Death Drop: 9th May to 11th July
- The Woman in Black: 25th May to 2nd April 2022
- Showstopper! The Improvised Musical: 17th May to 29th August
- Mamma Mia!: 8th July
- Leopoldstadt: 12th June to 4th September
- The Play That Goes Wrong: 18th June – 30th January 2022
- Come From Away: 19th June to 18th December
- Matilda the Musical: 22nd June to 9th January 2022
- Hairspray: 22nd June to 29th September
- The Prince of Egypt: 1st July to 4th September
- Pretty Woman: The Musical: 8th July
- The Book of Mormon: 12th July to 8th January 2022
- Cinderella The Musical: 18th June – 30th January 2022
- The Phantom of the Opera: 21st July
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: 18th June – 30th January 2022
- Anything Goes: 23rd July to 17th October
- Jersey Boys: 28th July to 31st October
- The Lion King: 28th July to 31st October
What to Expect When West End Shows Reopen?
It has indeed been announced that West End shows will reopen their doors to the public from 17th May 2021. However, the ongoing pandemic is sure to affect one’s theatre-viewing experience. All the theatres reopening in May will have to subject themselves to several safety measures and social distancing protocols.
Apart from the mandatory donning of masks and increased sanitization, several other restrictions will be put in place to ensure that all viewers have a safe and comfortable experience. For now, theatres will run at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 1000 people in each show. Outdoor shows, on the other hand, can have a maximum of 4000 viewers.
However, as the country enters Stage 4 on 21st June, it is expected that these restrictions will be lifted and that theaters will start functioning at 100% capacity.
COVID-19 Safety Measures for West End Shows & Theatres
- Maximum Flexibility: All tickets can be exchanged up to 24 hours prior to the show.
- Ticket Type: Only e-tickets and print-at-home tickets will be accepted for quick and easy access.
- Face Coverings Masks should be worn at all times.
- Belongings: It is recommended that you keep your belongings to a minimum as cloakrooms may not be functioning in many venues.
- Refreshments: Pre-ordering your drinks and refreshments are highly recommended as it will reduce contact.
- Transactions: Cashless and paperless transactions are recommended.
- Temperature Checks: Many theatres will have temperature checks in place. Visitors are requested to cooperate.
- Social Distancing: All visitors are required to maintain social distancing.
- Increased Sanitization: Theatres will be cleaned after every show. Hand sanitizers will be provided at each entry and exit.
Who is not allowed to attend West End shows?
You are requested to not attend the show if you:
- Believe you are COVID positive
- Have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days
- Have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days
- Have arrived in England in the last 14 days and are not covered by the exemption rules relating to self-isolation or
- Have been instructed to self-isolate
West End Shows: FAQs
When will West End shows reopen?
As of now, it has been announced that West End shows will reopen no later than 17 May 2021 with all safety measures in place.
What are some of the safety measures put in place for West End shows?
Temperature checks, increased sanitization, e-tickets, and reduced capacities are some of the safety measures put in place for West End shows.
Can West End tickets be refunded or exchanged in case of a performance being canceled?
Yes, all West End show tickets are eligible for exchange and refund.
Is the cloakroom facility available at West End shows?
Authorities have encouraged the audience to carry minimum belongings with them as cloakrooms may not be functioning in many venues.
What should I wear to a West End show?
There is no dress code for West End shows. The audience can wear anything from a casual shirt to a formal dress.
How can I book my West End ticket?
Now that West End shows are reopening, theatre enthusiasts can book tickets online as well as by telephone.