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Theatre opening times and performance schedules

Theatre opening times
Our listings frequently show the start and end date of a long running show instead of dates of individual performances so you should check if you want to see a show during the holiday period. Regional Theatres vary, so you should always check with the theatre.

London theatres are generally closed, "dark", on a Sunday. Most Theatres are open Monday to Saturday and operate normally during Bank Holidays. Occasionally there may be a Sunday performance, but as producers have to close on a monday to accommodate this to satisfy the actors union Equity this is rarely done.

Most West End theatres stay open as usual during the Christmas and New Year period, except on Christmas Day. Some theatres may alter their schedules around Christmas or put on extra matinee performances. Christmas is also the pantomime season so schedules change to accommodate younger theatregoers.

Arriving on time
You should aim to arrive at least half an hour before the start of the show. This should give you time to spare if there are delays with transport or you have trouble finding your way. Evening performances can start anytime between 7:00 and 8:30, usually 7:30 and 8:00. Matinees are most likely to be 2:30 or 3:00, see below. If you arrive early you can relax in the bar and read the show programme or chat about it. If you are not sure about the performance time call the theatre and ask.

Matineé performances
A matineé is an early afternoon performance, which can start from 1 p.m. onwards, usually 2-3 p.m.. Some theatres may have a later matineé so always check the times for these. They are better suited to people who want to take their children to the theatre as the evening performances can be too late for many. Matineé performances are usually on a week day or Saturday but occasionally there may be one on a Sunday.



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