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. 

How long are West End performances going to be cancelled?

As per SOLT's announcement made today (5 May 2020), West End performances are now cancelled until at least 28 June 2020.

Why do West End theatre closures keep getting extended?

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.

Why have some West End theatres decided to close for longer due to coronavirus?

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. 

Will I get a refund for cancelled West End performances due to coronavirus?

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.

Does the UK and West End theatre industry have a plan for the future?

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.

When will West End theatres reopen?

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.

How do I find out whether a West End performance has been cancelled due to coronavirus?

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.

📰 You can follow our news pages for more information on coronavirus cancellations.
I have a ticket to a cancelled West End performance between now and 28 June what should I do?

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.

I have a ticket for a West End show after 28 June what should I do?

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.

Can I get my money back if I have a ticket to a cancelled performance?

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.

Why haven’t I received my refund for a cancelled performance, 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. 

How can I help support the theatre industry through these difficult times?

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?"

How many people see London theatre shows every year?

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.

How many performances were held in the West End in 2019?

In 2019, West End and London theatres saw a total of 18,364 performances.

How much did London theatres earn in box office revenue last year in 2019?

London theatre shows earned a total of £799 million pounds at the box office, generating £139 million in VAT payments for the UK treasury.

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.