The plays, musicals and comedy shows reopening in May and June as lockdown eases

Isobel Lewis
·4 min read
<p>Les Misérables: The Staged Concert returns to the West End in June</p> (Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Les Misérables: The Staged Concert returns to the West End in June

(Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

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.


17 May

April in Paris: UK tour, various venues beginning at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, starring Joe Pasquale and Sarah Earnshaw

19 May

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Globe Theatre, London

Piaf: Leeds Playhouse

Shakespeare’s Globe will open againAFP via Getty Images
Shakespeare’s Globe will open againAFP via Getty Images

20 May

The Language of Kindness: Warwick Arts Centre

22 May

Walden: Harold Pinter Theatre, London, starring Gemma Arterton

25 May

Four Quarters: Theatre Royal, Bath, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes

Meet Me at Dawn: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester 25-29

2 June

After Life: National Theatre, London, new play by Jack Thorne

3 June

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Homeground, Manchester

8 June

Godot is a Woman: Pleasance Theatre, London

9 June

Copenhagen: Theatre Royal, Bath

10 June

Adventures with the Painted People: Pitlochry Festival Theatre, new play by David Greig

11 June

Happy Days: Riverside Studios, London, starring Lisa Dwan

15 June

The Greatest Play in the History of the World…: Nottingham Playhouse, starring Julie Hesmondhalgh

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

16 June

Under Milk Wood: National Theatre, London, by Dylan Thomas

J’Ouvert: Harold Pinter Theatre, London

17 June

Shedding a Skin: Soho Theatre, London

18 June

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

21 June

Hamlet: Theatre Royal, Windsor, age-blind production starring Ian McKellen

23 June

Vignettes: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

26 June

Romeo and Juliet: Globe Theatre, London

29 June

Miss Julie: Southwark Playhouse, London

Musical theatre

17 May

You Are Here: Southwark Playhouse, London

Richard Milnes/Shutterstock
Richard Milnes/Shutterstock

18 May

Six The Musical: UK and Ireland tour, various venues beginning at Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

20 May

Amélie The Musical: Criterion Theatre, London

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: Apollo Theatre, London

Les Misérables: The Staged Concert: Sondheim Theatre, London

21 May

Six The Musical: Lyric Theatre, London

Abba Mania: Shaftesbury Theatre, London

7 June

School of Rock: UK and Ireland tour, various venues beginning Sunderland Empire

18 June

These Hills Are Ours: UK tour, various venues beginning The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury

21 June

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

Alastair Muir/Shutterstock
Alastair Muir/Shutterstock

22 June

Hairspray: London Coliseum

24 June

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical: Aldwych Theatre, London

25 June

Cinderella: Gillian Lynne Theatre, London, new Andrew Lloyd Webber and Emerald Fennell musical


17 May

Pleasance Comedy Comeback season: Pleasance Theatre, London, various comedians

21 May

Daniel Sloss: UK tour, various venues beginning at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

24 May

The Horne Section: UK tour, various venues beginning at Rose Theatre, Surrey

Getty Images
Getty Images

27 May

Katherine Ryan – Telling Everybody Everything: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

28 May

Brighton Fringe: Various venues, Brighton

30 May

All Killa No Filla live: O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

2 June

Bristol Comedy Garden: The Downs, Bristol, open-air

5 June

Tim Vine: UK tour, various venues beginning at Hawth Theatre, Crawley

25 June

Frank Skinner: UK tour, various venues beginning at Hexagon Theatre, Reading

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