London theatre from ActDrop

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

Most theatres have been closed for 11 months since March 2020 - though a few were open intermittently when government restrictions were relaxed during last summer and the early Autumn.

The current (third) national lockdown has been in force in England since early January this year.

When will theatres reopen?

The UK Prime Minister announced on 22 February a roadmap for relaxing the lockdown restrictions.

The plan sets out a staged reopening of the economy and community activity based not on fixed dates but on the scientific data about cases, hospitalisations, deaths due to covid-19 and the progress of the vaccination roll-out programme.

The initial focus in stage 1 is on reopening all schools and colleges of further education on 8 March.

It's expected that people will be able to meet outdoors in larger numbers (employing the 'rule of six') from 29 March.

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

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

Theatre reopening may be supported by rapid testing, though we await further details of how this may work.

London theatres, then, look like they will have to wait at least until 17 May before they are allowed to welcome audiences back.

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.

So theatres and other entertainment venues still face some continuing uncertainty about the future.

What's happening with shows?

Productions at London theatres due to open in February and March have largely been postponed or cancelled and it looks likely that shows planned for opening in April will also be rescheduled after the tentative date of 17 May announced by the Prime Minister.

We continue to update our show listings as we receive news about revised schedules.

London's biggest and most popular West End shows - such as DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins and others - currently remain suspended as has been the case since March last year.

Some shows have made the transition to the virtual world with both recorded and live performances available - we are adding 'online' shows to our listings.

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 March onwards, you may wish to keep a close eye on the appropriate theatre website to check on the status of shows you were hoping to attend.


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Birds and Bees - digital learning resource

Monday 1 March 2021

Charlie Josephine's new play Birds and Bees is released to UK state secondary schools as a free, online learning resource and also available to the public from 8 March.

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Talking Gods - from Arrows & Traps

Thursday 25 February 2021

Casting has been announced for Talking Gods, a digital festival of five reimagined Greek myths from Arrows & Traps Theatre Company.

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Adventurous - online comedy premiere

Thursday 25 February 2021

Jermyn Street Theatre will present the premiere of Ian Hallard’s debut play, a comedy two-hander, directed by Khadifa Wong.

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Love In The Lockdown - online play

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Rachael Stirling and Alec Newman will star in a new, topical play with music, set to be released in nine episodes screened on YouTube from 4 March to 23 May 2021.

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Going Outside by Leon Fleming

Tuesday 23 February 2021

A short play by writer Leon Fleming delves into the issue of revealing who you are when you're in the public eye - part of Bradford's LGBTQ+ History Month programme.

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Hear Me Roar from Burn Bright

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Burn Bright will showcase seven premiere performances of new writings from talented women in a unique live event to be broadcast via Zoom in March.

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Sister Act The Musical postponed

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Producers of Sister Act The Musical, have postponed performances at the Eventim Apollo until 2022, with Whoopi Goldberg no longer be able to appear.

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Rice! - online

Saturday 13 February 2021

An immersive, edible journey from Kuala Lumpur to London, via your own kitchen, fuses food and performance - cooked up in February by Wayang Kitchen.

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monolog 4 (online) from Chickenshed

Friday 12 February 2021

monolog 4 (online) from Chickenshed

Image courtesy Chickenshed

Chickenshed is switching this year to online performances for its fourth collection of monologues entitled monolog 4 (online).

The plays are drawn from a diverse range of people and voices to provide a uniquely varied programme, that once again demonstrates the versatility of this simple, yet immensely powerful theatrical form.

This year's monologues are bundled into two online shows so you can choose to watch either or both groups of plays.

Group A plays comprise ...

Just Imagine by Sara Chernaik

Gin Sisters by Cathy Jansen-Ridings

Neighbourhood Watch by Matthew Patenall & Gill Patenall

The State of the Artist by Sebastian Ross

Group B plays include ...

The Sleep Stealers by Hannah Smith

Whatever Happened to Abigail Winters? by Sophie White

Come Closer by Rebecca Hardy

Metamorphosis by Lucy Dobson

The online shows are available for £5 and the performances last around 1 hour per group - available until 20 February 2021.

More information and booking available here.

More Tales from the Front Line

Thursday 11 February 2021

Talawa Theatre Company have released the next 2 pieces in their online series which use verbatim interviews from Black key and frontline workers.

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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