sadler's wells

Welcome back to Sadler’s Wells

We are delighted to be re-opening our doors from today (Monday 17 May) for the first time since December 2020! In line with social distancing guidance as advised by the UK Government, below are the measures we have put into place to keep you as safe as possible for your next visit to Sadler’s Wells.  

As always, if you have a temperature higher than 38°C, a continuous cough or have loss of taste and smell, we ask that you please stay at home.  

Your arrival

Please remember to bring a mask with you as we ask that you wear a face covering at all times whilst in the venue, aside from eating or drinking, and unless medically exempt. 

To limit your contact with other parties, we will be operating a staggered entry system where your designated arrival time will be listed alongside your seat number on your e-ticket. We ask that our audiences arrive as close to this time as possible to ensure our queueing system runs as smoothly as possible. 

‘I thought a lot of care had been taken and everyone was extremely calm and polite.’

Please keep an eye out for floor markings and signage to ensure you are kept at safe distance from others. The Sadler’s Wells team will also be on hand to help provide guidance when moving around the theatre. If you have any questions or feedback on your experience, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of them where they will be happy to assist.  

To help further protect you, we are asking everyone to use the UK Government’s NHS Test and Trace app when in the building, or alternatively to scan our QR code when entering the theatre.  

Your visit

The cloakroom will be out of service until further notice and bags must measure less than 30cm x 30cm x 15cm. No luggage items please. For additional safety, our usual security measures are in place such as random bag searches. Our lifts are limited to one person or household use only. 

For any refreshments you might like during your visit, the Fox Garden Court Cafe is open pre-show and our bars open from 6.45pm. Drinks and snacks should be consumed in the auditorium but we ask ticket holders to please wear masks at all other times. The box office will be open as normal and operating within Covid-secure protocols. A gentle reminder that all payments and transactions are now cashless, to reduce contact and queueing times. 

‘I was very impressed with Sadler’s Wells professionalism. Top marks for feeling very, very safe.’

As an audience member, you will be seated in small groups of one or two to allow for social distancing. Our Front of House Team will be on hand to guide you to the correct seats in our well-ventilated auditorium, while maintaining a safe distance from others. 

At the end of a performance, please remain seated and await guidance from our Front of House Team who will lead you out of the building safely. 

‘I found the whole event extremely well organised. The whole experience was extremely uplifting.’


We have professionally enhanced cleaning in place throughout the building, with surfaces and toilet facilities regularly sanitised for your protection. To prevent the spread of bacteria, we ask that audience members maintain frequent hand washing prior to and whilst in the theatre. There are sanitising stations throughout the building for you to sanitise your hands regularly, too! 

‘I think Sadler’s Wells had one of the best procedures I’ve seen.’

Rest assured we have taken stringent steps to ensure the continued safety of our audiences during this time. We hope this guide provides useful ahead of your visit to the theatre and if you have any thoughts or feedback on the measures in place, please direct them to our Front of House team at 

This is a live blog post we will continue to edit with updates whilst socially distanced performances are in place, so please keep checking back regularly for further info. 

We can’t wait to welcome you. 


It is with a sense of gratitude and hope for the future that we welcome the UK Government’s announcement that Sadler’s Wells will receive a loan of £4,250,000 from the latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund.  

This loan will ensure the organisation’s survival and enable us to start laying the groundwork for a full reopening.   

By closing our theatres and reducing the work we are able to achieve, the COVID-19 crisis has taken away our ability to earn over 80% of our income. The emergency support we have received from the UK Government and Arts Council England to date was intended to support our survival until April 2021. This loan is therefore vitally important in supporting our ongoing operations and future recovery.    

Crucial to this recovery is our ability to welcome people back to our theatres. We are very excited to be able to reopen to socially distanced audiences from 17 May. These performances will be a hugely welcome first step, as full reopening is critical to our long-term survival. We are hopeful that we will be able to open completely, as set out in the UK Government’s roadmap, later this summer. 

Receiving this loan recognises our ongoing impact, innovation and resilience despite the difficulties of the past year. During this time of closure, we have embraced digital opportunities through an unprecedented increase in activity on our Digital Stage. Through our digital platforms and partnerships in 2020, we shared 25 dance workshops, 14 full-length works, 8 screendance films, 4 audio-described works and hosted a global gala online. This programme received more than 5 million views globally and provided work and income to hundreds of artists and freelancers. 

Artistic Director & CEO, Alistair Spalding and Executive Director, Britannia Morton said: “The Culture Recovery Fund loan ensures our continued survival and means we can look forward to welcoming audiences, artists, professionals and colleagues back to our theatres. We are very excited to be able to reopen with socially distanced performances, starting with our Associate Company English National Ballet’s performances of Reunion, from 17 May. We are grateful that this loan means we can continue to maintain our position as the nation’s dance house, supporting the dance sector nationally and internationally.”