Theatres stay open and industry unites to tackle impact of Coronavirus

Theatres stay open and industry unites to tackle impact of Coronavirus


Following the latest government advice, theatres continue to stay open as part of the scientific rationale for managing the Coronavirus outbreak.

SOLT and UK Theatre are in daily contact with the DCMS, members and theatre organisations across the world to share insight and experience, ensuring our theatre workforce and audiences are safe in accordance with the latest Public Health England and NHS advice.

Both organisations will be part of a central government session in the early part of next week targeted at the creative industry sector. This will allow us to ensure specific theatre industry concerns are taken into account in government planning.  

SOLT and UK Theatre are also meeting with the unions, theatrical charities and other organisations across the sector to discuss the impact of Coronavirus and put plans in place to support venues, theatre professionals and audiences, both now and in the future.

Measures being put in place by theatres include:

Putting up posters distributed by SOLT and UK Theatre at stage doors, on company notice boards and front of house, sharing government advice on hand washing to encourage good hygiene for performers, staff and audiences

  • Deep cleaning taking place regularly across venues
  • Advising no physical contact at Stage Door and no backstage guests, and asking audiences to respect these policies during this period
  • Limiting contact between audiences and front of house staff
  • Clear refund and exchange policies in the event of a show being cancelled or postponed
  • Sharing resources such as NHS 111, the Theatre Helpline and Artsminds to support individuals affected by the situation

This is a rapidly changing situation, and travel restrictions and public uncertainty have had an impact, particularly on our tourist market – but audiences who have booked are resilient, continuing to support their local theatres and the West End. 

 In uncertain and anxious times, theatre can provide a much-needed boost and escape. We would like to thank our audiences who continue to support us night after night, for staying calm, taking personal responsibility for their health and heeding hygiene advice.


Date Published: 13 March 2020
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Society of London Theatre is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 527227.