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Phil Willmott

Phil Willmott’s Theatre Week: At Last, a Route Out of the West End’s Lock Down

The Old Vic This week has of course been dominated by the very welcome news that UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced the date from which we'll be allowed to watch theatre again. It's part of his third stage of lifting Covid restrictions and is currently scheduled for 17th May (but in the Government's words "at the earliest”).

We won't get a specific date for the greenlight until a week before, when we'll know if the pervious stages of pulling us out of lockdown have been successful. Even then it may take a month or so for your favourite show to get up and running again with many requiring new casting and rehearsals. The cost of this means the process can only begin once a “back to theatre” date has been set in stone.

Despite the uncertainty and perhaps because of the unseasonably sunny weather London's enjoying now there is a tangible sense of optimism in the theatre industry. I can't wait to get back to making and writing about theatre by day and enjoying the best the West End has to offer by night.

There'll be time enough in the months to come to mourn the jobs, shows and audiences we've lost as a result of a year battling the Corona pandemic; for now, let's just enjoy that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

At London Box Office we're ever optimistic and I've certainly relished drawing up a wish-list of shows I can now enjoy this year, and which have opening dates far enough into the future that we can all book with every confidence.

I'll be profiling each of these shows in detail, along with everything else the West End has to offer in 2021, over the coming weeks - but you'll find a snapshot of my thinking here to hopefully inspire you to make a selection yourself.

Why not let us know the productions you're most looking forward to seeing?