How can I support West End and UK theatres during the COVID-19 crisis?

Updated on 29 January 2021

We were all rooting for 2020. But then the new decade brought us COVID-19, unleashing a whole wave of economic uncertainty for many people, especially those working in retail, travel, accommodation, film, and live entertainment. The West End and UK theatres were no exception and are likely to be hit hard by the crisis. Many venues rely on public support to stay afloat.

On 16 March 2020, Boris Johnson advised people to avoid theatres and cinemas. However, this advice was not declared as mandatory and unfortunately for many UK venues, this meant they could not claim on their insurance. Nevertheless, SOLT and UK Theatre member venues closed as of that evening, and now all performances up until the 30th of April have been confirmed (as at the publish date of this article) as either cancelled or postponed.

Many businesses and theatres, especially smaller venues, do not have the reserves to operate for more than three months and a substantial number of layoffs could be possible. It is predicted that many smaller venues will be forced to shut their doors for good. The best-case scenario is that London Theatreland and UK theatres will recover by the end of the third quarter this year. The worst-case scenario is that we may not see a full recovery for years. But the show MUST go on and theatres, actors, and creatives need our help now more than ever.

Here's how you can help save UK theatre and employees from the corona crisis:

#SupportTheArts  Donate directly to UK theatre venues 

Some venues like London's Arcola Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith are a registered charity and rely solely on donations whilst theatres like The Old Vic have no Arts Council support. The best thing you can do right now to help keep UK and London theatre alive is to donate to them directly. Many theatres are now accepting donations on their website. Whether you choose to donate the same amount as your tickets you've purchased or just £5, every little bit helps! Here's a list of theatres that are accepting online donations:

Above The Stag Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

Alexandra Palace: Name a seat in the theatre from £450 to £900 here.

Arcola: Visit here to make a donation.

Barbican: Visit here or call 020 7638 8891 to make a donation.

Battersea Arts: Visit here to make a donation.

Bush: Visit here to make a donation.

Curve Leicester: Visit here to make a donation.

Hampstead Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

Menier Chocolate Factory: Visit here and select "Make A Donation" under "WE NEED YOUR HELP."

Lyric Hammersmith: Visit here to make a donation.

Park Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre: Visit here to make a donation.

Roundhouse Theatre: Visit here to become a member and support the theatre.

Royal Court: Visit here to make a donation.

Sadler's Wells: Visit here to make a donation.

Shakespeare's GlobeVisit here to make a donation.

Soho Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

Southwark PlayhouseVisit here to make a donation.

St Pauls Church, Covent Garden: Visit here to make a donation.

The Coronet Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

The Kiln: Visit here to make a donation.

The Old Vic: Visit here to make a donation.

The Yard Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

Theatre Royal Stratford East: Contact [email protected] or call 020 8279 1157 to make a donation.

Unicorn Theatre: Visit here to make a donation.

Young Vic: Visit here to make a donation.


Support theatre professionals during the coronavirus

SOLT and UK Theatres have recently launched a new microsite to help create a united front amidst mass theatre closures during the COVID-19 crisis. The charities involved include:

Acting for Others
Actors' Benevolent Fund (ABF)
Actors' Children's Trust (ACT)
The Actors' Church
Dance Professionals Fund
Equity Charitable Trust
Funds for Freelancers
Grand Order of Water Rats
Help Musicians
Make A Difference Trust (MAD)
Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund
Royal Theatrical Fund
Stage One New Producers
Theatre Chaplaincy UK
Until the Curtain Rises
UK Theatre

Visit the website to find out more about how to donate to these pivotal charities. Together we can help ensure that the show will go on!
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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.