London theatre from ActDrop


London's theatres remain closed to live performances (with audiences present) in response to the continuing coronavirus epidemic.


Most theatres have been closed continually since March 2020 - though a few were open intermittently when government restrictions were relaxed during last summer and the early Autumn.


When will theatres reopen?


The UK Prime Minister announced on 22 February a roadmap for relaxing restrictions which is now progressing.


Schools in England led the way when they reopened on 8 March.


And people are able to meet in small groups outdoors once again.


Outdoor hospitality venues - such as pubs - will be able to open for outdoor service from 12 April.


Theatres and concert halls may be given permission to reopen (subject to capacity limitations and social distancing) from 17 May with further relaxations on reopening larger venues possible from 21 June.


And, from that date, it is expected that the legal limits on social contact could be lifted completely.


Entertainment venue reopening will be supported by rapid testing with everyone able to get 2 free virus tests each week.


The government is set to review the relaxation of restrictions at 5 week intervals before allowing the country to move between stages in the roadmap.


If you want to view the official roadmap and dates when different parts of the economy might reopen, see this page.


What's happening with shows?


Productions at London theatres due to open in April have largely been postponed or cancelled.


And London's biggest and most popular West End shows currently remain suspended as has been the case since March last year.


Some other productions are available online with both recorded and live performances (without audiences present) being streamed.


If you hold tickets for cancelled performances, you should be contacted by your point of purchase about refunds or exchange of your booking for a future date.


And, if you have tickets for performances from May onwards, we advise checking theatre websites for any changes to performances and further announcements from the government.


Reopening announcements


Many big shows have already announced dates for opening - here's a summary of what we know ...


& Juliet - Shaftesbury Theatre - from 24 September 2021

Anything Goes - Barbican - from 23 July 2021

Back to the Future - Adelphi Theatre - from 20 August 2021

Cinderella - Gillian Lynne Theatre - from 25 June 2021

Come From Away - Phoenix Theatre - from 22 July 2021

DEAR EVAN HANSON - Noël Coward Theatre - no dates announced

Everybody's Talking About Jamie - Apollo Theatre - reopens 20 May 2021

Frozen - Theatre Royal Drury Lane - opening August 2021

Hairspray - London Coliseum - from 22 June 2021

Hamilton - Victoria Palace Theatre - from 23 June 2021

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child - Palace Theatre - suspended until 18 July 2021

Jersey Boys - Trafalgar Theatre - from 28 July 2021

Joseph & the Amazing Tech Dreamcoat - London Palladium - starts 1 July 2021

Leopoldstadt - Wyndham's Theatre - from 12 June 2021

Les Misérables - Sondheim Theatre - staged concert from 20 May 2021; full show from 25 September 2021

Mamma Mia - Novello Theatre - reopens 25 August

Mary Poppins - Prince Edward Theatre - from 23 June 2021

Matilda - Cambrdige Theatre - 22 June 2021

Only Fools and Horses - Theatre Royal Haymarket - from 1 October 2021

Phantom of the Opera - Her Majesty's Theatre - from 21 July 2021

Pretty Woman The Musical - Savoy Theatre - from 1 July 2021

Six - Lyric Theatre - from 21 May 2021

The Book of Mormon - Prince of Wales Theatre - from 12 July 2021

The Drifters Girl - Garrick Theatre - from 4 November 2021

The Lion King - Lyceum Theatre - from 29 July 2021

The Mousetrap - St Martins Theatre - from 17 May 2021

The Play That Goes Wrong - Duchess Theatre - from 18 June 2021

The Prince of Egypt - Dominion Theatre - from 1 July 2021

The Woman in Black - Fortune Theatre - from 25 May 2021

Tina - Aldwych Theatre - from 24 June 2021

Wicked - Apollo Victoria Theatre - suspended until 20 June 2021

Witness for the Prosecution - London County Hall - from 18 May 2021


Note: all dates are subject to government confirmation that theatres can reopen.


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Brighton Fringe returns

Monday 12 April 2021


Brighton Fringe for 2021 will be a hybrid festival with a mixture of live and digital shows including cabaret, circus and comedy, dance, drama and drag!


Read more ...


Dare To Look Down!

Monday 12 April 2021


A six-part postcard drama taking audiences on a ride through history, written by Jack McNamara, can be mailed to you from 25th May.


Read more ...


ABBA MANIA returns to West End

Saturday 10 April 2021


Last seen in the West End nearly two decades ago, the world’s number one touring ABBA tribute concert is back by popular demand this May.


Read more ...


West End transfer for Public Domain

Thursday 8 April 2021


A dark, funny, verbatim musical about the internet gets a strictly limited season at the Vaudeville Theatre from 27 May.


Read more ...


Disenchanted to stream

Tuesday 30 March 2021


Hit musical Disenchanted will get a West End digital revival, as leading ladies of the stage transform into the princesses we all know and love ... but with a twist!


Read more ...


Little Wars to stream again

Friday 26 March 2021


Following critical-acclaim, and due to popular demand, the digital revival of Steven Carl McCasland's Little Wars returns for a limited streaming season.


Read more ...


World Theatre Day 2021

Friday 26 March 2021


This year's World Theatre Day is on Saturday 27 March 2021.

World Theatre Day image 2021

Image courtesy International Theatre Institute


World Theatre Day was started in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute ITI and is celebrated every year on the 27th March by ITI Centres and the international theatre community.


Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion and you can find this year's programme here.


One of the most important aspects of the celebrations is the World Theatre Day Message through which, at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace.


The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962 and this year's message is by Dame Helen Mirren ...


"This has been such a very difficult time for live performance and many artists, technicians and craftsmen and women have struggled in a profession that is already fraught with insecurity.


Maybe that always present insecurity has made them more able to survive this pandemic with wit and courage.


Their imagination has already translated itself, in these new circumstances, into inventive, entertaining and moving ways to communicate, thanks of course in large part to the internet.


Human beings have told each other stories for as long as they have been on the planet.


The beautiful culture of theatre will live for as long as we stay here.


The creative urge of writers, designers, dancers, singers, actors, musicians, directors, will never be suffocated and in the very near future will flourish again with a new energy and a new understanding of the world we all share.


I can't wait!"


There's more information on the World Theatre Day website.


New season at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch

Friday 26 March 2021


Queen's Theatre Hornchurch is set to reopen to the public on Monday 17 May 2021 (subject to the Government's Roadmap) with a new season of produced work.


Read more ...


Charley's Aunt - free online reading

Thursday 25 March 2021


Proud Haddock will present a free, online reading of the popular farce, Charley's Aunt, featuring an all-star cast and raising funds for the Equity Charitable Trust.


Read more ...


The Motherhood Project

Thursday 25 March 2021


15 short films explore the guilt, joy, absurdity and taboo surrounding motherhood in an online festival of monologues and personal reflections.


Read more ...


More news ...


All our longer news items are here - and you can catch-up with shorter news stories here.


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