West End and regional theatre: what to do if you have tickets for a cancelled show

Everything you need to know about refunds and ticket exchanges during the coronavirus outbreak

The Birmingham Rep
The Birmingham Rep
© Eliott Brown (CC BY 2.0)

These are uncertain and unprecedented times for the theatre community, and it's tricky to know what's going on. West End venues and UK Theatre members have closed up until further notice following Governmental statements, leaving hundreds performances cancelled. With that, we've created a go-to guide for anyone holding tickets for upcoming shows.

Which shows have been cancelled?

It's worth assuming that most theatres have cancelled their performances in response to government statements. You can see our list of venues with cancelled shows, which we are updating every hour when new cancellations come through. If you don't see your venue or show on there, best to check websites or social media pages for clarifications.

When are shows cancelled until?

We don't know. Governmental advice on social distancing was unclear regarding timespan, so we have no concrete way of confirming when theatres will be back up and running. Theatre provider Delfont Mackintosh has cancelled all performances until the end of the week, some venues have closed until mid-April, while affiliate ticketer Encore has suspended all tickets until the end of May. It is looking like everyone is playing it by ear.

Can I get a refund?

The good news is, yes, it seems that is the case. SOLT and UK Theatres have confirmed that all punters are entitled to refunds, credit or exchanges for cancelled performances. Some ticket holders may want to fore-go their refund and see it as a donation to the theatre in question given the dire circumstances, which we explore in more detail here.

How should I sort it out?

In line with SOLT and STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) recommendations, it's best to sit tight and wait for the venue operator to come to you. As is imaginable, venues will currently be awash with calls and demands, and given the scale of the issue, sorting out individual patrons will take a large amount of time.

Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of STAR said: "Rest assured, our members are working as hard as they can to resolve your issues. They are very busy also dealing with their own measures to care for their staff and run their businesses. Please be patient and kind as box offices, ticket agents and other ticket sellers are committed to helping you during this extremely difficult period."

This sounds awful for the industry, what can I do to help?

It is rather – we've cooked up a guide for audience members to give pointers on how to make sure that, when this crisis does subside, theatres will still be there to entertain, inspire awe and bring beautiful stories to life.