The West End and UK Theatre venues shut down until further notice due to coronavirus
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
SOLT has issued a statement that West End theatres will now be closed, effective last evening (16 March 2020) and effective "until further notice." This is a developing story and information is subject to change on a day-to-day basis.
The West End shuts down amid the corona crisis
West End and regional shows have been postponed until further notice as the corona crisis rages on with Europe now at the epicentre.
The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised against attending the theatres and moving towards a containment strategy, which includes practising social distancing to prevent large groups of potentially infected people coming into contact.
A list of West End shows affected can be found below.
SOLT issues a new statement regarding COVID-19
"The safety of our audience and workforce is paramount to us as we navigate this challenging time. We, therefore, regret to announce that as of this evening all SOLT and UK Theatre member venues will close this evening (including tonight's performances) in light of the most recent official government advice. They will remain closed until further notice and will re-open as soon as possible, following government recommendations.
If you have bought tickets to a show that has been cancelled, then you are entitled to a refund and your ticket provider will be in touch. Please bear with us during this time.
The magic of theatre lies in its live performances and it is not something that can be experienced in the same way remotely. Its ability to lift people and entertain people even in times of difficulty is unparalleled and so we are extremely grateful to all of our audiences, who have continued to support us for as long as they can. We can't wait to welcome our audiences back into the UK's theatres as soon as possible.
We would like to commend the dedicated hard work from everyone in theatres across London and the UK over the last few weeks to continue to entertain and delight people for as long as they safely could. There are over 290,000 individuals working in the theatre industry across the UK, and the closure of theatres and public venues will have a devastating impact.
At this time, we must come together to support each other. Theatre as an industry relies on its audiences entirely to exist. We will rely on you now more than ever.
Many theatres that have been forced to cancel performances are charitable enterprises and have reached out to their audiences and asked for their support by donating their tickets. While ticketholders are all entitled to a refund for cancelled performances, the financial toll that refunding these tickets will have on small, charitably funded theatres is vast. We urge anyone who can afford to donate the cost of their ticket to show their support for our industry by doing so.
If you're looking for ways to show your support to the theatre industry and all its hardworking professionals, please consider purchasing Theatre Tokens, which you can use once our theatres are back up and running. These can be used at over 260 venues across the country and have no expiration date.
Theatre fans and patrons are the lifeblood of our creative industry and we simply could not open our doors without you. We're extremely grateful for all the messages of support we have received so far, and we look forward to welcoming you back to come and support our theatres when they re-open.
We will remain in contact over the coming weeks and keep everyone up-to-date as the situation changes. In order to stay informed, safe and healthy, current NHS advice can be found here.
During this period, we as an industry want to play our part in supporting everyone in our communities and will also continue to look for ways to entertain and uplift people across the country, so please follow our social channels and stay in touch."
Change of Operations: What UK venues have closed due to coronavirus?
King's Head Theatre – closed until 11 April 2020. Iolanthe cancelled. Asking ticketholders to donate the cost of their tickets back to the venue.
Sadler's Wells – full closure for the next 12 weeks. Sadler's Wells Theatre, Peacock Theatre, and Lilian Baylis Studios planned to reopen on 9 June 2020. Asking for donations to support commission artist and help deliver future programmes.
The Coronet Theatre – all performances of Afterplay (originally scheduled until 4 April) cancelled. Building to remain closed until further notice. Ticketholders encouraged to donate to the theatre.
The Courtyard – building closed until further notice. Ticketholders asked to donate.
Southwark Playhouse – performances for the next eight weeks cancelled. The Last Five Years and Lipstick cancelled. Also expected to affect The Beast of Blue Yonder, Anything is Possible if You Think About it Hard Enough, and Five Characters in Search of a Good Night's Sleep.
The Barn Theatre – current production of Ben Hur will run until the end of the week before the building shuts until further notice. It has launched a SAVE OUR BARN donations campaign via the website.
The Great Gatsby – cancelled with immediate effect until further notice. Immersive LDN hopes to reopen in the summer.
All Ambassador Theatre Group venues have suspended performances with immediate effect in response to the Prime Minister's statement. Venues outside of the West End include:
- The Alexandra, Birmingham
- Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
- Bristol Hippodrome
- Edinburgh Playhouse
- Grand Opera House, York
- King's Theatre, Glasgow
- Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone
- Liverpool Empire
- Milton Keynes Theatre
- New Theatre, Oxford
- New Victoria Theatre, Woking
- New Wimbledon Theatre
- Opera House, Manchester
- Palace Theatre, Manchester
- Princess Theatre, Torquay
- Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
- Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking
- Richmond Theatre
- Stockton Globe
- Sunderland Empire
- Swansea Arena
- Theatre Royal Brighton
- Theatre Royal Glasgow
- Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
Royal Shakespeare Company – all RSC venues and all venues that the RSC Company is performing at have closed indefinitely. Including activities at Stratford Theatres and at other UK theatres including Matilda The Musical, Kunene and the King and all of the RSC touring productions:
- Kunene and the King, scheduled to run at London's Ambassadors Theatre until 28 March. Now suspended.
- Matilda The Musical, booking at London's Cambridge Theatre until December 2020. Currently suspended until further notice.
- Measure for Measure, As You Like It and The Taming of the Shrew, scheduled to run at Newcastle Theatre Royal until 21 March and Grand Theatre Blackpool from 25 March to 4 April. Now suspended.
- Tartuffe, scheduled to run at Birmingham Repertory Theatre until 4 April. Now suspended.
