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Does London going into “Tier 4” affect London theatres?

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

What a difference a week makes. In a matter of days, London has been upgraded from a "tier two" area to a "tier three" area, ending up in a "tier four" area from 20 December. Sadly, this means that all live theatre to an in-person audience remains closed, with all performances suspended for the foreseeable future.

Although the British government have not given specific advice on how this affects London theatres, here's the latest information that we have on London as a tier four area that directly relates to live entertainment.

Check out the latest news on when West End shows will reopen in 2021.

What does "tier four" mean?

Similar to the English lockdowns in March 2020 and November 2020, people living in a tier four area are advised to stay at home wherever possible. All non-essential retail must close, as well as all entertainment venues including theatres, cinemas and opera houses.

How long will London theatres be closed for in "tier four"?

London theatres will be closed for the foreseeable future, until London is downgraded to a tier two area where live theatre to an in-person audience is deemed safe. The next review to decide tiers for all English areas is scheduled for 30 December, however with a new Coronavirus strain detected in the south east of England, it is likely that London theatres will be closed at the start of 2021.

Make sure to bookmark LondonTheatre.co.uk for the latest information on theatres reopening in the West End, across London and the United Kingdom.

Can I watch West End theatre online while London is in "tier four"?

Yes! Although all London theatres are currently closed, all livestreamed shows and rehearsals in London theatres still have the green light, as theatres have been deemed a safe place of work

Can I donate to any London theatres that are currently closed?

Yes. With all London theatres closed, theatres are reliant on public donations to keep going in the future. Although some theatres will have received funding via the Culture Recovery Fund, why not show your support this Christmas and donate to your favourite theatre. 

Donate to The Barbican.
Donate to the Bush Theatre.
Donate to the Hampstead Theatre.
Donate to the Lyric Hammersmith.
Donate to the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Donate to Shakespeare's Globe.
Donate to The Old Vic.
Donate to the Young Vic.

Which West End shows are currently cancelled or postponed because of Covid-19?

Sadly, with London theatres in lockdown, many West End shows have either had to cancel or postpone all remaining performances. We'll update this page with the latest news on each show, but here's a comprehensive list of what we know so far.

Almeida Theatre

Nine Lessons and Carols is now cancelled at the Almeida Theatre, after playing its final performance on 15 December 2020.

Apollo Theatre

Everybody's Talking About Jamie has suspended performances to 29 January at the earliest. The January concert of Monday Night at the Apollo has been cancelled.

Bridge Theatre

A Christmas Carol starring Simon Russell Beale, Patsy Ferran and Eben Figueiredo is currently suspended. A Christmas Carol ends at the Bridge Theatre on 16 January.

Bush Theatre

All remaining performances of Overflow are cancelled. Overflow will be available to stream online from 18 - 23 January.

Duchess Theatre

Performances of The Play That Goes Wrong will resume from 29 January at the earliest.

Garrick Theatre

Death Drop will now run at the Garrick Theatre from 29 January - 21 February.

Potted Panto will now run over selected dates from 1 April - 18 April.

Here Come The Boys has also moved its opening date, now beginning performances in March 2021.

Hampstead Theatre

Performances of the 60th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiter were suspended The Dumb Waiter will now open from 18 - 30 January.

Lyric Theatre

After opening at the Lyric Theatre on 5 December, Six' reign will be suspended once again from 16 December. Performances will now take place from 29 January - 18 April. 

The world premiere of Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story is still scheduled to begin performances from 28 May.

Palace Theatre

Performances of West End Musical Christmas have now moved from 17-20 December to February 2021.

Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt will now run from 1 - 7 March. 

Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny will now run from 9 - 14 March.

The Show Must Go On concerts will be staged from 17 - 21 March. 

Park Theatre

The upcoming run of CORPSE! at Park Theatre has been pushed back. Performances will now take place from 11 February - 6 Mar. 2021.

Sondheim Theatre

Performances of Les Miserables: The All-Star Staged Concert are currently suspended. Cameron Mackintosh has confirmed the production will reopen in January 2021 if it is safe to do so.

Theatre Royal Haymarket

Performances of Love Letters are currently suspended to 13 January. Information on upcoming performances is to be announced, but it looks likely that all performances from 14 January - 7 February are cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Turbine Theatre

In person performances of Cinderella from 16 December were cancelled. However, Cinderella will be available to stream from 16 December to 10 January.

Vaudeville Theatre

Performances of Mischief Movie Night at the Vaudeville are now cancelled.

Unaffected: Adelphi Theatre, Aldwych Theatre, Ambassadors Theatre, Apollo Victoria Theatre, Arts Theatre, Cambridge Theatre, Charing Cross TheatreCriterion Theatre, Dominion TheatreDonmar Warehouse, Duke of York's Theatre, Fortune Theatre, Gielgud Theatre, Gillian Lynne Theatre, Harold Pinter Theatre, Her Majesty's Theatre, London Coliseum, London County Hall, London Palladium, Lyceum TheatreNational TheatreNoel Coward TheatreNovello Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Piccadilly Theatre, Playhouse Theatre, Prince Edward Theatre, Prince of Wales Theatre, Riverside StudiosSavoy Theatre, Shaftesbury Theatre, St. Martin's Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Trafalgar TheatreVictoria Palace Theatre, Wyndham's Theatre.

Photo credit: Big Ben in London (Photo by Kate Krivanec on Unsplash)

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