It’s felt like an age since we were last able to visit the theatre, but the industry’s future is beginning to look hopeful again as venues are permitted to reopen this spring.
Under the step three of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, indoor and outdoor theatres in the UK are currently scheduled to reopen from 17 May.
However, there will be limits on how many people can attend events, with most venues requiring tickets to be booked within households or bubbles. We recommend checking out each theatre’s guidelines for returning before booking tickets.
Should all go to plan, limits on social contact will be lifted on 21 June, with theatres therefore able to open beyond the limits put in place under step three.
Neither capacity limits have yet been laid out. Before lockdown was brought back in December, theatres could operate at seating capacities of 50 per cent or 1,000 depending on which was lower.
Naturally, these dates are subject to change based on the success of the country’s vaccination programme and a reduction in the number of deaths and hospitalisations due to coronavirus. But for the first time in over a year, the future of live theatre is beginning to look hopeful again.
To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of live plays, musicals and comedy productions opening in May and June 2021.
We will keep this updated as new productions are announced in line with the roadmap out of lockdown.
April in Paris: UK tour, various venues beginning at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, starring Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Globe Theatre, London
Piaf: Leeds Playhouse
The Language of Kindness: Warwick Arts Centre
Walden: Harold Pinter Theatre, London, starring Gemma Arterton
Four Quarters: Theatre Royal, Bath, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes
Meet Me at Dawn: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester 25-29
After Life: National Theatre, London, new play by Jack Thorne
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Homeground, Manchester
Godot is a Woman: Pleasance Theatre, London
Copenhagen: Theatre Royal, Bath
Adventures with the Painted People: Pitlochry Festival Theatre, new play by David Greig
Happy Days: Riverside Studios, London, starring Lisa Dwan
The Greatest Play in the History of the World…: Nottingham Playhouse, starring Julie Hesmondhalgh
Under Milk Wood: National Theatre, London, by Dylan Thomas
J’Ouvert: Harold Pinter Theatre, London
Shedding a Skin: Soho Theatre, London
Constellations: Vaudeville Theatre, London, starring rotating cast including Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah, Peter Capaldi and Zoë Wanamaker, Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey, Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O’Dowd
The Play That Goes Wrong: Duchess Theatre, London
Hamlet: Theatre Royal, Windsor, age-blind production starring Ian McKellen
Vignettes: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
Romeo and Juliet: Globe Theatre, London
Miss Julie: Southwark Playhouse, London
You Are Here: Southwark Playhouse, London
Six The Musical: UK and Ireland tour, various venues beginning at Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Amélie The Musical: Criterion Theatre, London
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Apollo Theatre, London
Les Misérables: The Staged Concert: Sondheim Theatre, London
Six The Musical: Lyric Theatre, London
Abba Mania: Shaftesbury Theatre, London
School of Rock: UK and Ireland tour, various venues beginning Sunderland Empire
These Hills Are Ours: UK tour, various venues beginning The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
Come From Away: Phoenix Theatre, London
Mamma Mia!: Novello Theatre, London
Heathers The Musical: Theatre Royal Haymarket, London
9 to 5 The Musical: UK and Ireland tour, various venues beginning at Leeds Grand
Hairspray: London Coliseum
Tina - The Tina Turner Musical: Aldwych Theatre, London
Cinderella: Gillian Lynne Theatre, London, new Andrew Lloyd Webber and Emerald Fennell musical
Pleasance Comedy Comeback season: Pleasance Theatre, London, various comedians
Daniel Sloss: UK tour, various venues beginning at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
The Horne Section: UK tour, various venues beginning at Rose Theatre, Surrey
Katherine Ryan – Telling Everybody Everything: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
Brighton Fringe: Various venues, Brighton
All Killa No Filla live: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
Bristol Comedy Garden: The Downs, Bristol, open-air
Tim Vine: UK tour, various venues beginning at Hawth Theatre, Crawley
Frank Skinner: UK tour, various venues beginning at Hexagon Theatre, Reading