Covid FAQs

What extra measures do you have in place?

We have reconfigured The Large to allow for social distancing within social bubbles. There are two rows spaced just over 2m apart, and we are using Perspex/see-through screens between each booking. The space is operating at just under 50% of its capacity. So there will be screens either side of your party but not between you and the stage area. The performers, band, stage crew and all Southwark Playhouse staff will also follow strict social distancing and cleanliness protocols.

We are also operating a one-way entry system through the building with hand sanitiser placed at regular intervals in the front of house area.

We will not be using paper tickets, instead just requiring audience members to show us their confirmation email (one per booking) either on their phone or via a print-out if that’s easier.

We will also be operating a cashless bar and box office, and only admitting online bookings. There will be no latecomers.

Will I be sitting in the seats that I’ve chosen on the plan?

Yes. You will be sitting in the exact same seats that you chose on the seating plan when you booked so if you choose a single aisle seat, you will be on an aisle (with a Perspex/see-through screen to separate you from any other parties). If you booked a party of 4 in the middle of the second row, you will be in the middle of the second row with 4 seats together, with a Perspex/see-through screen either side of your party. If there are any issues or reasons for us to change your seat(s) we will get in touch with you prior to your booking to discuss this but please be assured that it’s highly unlikely we will have to do this.

What happens on the day?

We will be operating a socially distanced queue to enter the theatre and seating each party individually, so please wait for your whole party to arrive and then join the queue, leaving at least 2m between your party and the party in front. We are operating a new entrance at the side of the building, and when you arrive you will see members of the Southwark Playhouse team outside the venue ready to greet you.

We will be opening the house and beginning audience entry half an hour before the show.

There will be many hand sanitizing points throughout the building for you to use.

When you reach the front of the queue you will be asked for your full name and transaction reference, which is a six-digit number noted in your confirmation email. If you don’t have a smartphone to display this info on, please make a note of it elsewhere. There are no paper tickets or e-tickets for this show – instead we will be checking you in off a list of bookings.

On your way into the theatre you’ll be able to order a drink (card payments only.) This will be delivered to you at your seat.

At the end of the show, you will be led out by a member of staff through the backstage area, rather than the bar, to keep the one-way system in place. You are then more than welcome to come back in through the front door to join us for a post-show drink in our socially-distanced bar.

How will the cast be socially distancing or will they be in each other’s ‘bubble’?

Cast members are in the same bubble, which allows for the production to go ahead without social distancing. The company (director, stage management, technical team) are operating around the venue with strict social distancing measures.

What happens if the show cannot go ahead?

We will be operating under government advice, so if we are unable to continue performances, we will of course be issuing full refunds to all bookers. On 13 August it was announced that live indoor theatre can go ahead with social distancing from 15 August which is great news but, of course, we will be closely monitoring government advice in case that changes.

If we find that we are unable to go ahead with the performance, we will contact you as soon as possible via email. Please make sure that we have your most up to date contact information, so you don’t miss anything.

What will happen if I book tickets but then have to self-isolate or have symptoms?

If you have to self-isolate or have symptoms then we will refund your tickets. You should not attend the theatre. Please email or call to let us know and we will issue a direct refund.

Can I sit with friends?

You can sit with people who are in your bubble or household. Please only book tickets with people who you are living with or have formed a support bubble with. If you are not in the same household or bubble then we ask that you book tickets separately so that you have a perspex/see-through screen between you when you are in the auditorium and maintain at least 1m distance during your visit.

I am coming on my own. Can I buy a single ticket?

Of course! You can do this via the website as usual. This just means that you will have a perspex/see-through screen on either side of you.

I am in a wheelchair. Can I still come to the newly configured auditorium?

Yes, definitely. We have wheelchair spaces which you can book in the usual way online or you can give us a call on 020 7407 0234 and we will sort your booking for you.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes, we ask all audience members to wear a mask. The exception is if you can’t wear a mask for health reasons in which case you should download and print a card here to explain to anyone who asks why you are not wearing one. Because government advice around wearing masks may change we will include a ‘current advice email’ 24 hours before performances and will update our website with information on the day too. We know some of you don’t use email or have a smart phone – if this is the case then please give us a ring to let us know and we’ll arrange for someone to call you the day before your visit to advise on current government guidance and how it relates to your visit to the Playhouse.

Can I order a drink?

Yes. Our bar has been operating on a socially distanced model since the beginning of July and it will be open from two hours before the show, and after the performance (until 10pm) for you to purchase a drink or snack. You can reserve a table by emailing reservations@southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

We will also be taking drinks orders for show time from audience members as they queue outside, so you can still get a drink for the show without reserving a bar table.

Can I buy a programme?

All programmes for shows in 2020 are available as e-programmes supplied as a PDF document emailed to you prior to the performance. In 2021, we are hoping to reintroduce physical programmes for selected shows including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

What’s the sitch with returns?

We are not selling returns – we won’t be selling any tickets on the door, and will be stopping ticket sales for the day at 5pm (or 12.30pm for matinees.) If a show is sold out the best thing to do is keep checking the website to see if any seats open up.
If you need to return your ticket due to self-isolating or local lockdowns, give us a ring on 020 7407 0234 and we’ll give you a refund. Otherwise, our normal refund/transfer policy applies.

Will your toilets be open?

Yes, our toilets will be open before, during and after your visit to us. You will notice that there will be fewer cubicles – this is for social distancing purposes. To avoid congestion toilets will remain open throughout the performance and audience members will be permitted to leave the theatre and re-enter at any point.

Will the bar be open as usual on performance days?

Yes. The bar will be open to members of the public but we will ensure that we do not admit too many people during busy times so we can always adhere to strict social distancing measures inside the venue.

How should I travel to you?

You can travel to us however you like but if you are coming via public transport we ask that you wear a mask (unless you are exempt). There is a bicycle rack outside the theatre if you are cycling. Unfortunately we do not have a car park but there is an NCP car park 10 mins walk away on Kipling Street. There is information on that here. If you’re coming by Uber or taxi, you can be dropped off right outside the front of the theatre on Newington Causeway.

How often do you clean the space and toilets?

We already have a strict cleaning schedule in place for our bar and front of house areas, including The Little theatre space. This will be extended to include a deep cleaning of The Large theatre space before and after every single performance including wiping down seats and spraying them daily with a special anti-bacterial spray which remains active on upholstery between 5-7 days (your seat will remain dry though!). Toilets are cleaned regularly every 2-3 hours and deep cleaned every evening after the show and every morning/afternoon before the show. We have a full risk assessment which we will share on the website nearer the time and also have copies of in the venue.

I have a question that you haven’t answered. How can I ask it?

No problem! Just email one of our friendly box office wizards on boxoffice@southwarkplayhouse.co.uk and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.