London Theatre Direct Coronavirus FAQ: Your West End COVID-19 questions answered
Posted on 5 May 2020
SOLT has announced today that West End theatres will now be closed until 28 June 2020. When will theatres reopen? Will theatre closures be extended again? When will you get your money back? Find all the answers to these frequently asked questions and more in our COVID-19 West End theatre FAQ below.
As per SOLT's announcement made today (5 May 2020), West End performances are now cancelled until at least 28 June 2020.
The mass closure of London theatres is extended on a rolling basis upon reaching an agreement from major commercial theatres and following the latest government advice.
Some London theatres have decided to cancel their performances beyond 28 June and to not accept new bookings over the summer season. This is based on individual circumstances. So whilst some West End theatres will close all summer due to the pandemic, other theatres may still choose to open in late summer after weighing current government advice. Hairspray at the London Coliseum, for example, is still planned to go ahead in September with most ticketholders having already received a free exchange for the newly scheduled run.
During these very difficult times, venues and ticket agents are working with thousands of customer enquiries on a daily basis. Ticketholders to cancelled performances are asked to refrain from contacting their point of sale. Customers will be contacted directly to process refunds, exchanges, or credit notes as soon as possible. Refunds will be processed automatically for all confirmed cancelled performances.
Additional guidance on the industry's future plans regarding the coronavirus crisis will be announced as soon as it becomes available. Specific productions and venues may make their own individual announcements regarding their future intentions.
Any decisions to reopen theatres will be made based on official government advice and science regarding mass gatherings and cultural events. Different theatres and productions are likely to open at different times at their own discretion and upon weighing the facts and regulations.
If a performance was due to take place anytime between now until 28 June, then it has unfortunately been cancelled. Some venues and productions have decided to cancel performances after 28 June, including the Eventim Apollo Theatre's summer production of Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg, which will now take place in summer 2021 with all tickets still valid for the new dates.
If your performance has been confirmed cancelled, you will not need to take any action. Your ticket provider will be in touch with you very soon to arrange an exchange, refund, or credit note. London Theatre Direct is working as hard as possible to issue refunds for cancelled performances in a timely manner.
No action is required on your part. Please do not contact your ticket provider as they are only handling refunds and exchanges for performances leading up to the 28th of June at this time. In any case, you will be contacted directly without the need to contact them at all.
Yes. All performances confirmed to be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be refunded automatically without the need to contact London Theatre Direct.
Your refund will be processed after 14 business days at the earliest from the date your performance was due to take place. The London Theatre Direct team is working very hard to process refunds as quickly as possible. We understand the financial hardship that the coronavirus has caused for some and we kindly ask you for your patience and kindness.
Many independent London theatres are now struggling as a result of nationwide theatre closures and require additional financial support to stay afloat. Find out how you can help by reading our article: "How can I support West End and UK theatres during the COVID-19 crisis?"
Under normal circumstances, London and West End audiences can reach over 15.3 million annually (based on 2019 data). It may be a while before the total number of annual theatregoers reaches this number again and it could take years for the industry to recover from the damage the coronavirus has done.
In 2019, West End and London theatres saw a total of 18,364 performances.
London theatre shows earned a total of £799 million pounds at the box office, generating £139 million in VAT payments for the UK treasury.