London theatre closures

London theatre news: Saturday 11 April 2020

London Fringe - London West End - Theatres

All London theatres both in the West End and beyond are closed. Read more about developments and how you can help the theatre sector in these difficult times.

Owing to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, most London theatres stopped performances on 16 March 2020 and others quickly followed.

In fact, the well-respected Arcola Theatre in Dalston announced its closure on 15 March, slightly ahead of the pack.

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) initially gave the closure period as being up to 26 April.

At the time of the announcement, we had listings for around 600 shows either playing at the time or scheduled for dates in the future.

In general, we usually have in excess of 600 shows on our site, though towards the end of each year we may have around 750 because of the panto season and upcoming events like Vault Festival.

Since the closures, some shows have simply been suspended or mothballed with the intention of continuing them when theatres reopen.

This generally applies to most of the big name shows in the West End which were playing at the time, though Waitress which was playing at the Adelphi Theatre has closed early and 9-5 the Musical has also cut short its run at the Savoy Theatre.

Other shows - mostly outside of the West End, have been cancelled outright or postponed, some with the promise of appearing at some time in the future.

As a consequence we have updated our show listings to reflect information we have received about show cancellations and postponements.

Though our updating continues, we now have around 230 show listings - which comprise shows that will (hopefully) appear when theatres reopen and others which were due much further into the future and which have not yet been cancelled.

You can check our A to Z of shows here.

West End theatres - update on 6 April

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) on behalf of the major commercial West End theatre operators and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) announced on 6 April that all performances at West End theatres were to be cancelled up to and including 31 May 2020.

That added a further month to the original closure period.

Fringe and Off West End theatres

Theatres outside of the West End have postponed their activities for various periods of time and many have cancelled shows, especially those which were due to play during the second half of March and into April.

Some have gone further announcing closures beyond May.

The National Theatre has decided to close to the public until 30 June.

Since theatres are now closed on instructions from the UK Goverment, it is for the authorities to decide when venues can reopen.

So far there has been no indication when that might be, though the famous composer Andrew Lloyd Webber recently suggested that September might be the earliest that theatres reopen.

Smaller theatres, of course, mostly depend on ticket sales for their existence, and will find immensely difficulty in meeting their overheads and paying staff during this period of closure, even if they are able to take advantage of Government financial support, which may not be possible for all of them.

So many theatres are accepting donations.

We know that many of our visitors will have been very badly affected both by theatre closures and also those whose lives have been dramatically affected by the lockdown - and we offer our very best wishes to everyone in these very difficult times.

However, if you are in a position to help do please consider making a donation to your favourite theatre or perhaps your local theatre - check out your local theatre's website from our list of theatres by London borough here.

About London theatre news from ActDrop

We cover all kinds of news stories about theatre in the London area including items about West End, Fringe, Off West End and other venues, as well as new shows coming to the capital, theatre events like scratch nights, theatre festivals and other interesting theatre news that can't be so easily classified!

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