All SOLT (i.e. large West End) and UK Theatre member venues will close until further notice.
Chiswick Playhouse – all activity suspended until 24 April.
The Lowry – The Tina Turner Experience cancelled after 16 March. Venue closed from 17 to 31 March.
National Student Drama Festival – NSDF 20 cancelled. All those planning to attend will be invited to NSDF21.
Royal and Derngate – venue will issue a full statement on 17 March to clarify its position going forward.
VAULT Festival – will shut down its final week of performances.
Unicorn Theatre – will shut down. Asking for donations. Wild, Gulliver's Travels and Robotology all cancelled.
Bridge Theatre – closed until July. I Remember It Well with Judi Dench and Gyles Brandreth and The Southbury Child cancelled.
Boulevard Theatre – theatre closed until further notice with all productions postponed.
Gate Theatre – remaining performances of Trainers cancelled. Omeros, scheduled to play from 7 to 30 May, may possible be affected.
Royal Opera House – shut down with all performances cancelled.
Above the Stag – closed until further notice.
Riverside Studios – final performance of Love, Loss and Chianti on 24 March rather than 27 May.
Bush Theatre – The High Table and Collapsible cancelled.
Soho Theatre – theatre closed and looking for alternative ways to keep the show going.
Watford Palace Theatre – Talking Heads cancelled. Originally scheduled to run until 29 March. April run of Abigail's Party postponed until 2021.
Lyric Hammersmith Theatre – 16 March performance of Love, Love, Love cancelled. Awaiting further news.
Royal Court – spring work postponed. Shoe Lady, Rare Earth Mettle, two Palestinians go dogging and others to be reworked into future programming.
Kiln Theatre – Pass Over cancelled until 21 March but may continue after 23 March. Kiln cinema and cafe open as normal.
Oxford Playhouse – The Flower rescheduled to spring 2021.
Park Theatre – La Cage Aux Folles [the Play] cancelled. Future shows, including Corpse!, scheduled to run as planned.
Capital Theatres, Edinburgh – all March and April performances at the King's Theatre, Festival Theatre and The Studio cancelled under advice from the Scottish Government to cease all events with more than 500 people. Shows may be rescheduled for the autumn season.
Young Vic – Nora: A Doll's House cancelled. Venue remains open.
Menier Chocolate Factory – Indecent suspended until 13 April.
Finborough Theatre – Not Quite Jerusalem cancelled. Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad postponed to 2 to 27 February 2021. Women Without Men postponed to 11 August to 5 September.
Arcola Theatre – all performances suspended for the foreseeable future. Venue asking for donations as it is a charity organisation.
Bunker Theatre – Power Share takeover week of performances cancelled. Final week from 24 to 28 March to run as scheduled.
The Turbine Theatre – all performances until 18 April cancelled, including #HonestAmy (originally set to run from 24 March to 11 April).
Old Vic Theatre – Endgame starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming cancelled. All other performances scheduled to go ahead as planned, with Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles starring Eileen Atkins and Timothée Chalamet to open for previews on 6 April.
Byre Theatre – all performances at the St Andrews venue cancelled until 31 May. Cafe and building itself remain open for business. All private events to carry on as planned.
Charing Cross Theatre – London premiere of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike postponed. Originally scheduled to open on 21 March and run as part of the London Climate Change Festival until 16 May.
Storyhouse – the Chester venue has postponed two summer productions to the autumn. Antigone and new musical Brewster's Millions to run in the autumn instead of in May.
List of postponed shows and SOLT West End venues that have shut until further notice
Here is a list of affected SOLT West End venues and on-going shows that have been temporarily shut and postponed:
& Juliet – Shaftesbury Theatre
9 to 5 The Musical – Savoy Theatre
Blithe Spirit – Duke of York's Theatre
City of Angels – Garrick Theatre
Come From Away – Phoenix Theatre
Dear Evan Hansen – Noël Coward Theatre
Endgame – The Old Vic
Everybody's Talking About Jamie – Apollo Theatre
Hamilton – Victoria Palace Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Palace Theatre
Kunene and the King – Ambassadors Theatre
Leopoldstadt – Wyndham's Theatre
Les Misérables – Sondheim Theatre (formerly Queen's Theatre)
Magic Goes Wrong – Vaudeville Theatre
Mamma Mia! – Novello Theatre
Mary Poppins – Prince Edward Theatre
Matilda – Cambridge Theatre
On Blueberry Hill – Trafalgar Studios 1
Only Fools and Horses The Musical – Theatre Royal Haymarket
Pretty Woman – Piccadilly Theatre
Shoe Lady – Royal Court (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs)
Sleepless – Troubadour Wembley Park
The Book of Mormon – Prince of Wales Theatre
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery – Criterion Theatre
The Lion King – Lyceum Theatre
The Mousetrap – St Martin's Theatre
The Phantom of the Opera – Her Majesty's Theatre
The Play That Goes Wrong – Duchess Theatre
The Prince of Egypt – The Dominion Theatre
The Seagull – Playhouse Theatre
The Upstart Crow – Gielgud Theatre
The Woman in Black – Fortune Theatre
Thriller Live – Lyric Theatre
TINA – Aldwych Theatre
Uncle Vanya – Harold Pinter Theatre
Various – Barbican
Various – National Theatre
Various – Royal Opera House
Various – Sadler's Wells
Various – Shakespeare's Globe
Waitress The Musical – Adelphi
Wicked – Apollo Victoria