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The Return Of Indoor Theatres: All The Venues Reopening (So Far)

A long five months after closing their doors, indoor theatres are slowly starting to return with reduced capacity for social distancing and extra safety measures in place. We are still a long way from every theatre opening their doors with some confirming they won't be reopening until 2021 but here's a whizz through of what theatres we know are ready to open their doors and when:


WHERE?

The Troubadour Theatre in Wembley Park is one of the newest theatres in London. Replacing what once was Fountain Studios, the home to shows such as The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, the fact it is newly developed worked in its favour for social distancing as it has wider corridors.

WHEN?

The Troubadour became the first indoor theatre to reopen in London, opening its doors again on Tuesday 25th August.

WHAT'S ON?

The theatre is beginning its new season of socially distanced shows with the world pemiere of Sleepless: A Musical Romance, based on the classic movie 'Sleepless In Seattle'. Starring Kimberley Walsh and Jay McGuinness, the show is running until September 27th. Look out for my review of the show next week.

Following Sleepless, comedian Jimmy Carr plays a handful of shows before the theatres next production takes over - a new run of the hit play The Curious Incident Of The Dog In the Night Time from November 18th 2020 - January 10th 2021.


WHERE?

Another one of Londons newest venues, The Turbine Theatre in Battersea played host to shows such as High Fidelity and Torch Song prior to closing its doors due to the pandemic. Now they have found a creative way to stage performances again, moving to the jetty next to the theatre for a currently limited season of The Turbine Theatre On The Jetty. Technically these aren't indoor performances but it's an indoor theatre getting creative so close enough!

WHEN?

The season kicks off tonight (Wednesday 26th August) and is currently booking shows for a limited season until Saturday 19th September.

WHAT'S ON?

Among the shows being performed is a new production of Hair featuring some of the West ends finest, Showstopper!, Catfish In Concert and The Barricade Boys. Some shows are already sold out while others only have a few seats left so be quick and don't miss out on a unique chance to watch a show with the backdrop of the Thames.


WHERE?

The Garden Theatre is a new theatre located at The Eagle in Vauxhall.

WHEN?

The venue has been open for a few weeks now. It opened as a way to keep theatre going in a time where there was none and was one of the first to find a way to get performances going again.

WHAT'S ON?

The venue is currently nearing the end of its sold out run of debut production Fanny & Stella, a show that has been well regarded. A few tickets for the final dates of the show are still available. Next up is a new production of Pippin from Tuesday 8th to Sunday 27th September.


WHERE?

Another one of Londons newest venues, the Bridge Theatre is located near London Bridge.

WHEN?

The theatre is opening its doors again on Thursday 27th August.

WHAT'S ON?

The venue is hosting a series of plays and monologues, starting with Ralph Fiennes in Beat The Devil, followed by a staged version of Alan Bennett's recent Talking Heads series featuring Imelda Staunton, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Tamsin Greig among others.

Tickets available from https://bridgetheatre.co.uk/


WHERE?

Southwark Playhouse is located in Elephant & Castle and has a reputation for being one of the best spaces in London for smaller productions.

WHEN?

The venue reopened its bar a few weeks ago as a way to get some income in a space that was going unused. Now they have been given the green light to stage performances again with the first show opening on Thursday 1st October.

WHAT'S ON?

They are picking up where they left off. Their fantastic production of The Last Five Years had its run cut short due to the pandemic, but the show is now getting a second chance, kicking off the reopening with a limited run until October 31st. Further shows will be announced in due course.

Tickets available from https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/


WHERE?

The St Martin's Theatre has been home to the longest running play in the world The Mousetrap since 1974. Like all other theatres, it had to close its doors for the first time in March 2020.

WHEN?

The Mousetrap will be the first long running major show to reopen its doors in the West end on October 23rd. This is possible due to social distancing measures being put in place for both the audience and cast as well as other safety measures.

Tickets are available from https://uk.the-mousetrap.co.uk/


WHERE?

The National Theatre building is one of the most famous theatres in London. Located in Waterloo, the venue hosts three theatres inside of it.

WHEN?

National Theatre have announced they will be putting on their first post pandemic show when they reopen in late October. The exact date is yet to be confirmed but more information will be announced in September.

WHAT'S ON?

The first show will be a one man play Death Of England: Delroy which will be a sequel to the previously performed Death Of England. It will star Olivier award winner Giles Terera. Tickets will go on sale through https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/


AND THE REST?



You'll notice all of the major theatres aren't on this list. Where the first few months of the pandemic had the Society of London Theatre giving guidelines of when theatres must close their doors until, this is now down to each theatre to open their doors when it is deemed possible and safe.


The majority of the big theatres in the West end have said they are unable to reopen while social distancing is still in place - in most cases it isn't financially viable while others will struggle to adhere to social distancing and other safety measures due to narrow spaces.


ATG are keeping all of their venues closed until Sunday 18th October at the earliest. The company own 45 theatres in the UK including homes to many touring productions which have now been postponed to next year. Among its London venues are the Savoy, Phoenix and Piccadilly theatre meaning shows like Come From Away and Pretty Woman are booking from October 19th. Depending on what happens with rules about social distancing, this is likely to be extended until it is safe to reopen.


Six at the Arts theatre is taking bookings from September 19th while Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo is taking bookings from October 21st.



The Prince of Egypt announced back in June they hope to reopen at the Dominion Theatre on November 1st 2020 without social distancing measures in place. That seemed like a sensible date in terms of when things would be safe, but as the date creeps up, I'm unsure how possible that will be.


Only Fools and Horses at the Haymarket is currently set to reopen on November 18th, Tina at the Aldwych Theatre is taking bookings from November 30th 2020 while &Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre is currently taking bookings from December 1st 2020.


DMT (Delfont Mackintosh) have taken all of their shows off sale for the time being. Some shows are listed as reopening on January 3rd 2021 while others have no set date with early 2021 being mentioned. Again, this all depends on what changes in terms of social distancing and safety measures. DMT are so far the only company to say their shows will not be returning this side of Christmas. The shows they are responsible for are Dear Evan Hansen, The Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia and Mary Poppins.


There is a lot of uncertainty around the future of The Phantom of the Opera due to conflicting statements by Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber. We know the theatre is being refurbished and the set has been removed so it looks likely that when theatres do reopen, the West end may be Phantomless for a while until the theatre is ready to open its doors again.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace theatre has announced it has extended its closure until February 21st 2021, while The Lion King at the Lyceum is currently closed until Spring 2021.


There are a few theatres that may remain empty for a little while when theatres reopen as Waitress has exited the Adelphi theatre and 9 to 5 has left the Savoy. While City of Angels has "officially" finished its run at the Garrick theatre, the producers have expressed hope it can return. With no other show due to go inside the venue until next November, there's every chance it can come back.


NEW SHOWS

A fair few big titles had their launches postponed due to theatres being closed. Here are the current dates when all the new shows are due to open next year and which venues they are in:



Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane - April 2nd

Hairspray - April 22nd

To Kill A Mockingbird, Gielgud Theatre - May 26th

Sister Act, Eventim Apollo - July 20th

The Drifters Girl, Garrick Theatre - November 4th

Moulin Rouge, Piccadilly Theatre - Autumn 2021, Date TBC


There's a lot of inconsistency due to the uncertainty of the future. It's great that more theatres are slowly opening their doors but we still have a way to go before all theatres are back to putting on the amazing shows we all know and love.


If there are any other theatres in London that are now open or due to open, please let me know in comments, or on twitter.com/ATDazzles and I'll update the post accordingly,

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