When will UK theatres reopen? 2021 Reopening dates following lockdown

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Here’s all you need to know about when theatres will reopen in the UK following lockdown.

Theatres across the country were originally plunged into lockdown last March due to the pandemic.


While some venues got a brief chance to open last year with social distancing in place, it wasn’t long before they were forced to close again.

But there’s good news (finally!) on the horizon, with curtains set to raise again.

When will UK theatres reopen?

As announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, 22 February, theatres across the UK will reopen in a number of stages – so long as important targets such as number of vaccines are met.

There are three key dates you need to know:

12 April – From 12 April, drive–in shows will be able to start up again.

17 May – This is the earliest date both indoor and outdoor performances can return, albeit with social distancing in place. Numbers will be capped at 50 per cent of capacity or 1,000 – whichever is lower.

21 June – All going to plan this date will see all remaining restrictions eased, leaving theatres able to operate as they once did.

Already theatre owners have reacted positively to the news, with Nimax chief executive Nica Burns announcing plans to reopen its six West End theatres.

Burns said: “We are definitely going to open all six theatres with social distancing, and are now working on our reopening plan to do that. The moment we have completed that – we have lots of people to talk to – we will announce it.”

Exactly what shows will open and when, especially with social distancing, is to be confirmed.

Burns added: “We have a no-earlier-than date for reopening without social distancing but it’s not guaranteed.

“Big shows need certainty and planning. All the producers will be looking at their options and we all have to wait, as that is much more complex.”

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