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Help Centre

Frequently asked questions

Planning your visit

Our Ground Floor public spaces are now open from 10am Mon – Sat, including the Bookshop, the Atrium Café and KERB at The Understudy. The Understudy is open after performances.

Our theatre bars are open from one hour before the performance.

 

No, we are currently only offering e-tickets. You will receive these via email after booking, and you can print them at home or show them on a mobile device. 

No, our theatre bars are open from one hour before the performance, and our Ground Floor public spaces are now open from 10am Mon – Sat, where food and drink is available from the Atrium Café and KERB at The Understudy.

Please note the Ashcroft Room Members Bar is now open when performances are taking place in the Lyttelton and/or Olivier. Details can be found on the Ashcroft Room page.

National Theatre, South Bank

There will be no cloakroom available during your visit.  

We will only be allowing bags measuring less than 30cm x 30cm x 15cm into the building.

Larger bags cannot be accomodated and ticket holders will be refused entrance if they have large bags.

Our usual security measures are also in place, and staff may ask to search bags on arrival. 

 

West End theatres
Large bags are also not permitted into the auditoriums of our West End productions, and currently cloakrooms are unavailable so if you have a large bag you will be refused entry to the theatre.

Details on how to get to the National Theatre can be found in the 'Venues at the National Theatre' section of 'Your Visit', including our car parking and bicycle storage facilities. 

We strongly encourage you to check if you have been allocated an arrival time before planning your journey.  

Please be aware that, due to the socially distanced one-way system in effect, there will not be the usual direct access from the car park to the theatre foyer(s), as all customers will be requested to join a queue outside the National Theatre building.  

If you require step-free access from the car park, please contact [email protected] in advance of your visit and we will be happy to facilitate. 

Please plan to arrive 30 minutes before the performance starts. We may not be able to admit latecomers.

The health and safety of our audiences is incredibly important. 

You are therefore able to exchange tickets up to 24 hours before your performance – so if someone in your party feels ill, there’s no need to worry. 

Please contact the Box Office on [email protected] with details of your Order Number and the tickets you wish to return.

Click here to read our full ticketing Terms and Conditions.  

Please remember, it is important that you do not attend the theatre if you: 

  • believe you may be infected with COVID-19 
  • have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days 
  • have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days 
  • have arrived in England in the last 14 days from a country where UK quarantine restrictions apply 
  • have been instructed to self-isolate

We encourage anyone in your group that is clinically vulnerable, or who is in the same household or support bubble as someone who considers themselves vulnerable, to make their own assessment whether they should attend. 

Free wi-fi is available throughout our foyer areas. The network name is NT Public and does not require a password. If you have trouble accessing our wi-fi, please visit the box office on the ground floor for information and assistance.

We recommend that you download you tickets to your phone prior to arrival at the theatre.

Photography and filming is not permitted in any of our auditoriums but ticket-holders are welcome to take pictures in our foyers to document your visit to the National Theatre.

Filming or commercial photography must be arranged in advance. Please contact us for more details.

Our Ground Floor public spaces are now open to everyone from 10am Mon – Sat, including the Bookshop, the Atrium Café and KERB at The Understudy.

Our theatre bars are open from one hour before the performance.

There is no longer an ATM machine in the building.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, The NT Archive is currently closed to the public.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

During your visit

From Thursday 2 December, face coverings will be mandatory at the National Theatre building on the South Bank.

Face coverings must be worn throughout your visit to the building, including during performances, apart from when eating and drinking. The only exceptions are for people who are exempt from wearing face coverings and visitors aged under 12. That means if you’re not exempt, we can’t admit you to the building unless you wear a face covering. If you’re exempt from wearing a face covering please advise a member of staff upon arrival. All areas, including our theatres, are well-ventilated and undergo enhanced cleaning between every show.

If you’ve booked tickets for this period and are not happy to comply with the requirement to wear face coverings (and are not exempt), please contact our Box Office by email on [email protected] who will be happy to offer credit or a refund if you prefer.

Our teams have been hard at work transforming our public spaces to protect your safety and wellbeing, while also giving you the best possible audience experience. 

When booking your tickets, you may be allocated an arrival time based on the location of your seats in the auditorium. It is very important you plan ahead and arrive at the theatre at this time, so we can ensure the smoothest possible entry into the building. If you have not been allocated an arrival time, please aim to arrinve 30 minutes prior to the performance.

For productions in the Olivier and Lyttelton theatres, please go to the front of the building, by the riverside, and for productions in the Dorfman theatre, please go to entrance on the east side of the building, on Stage Door Avenue, opposite the IBM building. 

