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Roadmap Delay: Upcoming Shows That May Be Impacted

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

June 21st had been pencilled in everybody's diaries as the long awaited "Freedom Day" - the day all theatres would be able to open at full capacity after a long 15 months. However, as the date drew near we became increasingly aware this date may be delayed. As expected, Boris Johnson has announced this date has been postponed four weeks with the new date on the roadmap being set as July 19th.

So what does that mean for all the shows due to open from June 21st until July 19th? I have pulled together all of the shows due to open during this time with all the information that is available so far. Some will be opening with social distancing, some will be delayed and others may adapt to be able to open sooner. Here is what we know so far?


Due to open at the London Coliseum on June 21st, Hairspray took the smart move of making their first 4 weeks of performances socially distanced. Due to open at full capacity on July 20th, this at least means the show will be able to open as planned next week. If the restriction date is pushed back further, it is extremely likely they will extend the socially distanced season rather than close.


They have confirmed they are opening on schedule next week.


Perhaps overly optimistic, Heathers had set June 21st as their opening date but with a full capacity audience. As this will no longer be allowed, Heathers may have to delay their opening until July - though the fact the show playing the Theatre Royal Haymarket before it played to socially distanced audiences means they may choose to do this for Heathers but that would mean rearranging all the existing bookings.


It's a beautiful freaking day as Heathers will go ahead as planned on June 21st playing to socially distanced audiences.


The most talked about show when it comes to theatres reopening, Andrew Lloyd Webber has very publicly said his new show WILL be opening at the Gillian Lynne Theatre on June 25th and they will have to arrest him. As it stands, the show is still opening on the 25th but to full capacities so this will either have to be postponed again or Andrew will have to live his Chicago fantasy in a couple of weeks


It has been confirmed that audiences WILL go to the ball with socially distanced performances beginning as planned as June 25th.


Playing a limited season at the Shaftesbury Theatre from June 30th, Be More Chill has sold tickets at full capacity so will either have to cut the run short and open in July or rearrange seating for the first four weeks to play to socially distanced audiences. ABBAMania has just played to a socially distanced Shaftesbury so the procedures are in place - it will now simply come down to whether they can afford to stage the show on a reduced capacity audience.


It has been confirmed the show will be opening as planned with social distancing in place for its first few weeks.


There can be miracles when you believe and this miracle will be reopening on July 1st, Like Hairspray, The Prince of Egypt planned ahead and set their reopening date at the Dominion Theatre with the plan to play to socially distanced audiences until September 4th. When this was announced, they said they would go back to full capacity sooner if the Government allowed, but this way it meant the show would definitely be returning on that date.


Going ahead as planned, they have posted this:


Another Andrew Lloyd Webber show, Joseph is due to return to the Palladium on July 1st but at full capacity.


Perhaps surprisingly, Joseph is still opening on July 1st but playing to socially distanced audiences.


Moving to the Savoy Theatre on July 8th, Pretty Woman is selling at full capacity. As the Savoy has not done any social distancing shows in the last year, the likely outcome is this start date will be pushed back.


It will be opening as planned on July 8th with social distancing in place.

Some other non West End shows:


Opening at Chichester Festival Theatre, this is still going ahead but playing to socially distanced audiences from July 5th - 17th. Ticket holders have been contacted to request new dates if necessary.


This new British musical was due to play a season at Chiswick Playhouse through July. It is still going to open as planned but to socially distanced audiences until July 17th.

Hopefully this is the last delay and come July 19th, all shows will be able to open at full capacity. We know how devastating these closures have been to the industry and how frustrated cast, crew and fans have all been at the constant postponements and cancellations.

Boris did mention pilot schemes in theatres so there's a chance we might see a major show opening as a trial. Boris also said the date could be pulled forward if necessary.

I'll update this post as each affected show announces any changes.

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