Last year, all London theatres were forced to stop functioning due to the impending threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Theatres remained shut for over a year. Even iconic shows like the Mousetrap and the Woman in Black that have been staged thousands of times on various West End stages were forced to stop production. Some London theatres did briefly functioned towards the end of the year. However, it did not remain so for long. The steady rise in COVID-19 cases forced the government to call for a nation-wide lockdown, causing theatres to shut down once again - indefinitely.  

London Theatres - The Reopening

The new roadmap released by the UK government accounted for theatres to reopen from May 17th under the third step of the government’s Coronavirus guidelines. Step 3 will last till 21st June, wherein all London theatres will start functioning with several restrictions and safety measures in place. What are these safety measures put in place by the government? Let’s find out.

COVID-19 Safety Measures for West End Shows & Theatres

  • Theatres will function at 50% capacity or with 1000 guests, whichever is lesser.
  • E-tickets and print-at-home tickets will replace paper tickets to minimize contact.
  • All guests should wear masks and other protective gear.
  • High-contact facilities such as cloakrooms may not be functioning in theatres. Therefore, all guests are requested to carry minimum belongings with them. 
  • Wherever possible, theatres will facilitate pre-ordering of refreshments in order to reduce over-crowding during intervals. 
  • Cashless transactions will be encouraged in order to minimize contact. 
  • Guests will be allowed to enter the venue only after temperature checks. 
  • All visitors are required to maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitizers will be provided at each entry and exit.

List of West End Shows that are Reopening Soon

While some West End shows reopened as early as May 17th, others chose to wait a while. Over the next few months, many more West End shows are set to reopen, including many renown shows like Matilda, Cinderella, and the mousetrap. Let’s take a look at all the West End shows that have already reopened or are reopening soon.

May

  • Death Drop: 19th May to 11th July
  • Love Letters: 19th May to 13th June
  • Roles We'll Never Play: 22 May
  • Monday Night at the Apollo: 25th May to 5th July
  • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: 20th May to 29th August
  • Six: 21st May to 22nd August

June

  • Magic Mike Live: 5th June to 19th December
  • Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny: 15th June to 20th July
  • The Play That Goes Wrong: 18th June to 20th Sept
  • Wicked: 21st June to 27th November
  • &Juliet: 21th June to 12th February 2022
  • To Kill A Mockingbird: 21th June to 6th November
  • The Distance You Have Come: 21th June to 28th June
  • Adam Kay: This Is Going to Hurt 21th June to 26th June
  • Hairspray: 21th June to 28th September
  • Matilda The Musical: 22th June to 9th Jan
  • Leopoldstadt: 22th June to 4th September
  • TINA: The Tina Turner: 24th June to 26th June 2022
  • Cinderella: 25th June to 13th February 2022

July

  • Joseph: 1st July to 5th September
  • The Prince of Egypt: 1st July to 8th Jan 2022
  • The Play That Goes Wrong: 18th June to 20th Sept
  • Showstopper! The Improvised Musical: 7th June to 11th October
  • The Mousetrap: 6 Jul to 19 Dec
  • Pretty Woman: 8 July to 12 Dec
  • The Book of Mormon: 15th Nov to 2nd April
  • Groan Ups: 12 July to 17 July
  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea: 13th July to 5th Sept
  • What The Ladybird Heard: 15th July to 29th Aug
  • David Walliams' Billionaire Boy: 17th July to 22 August 2021
  • Come from Away: 22nd July to 18th Dec
  • Anything Goes: 23rd July to 16th Oct
  • Doctor Who Time Fracture at Immersive LDN: 26th May to 17th Apr 2022
  • Jersey Boys: 28th July to 2nd Jan 2022
  • Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain - Part Five!: 29th July to 28th Aug
  • Come from Away: 22nd July to 18th Dec
  • Anything Goes: 23rd July to 16th Oct
  • Doctor Who Time Fracture at Immersive LDN: 26th May to 17th Apr 2022
  • Jersey Boys: 28th July to 2 Jan 2022
  • Come from Away: 22nd July to 18th Dec
  • Singin' In The Rain: 31st July to 5 Sept

August

  • Back to the Future: 20th Aug to 13 Feb 2022
  • Mamma Mia: 25th Aug to 2 Apr 2022

September

  • The Lion King: 7th Sept to 4 Mar 2022
  • Life of Pi: 26th Sept to 9 Jan 2022

October

  • Get Up Stand Up! Bob Marley: 1th Oct to 24 Feb 2022
  • Only Fools And Horses:1th Oct to 26 Feb 2022
  • Magic goes Wrong: 21th Oct to 27 Feb 2022

November

  • The Drifters Girl: 4 Nov to 26 Mar 2022
  • Aladdin 2020: 19th Nov to 2 Jan 2022

December

  • Nutcracker: 16th Dec to 8 Jan 2022

Is Everyone Allowed to Attend West End Shows?

You are requested to not attend West End shows 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.
  • Have been instructed to self-isolate.

What is the New London Theatre Experience Like?

Even though it has barely been a couple of weeks since West End shows have started again, theatres are seeing a considerable number of guests. Because of the current reduction in the number of seats available, it is recommended that you book your West End tickets a couple of days in advance. 

Apart from the mandatory donning of masks and othe protective gears, indoor 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. While you will be able to sit with your friends or family, there will be sufficient gap between two groups. 

Wherever possible, entry and exit points will be separated to minimize contact. The theatre staff will guide you through the entire process. Pre-booking of meals will be available to prevent over-crowding. In short, all precautions are being taken to ensure that social distancing is maintained throughout the show.

What is the Future of London Theatres?

While London theatres are currently following all the necessary social distancing measures, this will not be the case always. According to the roadmap issued by the government, these restrictions will be lifted as soon as the country enters step 4 on 21st June, provided that the pandemic is under control. Therefore, it is safe to say that theatres will return to normal sooner rather than later. 

West End Shows Reopening: FAQs

When did West End shows reopen?

West End reopened it’s door to the public on 17th May, 2021.

Can I watch a West End show now?

Yes. West End shows are open and accepting bookings. You can book London Theatre tickets with us to avail of exciting discounts.

Which are some of the first West End shows to reopen post pandemic?

Death Drop, Love Letters, and Roles We'll Never Play are some of the first West End shows to reopen post pandemic.

Can everyone attend West End shows?

Everyone can attend West End shows as long as they are not 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, etc.

Is it safe to visit London theatres?

Yes. All London theatres have reopened with safety measures strictly in place. Therefore, it is safe for guests to visit London theatres.

How many guests are allowed in a West End show?

West End shows are currently running at 50% capacity or with 1000 guests, whichever number is lower.

Is social distancing here to stay?

The government has announced that social distancing measures and other restrictions will be lifted as soon as the country enters step 4 on 21st June.