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Help Centre

Frequently asked questions

Planning your visit

Yes, as our bars and restaurants will not be open as usual, we ask that you pre-order drinks and snacks before the performance, so our staff can prepare the refreshments for your arrival. 

You will have the option to place your order during the ticket booking process. 

Please note the Ashcroft Room Members Bar is also currently closed and refreshments will need to be pre-ordered on our website or via the Development team. 

The National Theatre building is currently closed to the public.

When performances restart, the building will open approximately 50 minutes before performances begin and will be accessible to ticket holders only.

Ticket holders will be asked to arrive at specific time slots, the general nature of which will be indicated when selecting tickets, and on the e-tickets which will be sent shortly after purchase. We are awaiting confirmation of government guidance on arrival procedures, as this may affect your arrival time. Confirmed arrival times will be in the pre-visit email sent to you a week before you visit.

On days when there are matinee and evening performances, the building will be closed between performances to allow for cleaning.

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. 

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 your allocated 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. 

To minimise queuing and maintain social distancing, we ask that you and your group arrive at the theatre at the time slot listed on your pre-show email. 

Once you have arrived, our team will guide you through a socially distanced one-way route to your seats in the auditorium. Rest assured our large, well-ventilated foyer spaces will give you lots of room to move around. 

Should you or a member of your group be late for your arrival time, please do still come as quickly as possible so our team can help you access the building as safely as possible. Unfortunately, arriving less than 15 minutes before your performance starts may result in our refusing entry, and we cannot allow access for people that arrive after their performance start time.

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. 

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.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the National Theatre building will only be open to ticket-holders for performances on the day.

For days when there is are matinee and evening performances, only ticket-holders for the specific performance will be admitted to the foyers, and the building will be closed between performances to facilitate cleaning.

There is a Travelex ATM machine which issues British Pounds, Euros and American Dollars, located in the Lyttelton stalls foyer next to the glass lift.

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

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 will 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.

For productions in the Olivier Theatre, 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.

Once you have arrived, our team will guide you through a socially distanced one-way route to your seats in the auditorium. Please be aware that this may not be the route you are used to taking, and there may be additional steps, so please inform us as soon as possible if you have any access needs. 

All pre-ordered drinks and snacks will be available to collect on the way to your seats, and interval orders will be delivered to you during the break. If you are one of the first to take your seats, then there may be a short wait until the performance begins. 

To ensure your safety and wellbeing, we ask that you arrive at a specific time before the performance. 

Your arrival time will be clearly listed in the pre-visit email that we wil send to you a week before your visit, and we strongly encourage you to check this in advance. 

Should you or a member of your group be late for your arrival time, please do still come as quickly as possible so our team can help you access the building as safely as possible. Unfortunately, arriving less than 15 minutes before your performance starts may result in our refusing entry, and we cannot allow access for people that arrive after their performance start time.

Updated Government guidance means that everyone over 16 years old will need to provide contact 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, but staff will be on hand to record details for people who do not use the app. Further details are provided in our privacy policy.

In addition to your arrival time, you will be asked to join a specific queue in a designated area outside of the National Theatre building. For productions in the Olivier Theatre, 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.

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.

Please arrive at your allocated arrival time. Whilst we will try and get everyone inside the building quickly and minimise your time outside, we recommend dressing appropriately and bringing an umbrella if necessary.

Yes – aside from when you are eating or drinking, anyone aged 11+ is asked to please wear a face covering at all times, as will our staff. 

Rest assured, we are aware that some people cannot wear masks for health reasons. If this applies to you, click here to download a TfL exemption card. This card is not mandatory, but it will make your visit smoother as our teams can easily identify you as exempt. 

Our team will guide you through a socially distanced one-way route to your seats in the auditorium.  Rest assured our large, well-ventilated foyer spaces will give you lots of room to move around. All pre-ordered drinks and snacks will be available to collect on the way to your seats, and interval orders will be delivered to you during the break. 

Where necessary, we ask that you maintain a distance of 1m+ from other audience members where possible.  

While the capacity of the auditorium has been greatly reduced, you may still need to pass someone to take your seat, so please help reduce any risk by wearing your face covering and turning away as you pass. 

There will be a maximum of 584 audience members in the Olivier Theatre at any one performance (reduced from the Olivier Theatre’s usual capacity of 1,100) and 129 audience members in the Dorfman Theatre (reduced from the Dorfman Theatre’s usual capacity of approximately 400).

You can expect around 30 members of Front of House staff to be on hand in the Olivier, and to make your visit as smooth and as safe as possible.

No, until further notice we are unable to fulfil orders at the theatre so we ask that you pre-order your refreshments. 

A free programme for Under Milk Wood and a free cast list for After Life will be available for each group (or one for every two adults) on arrival.

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 masks (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.

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there will not be a 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.

Inside the theatres

Our production team has been hard at work transforming the Olivier Theatre to stage ‘in the round’ performances with 360° seating that has been specially designed for social distancing – this means that we can protect your safety and wellbeing while also preserving the unique intimacy of the live performance experience. 

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

The socially distanced capacity of the Olivier Theatre is just under 584 seats, consisting of socially distanced seating for group sizes of one to four people.

The socially distanced capacity of the Dorfman Theatre is 129 seats, consisting of socially distanced seating for group sizes of one to four people.

Based on your seat location, you will be given a specific entry time and entrance to the auditorium. You will be supplied with these details in plenty of time before your visit.   

On entering the auditorium, you will be asked to follow our clearly sign-posted one-way system, and there will be staff on hand to assist at all times.

Based on your seat location, you will be given a specific entry time and entrance to the auditorium. You will be supplied with these details in plenty of time before your visit. 
 
On entering the auditorium, you will be asked to follow our clearly sign-posted one-way system, and 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. 

Yes – aside from when you are eating or drinking, we ask that anyone aged 11+ wear a face covering at all times.

Rest assured we are aware that some people cannot wear masks for health reasons. If this applies to you, please click here to download a TfL exemption lanyard. This card is not mandatory, but it will make your visit smoother as our teams can easily identify you as exempt. 

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

No, we ask that you leave immediately after the performance, even if you have a ticket for a performance later in the day, as our teams will use the time to begin the deep-clean process.

Updated Government guidance means that everyone over 16 years old will need to provide contact 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, but staff will be on hand to record details for people who do not use the 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 are reopening in June 2021, with two brand-new shows. For the latest information on new productions, visit our What's On page.

Members will be contacted as soon as we have any further updates and you can also sign up to our free newsletter.

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. 

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.
Please note: There is no step-free access from the car park unless you are attending a scheduled performance in the Olivier Theatre from one hour before the start time. 
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.
Please note: There is no step-free access from the car park unless you are attending a scheduled performance in the Olivier Theatre from one hour before the start time. 
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.

Parking information for Blue Badge Holders attending performances at the National Theatre are detailed in the 'Cars' section under the Options for travelling to the National Theatre, on the Venues at the National Theatre page.

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. 

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

A range of drinks and a sweet and a savoury snacks will be available to pre-order, for pre-performance and when applicable for the interval, either when making your ticket purchase, or closer to the performance via a separate website (details will be sent in pre-visit emails).

Our restaurants and bars are currently closed, in line with COVID-19 government guidelines.

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact us

 

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