Staff will then direct you to the correct queue depending on where your seats are located.

To ensure your safety and wellbeing, we may ask that you arrive 30 minutes before the performance if possible an dthis will be communicated to you via your pre-visit email reminders..

Unfortunately, we will not be able to allow access for people that arrive after their performance start time.

There will be the opportunity to provide details for NHS Test & Trace on arrival at the National Theatre. We recommend that the easiest way to do this is to check in with the NHS Covid-19 smartphone app. Further details are provided in our privacy policy.

For productions in the Olivier and Lyttelton theatres, please go to the front of the building, by the riverside, and for productions in the Dorfman theatre, please go to entrance on the east side of the building, on Stage Door Avenue, opposite the IBM building. 

Please be aware that some entrances have steps. If you require step-free access please contact [email protected] so they can assist you with your booking.

While we try to get everyone inside the building quickly and minimise your time outside, we do recommend dressing appropriately and bringing an umbrella if necessary.

There can be up to 1,100 audience members in the Olivier theatre, 890 audience members in the Lyttelton theatre and 360 in the Dorfman theatre.

The numbers of Front of House staff, who are on hand to make your visit as smooth and safe as possible, can vary depending on audience nmumbers.

As part of our ongoing steps to keep everyone safe we will not be accepting cash payments.

Yes, programmes are available from sales desks near the auditorium entrances at performance times and from the Bookshop on the ground floor. Speak to front-of-house staff if you require any assistance. 

Yes, you will have access to toilets (including accessible toilets) throughout the theatre, and members of our team will be on hand to advise you of the nearest to your location.

Please be aware that you will find certain sinks, cubicles and urinals out of use, so we can maintain social distancing in those areas. 

Yes, we will have hand sanitiser stations available throughout the building. We ask all audience members to follow government advice on regular handwashing or use of hand sanitiser.

Please be aware that not all areas of the National Theatre have reopened to the public. Our staff will be on hand to show you around, and all relevant areas will be clearly signposted.

As per government guidelines, staff, cast and crew will not be routinely tested for COVID-19. However, they will be wearing face coverings (except cast members while they are performing) and keeping their distance from one another as much as possible.  

Any member of staff who has any reason to believe they might test positive for COVID-19 will be asked not to attend until they have completed the appropriate amount of self-isolation or tested negative for the virus. 

Our team will be overseeing enhanced cleaning of public areas between every show, and all toilets will be deep cleaned during each performance.

We have a complex and efficient ventilation system in place within the large Olivier auditorium.  Fresh air, which is conditioned and filtered, is supplied constantly throughout the performance, and is not recycled or recirculated.

Our ground floor cloakroom is open for ticket-holders.

We will only be allowing bags measuring less than 30cm x 30cm x 15cm into the bauditorium.

Larger bags must be left at the ground floor cloakroom.

Our usual security measures are also in place, and staff may ask to search bags on arrival.

Inside the theatres

From Thursday 2 December, face coverings will be mandatory at the National Theatre building on the South Bank.

Face coverings must be worn throughout your visit to the building, including during performances, apart from when eating and drinking. The only exceptions are for people who are exempt from wearing face coverings and visitors aged under 12. That means if you’re not exempt, we can’t admit you to the building unless you wear a face covering. If you’re exempt from wearing a face covering please advise a member of staff upon arrival. All areas, including our theatres, are well-ventilated and undergo enhanced cleaning between every show.

If you’ve booked tickets for this period and are not happy to comply with the requirement to wear face coverings (and are not exempt), please contact our Box Office by email on [email protected] who will be happy to offer credit or a refund if you prefer.

Our Olivier theatre is currently built ‘in the round’ for performances of The Normal Heart, with 360° seating.

Performances of Hex will play in the traditional amphitheatre style layout.

Olivier Theatre in the round computer render showing socially distanced seating and performers

For the Olivier theatre, based on your seat location you will be given a specific aisles to choose once you have entered the rear of the auditorium. 

In the Lyttelton and Dorfman theatres, signs by each entrance indicate the seat numbers which determine the entrance you should choose to enter the auditorium.

On entering the auditorium there will be staff on hand to assist at all times.

Yes, although the transformed space means that step-free seats may be different to those you have previously booked. 

Information about step-free access is contained in the Access section below. 

If you need to leave the auditorium during the performance, our staff will readmit if possible. However, depending on where you are sitting we may not be able to but you will be able to watch the remainder of that act on a large screen in the foyer.

We have a complex and efficient ventilation system in place within the large Olivier auditorium.  Fresh air, which is conditioned and filtered, is supplied constantly throughout the performance, and is not recycled or recirculated.

