London theatre from ActDrop
Final stage of the 'roadmap' reached
As from Monday 19 July 2021, the final legal restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus have been lifted.
This means that all theatres across London will be able to open without capacity limits or the need for mandated social distancing.
The legal requirement for people to wear face coverings in certain buildings and shops has been removed with the government leaving the issue to personal responsibility and recommending the use of masks in crowded indoor situations in particular.
If you were thinking that all this signals a return to the pre-covid kind of theatre experience we used to enjoy then you may be disappointed because it looks like many of the features imposed to control the virus will remain.
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of SOLT and UK Theatre, explained ...
"The thousands of people who have already come back to the theatre since 17 May have been overwhelmingly positive about their experience and how safe and comfortable they felt.
As we increase capacity, we want to ensure that this positive audience sentiment remains.
For this reason, we hope audience members show respect for fellow theatregoers and staff by continuing to wear face coverings when coming into our venues and moving around them."
According to SOLT and UK Theatre, the following measures will remain from 19 July ...
- Enhanced cleaning
- Hand sanitiser stations
- Wearing of face coverings strongly encouraged, especially while moving around inside the venue
- Modified routes around the building to avoid overcrowding
- Recommendation that theatregoers bring minimal possessions
- Contactless ticketing, possible staggered arrival times and security checks
- Restricted Stage Door activities post-show
- 'Book with Confidence, Exchange with Ease' pledge allowing exchanges up to 24 hours ahead of a performance if a ticket holder cannot attend due to Covid.
However, temperature checks and compulsory check-in via the NHS app before entry to theatres may be dropped.
SOLT represents London's larger theatres, especially in the West End, so these conditions may not apply to the many smaller theatres across the capital - though we already know of some who plan to largely follow the guidelines above.
We advise checking theatre websites for the latest information about the measures they are using before booking or visiting.
You can also check the 'See It Safely' industray website for the latest information.
What's happening with shows?
Some West End shows have re-started performances since May 17, but there are still many of London's most popular shows that remain suspended and some will continue in that state for some time after July 19.
Most shows have set dates for reopening, though some won't be back until late summer or early Autumn.
Smaller theatres around the capital have announced new seasons and we have been adding new shows to our listings, though the toal number is still well-below our pre-covid level.
A number of West End shows have had to cancel performances because of cast or crew having to isolate - this disruption to schedules may well continue at theatres all over London for some time to come.
Some other productions are still playing online with both on-demand and live performances being streamed and we are expecting that online shows - which have become more popular and numerous over the past year - will remain as part of the overall theatrical offering from London's theatres and producers.
Some West End shows have already recommenced performances but others will be restarting (or beginning performances) in the coming months.
Here are some dates for your diary ...
Anything Goes - Barbican - from 23 July 2021
Phantom of the Opera - Her Majesty's Theatre - from 27 July 2021
Jersey Boys - Trafalgar Theatre - from 28 July 2021
The Lion King - Lyceum Theatre - from 29 July 2021
TINA - The Tina Turner Musical - Aldwych Theatre - from 5 August 2021
Leopoldstadt - Wyndham's Theatre - from 7 August 2021
Mary Poppins - Prince Edward Theatre - from 7 August 2021
Hamilton - Victoria Palace Theatre - from 19 August 2021
Back to the Future - Adelphi Theatre - from 20 August 2021
Mamma Mia - Novello Theatre - reopens 25 August
Frozen - Theatre Royal Drury Lane - opening 27 August 2021
Wicked - Apollo Victoria Theatre - from 15 September 2021
Matilda - Cambrdige Theatre - 16 September 2021
& Juliet - Shaftesbury Theatre - from 24 September 2021
Les Misérables - Sondheim Theatre - from 25 September 2021
Only Fools and Horses - Theatre Royal Haymarket - from 1 October 2021
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child - Palace Theatre - restarts 14 October 2021
DEAR EVAN HANSON - Noël Coward Theatre - 26 October 2021
The Drifters Girl - Garrick Theatre - from 4 November 2021
Life of Pi - Wyndham's Theatre - from 14 November 2021
The Book of Mormon - Prince of Wales Theatre - from 15 November 2021
Performances cancelled at King's Head
Thursday 22 July 2021
The headline show in the King’s Head Theatre's summer Queer Season, is cancelling its first three performances.
The Browning Version cancelled
Monday 19 July 2021
The Browning Version at Riverside Studios has been cancelled due to an increasing number of Covid-enforced absences.
Swimming at the White Bear Theatre
Monday 19 July 2021
Alex Bower's 'Swimming' heads to the White Bear Theatre this August, after a sell-out run in 2019, directed by Kayla Feldman
A Rat, A Rat at the Golden Goose Theatre
Friday 9 July 2021
Chloe Yates' play 'A Rat, A Rat', shortlisted for the inaugural Women's Prize for Playwriting, will play this August at the new Golden Goose Theatre in Camberwell.
The Funny Girls at New Wimbledon Theatre
Wednesday 7 July 2021
Barbra Streisand and Joan Rivers reunite in a brand new comedy 'The Funny Girls' - heading to the New Wimbledon Theatre this September.
Bloomsbury Festival 2021 - initial line-up
Tuesday 6 July 2021
Bloomsbury Festival has announced the first twenty five events for this year's outing, including collaborations with London Handel Festival and the British Library.
Hello Georgie, Goodbye Best at The Space
Monday 5 July 2021
Following a successful tour, Cheese at Fourpence Theatre company are reviving ‘Hello Georgie, Goodbye Best' for a post-pandemic audience at The Space.
Love Letters in Hornchurch
Wednesday 30 June 2021
Lucy Benjamin will star in the premiere of a new jukebox musical 'Love Letters', written and directed by Douglas Rintoul, at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch.
Casting for The Game of Love and Chance
Thursday 24 June 2021
Casting is announced for the Arcola Theatre's first production in its new outdoor space - an adaptation of Pierre de Marivaux’s romantic comedy, The Game of Love and Chance.
International Youth Arts Festival 2021
Thursday 24 June 2021
Taking place from 2 to 11 July, the International Youth Arts Festival will include 20 events showcasing young creative talent from Kingston upon Thames and further afield.
More news ...