After the performance

There will be the opportunity to provide details for NHS Test & Trace on arrival at the National Theatre. We recommend that the easiest way to do this is to check in with the NHS Covid-19 smartphone app. Further details are provided in our privacy policy.

Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to wait outside Stage Door.

Should you start to develop COVID-19 symptoms, we advise you to self-isolate and get tested as quickly as possible. Should you then test positive, NHS Test and Trace will ask for the places and people with which you’ve been in contact recently. They will then contact anyone you may have been in close contact with, including at the National Theatre, to advise next steps. 

Should an audience member at your performance test positive for COVID-19 afterwards, you may receive a call from NHS Test and Trace, asking you to get tested or self-isolate. We ask that you follow any advice they may give you. 

We sincerely hope you feel safe during your time with us, and enjoy the return of live performances to the National Theatre. 

As the industry begins to rebuild itself, we would greatly appreciate your support by sharing your experience on social media using #BackOnStage #DeathofEnglandDelroy and tagging @NationalTheatre 

We’re doing everything in our power to ensure our recovery is as swift as possible. But we still need help. If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to the National Theatre

Safety

We're thrilled to have now opened our theatres for full capacity performances. 

Our Ground Floor public spaces are now open from 10am Mon – Sat, including the Bookshop, the Atrium Café and KERB at The Understudy.

Our theatre bars are open from one hour before the performance.

Our Costume and Props Hire store is open by appointment only.

Our Online Shop is opened, offering unique gifts, posters and playtexts. Click here to visit the National Theatre Online Shop

For the latest information on current and future productions, visit our What's On page.

Ticketing, and safety measures for audiences are also available in the FAQs in this Help Centre.

The health and safety of our audiences is incredibly important. 

You are therefore able to exchange tickets up to 24 hours before your performance – so if someone in your party feels ill, there’s no need to worry. 

Please contact the Box Office on [email protected] with details of your Order Number and the tickets you wish to return.

Click here to read our full ticketing Terms and Conditions.  

Please remember, it is important that you do not attend the theatre if you: 

  • believe you may be infected with COVID-19 
  • have experienced symptoms in the last 14 days 
  • have been in close proximity to anyone who has experienced symptoms in the last 14 days 
  • have arrived in England in the last 14 days from a country where UK quarantine restrictions apply 
  • have been instructed to self-isolate

We encourage anyone in your group that is clinically vulnerable, or who is in the same household or support bubble as someone who considers themselves vulnerable, to make their own assessment whether they should attend. 

Most of our staff are working from home, so please email us. Our phone lines are currently closed.

We apologise that it may take longer than usual to respond to your email, because we are prioritising requests relating to the cancelled performance period.

For general questions: [email protected]

For ticketing enquiries: [email protected]

Getting to the NT

The National Theatre’s car park is located under the building. The entrance ramp is on the southwest corner of the building, accessible from Upper Ground (the street that runs behind the National Theatre building).

Our car park is open from 6am to 12 midnight, Monday to Friday, and 7am to 12 midnight, Saturday and Sunday.
The lifts from the Car Park to the main building foyers will open from 10am Monday to Saturday.
For holiday timings, please see the information on the Your Visit page

We have a taxi drop off outside Stage Door, allowing a step-free route around to the river-front side of the building, however this is a relatively long walk should you or a member of your group have mobility issues.

Should you require use of a wheelchair, please contact us on [email protected] and we will arrange one to be available on arrival.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for staff to assist with pushing wheelchairs.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Car parking

The National Theatre’s car park is located under the building. The entrance ramp is on the southwest corner of the building, accessible from Upper Ground (the street that runs behind the National Theatre building).

Our car park is open from 6am to 12 midnight, Monday to Friday, and 7am to 12 midnight, Saturday and Sunday.
The lifts from the Car Park to the main building foyers will open from 10am Monday to Saturday.
For holiday timings, please see the information on the Your Visit page

The National Theatre car park is large but can become very busy especially on Saturdays and other matinee days. We recommend that you arrive early to ensure you can find a place to park.

If our car park is full, there is an externally managed car park behind the theatre on Upper Ground. Rates for this car park may vary.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Lost property

Any items found within the National Theatre building are passed onto the security team. You can contact Security to check if your item has been handed in by calling 020 7452 3473.

If you have lost an item in the National Theatre building, please contact Security on 020 7452 3473 to check if it has been handed in. You will then be able to arrange collection of the item from Stage Door during our opening times.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Food and drink

Visiting other venues

Information on the National Theatre shows which are currently performing in the West End and other London venues can be found on the What's on page.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, The NT Archive is currently closed to the public.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

Backstage tours

Exhibitions