CUSTOMER FAQ’S – COVID-19
20 August 2020

Will the Theatre Royal re-open and performances resume now the government has advised indoor performances can take place if socially distanced?
With social distancing in place as an unfunded charity it is not financially viable for us to open. We have to sell on average over 900 tickets per performance to break even; based on the audience sitting in pairs, 2m social distancing allows a capacity of 221 and 1m social distancing offers a marginally bigger capacity of 370. Neither scenario is an affordable model.

Organisations that do receive funding may be able to deliver socially distanced indoor performances to smaller audiences in order to continue the work they are funded to produce and present. We will wherever possible engage with and support arts organisations and activity to contribute to the ongoing survival of the cultural landscape of the North East.
Project A, our actor training programme will be resuming from Sept 2020 which is an encouraging step towards rebuilding our programme of work.

The Government has indicated further announcements regarding theatre and social distancing will take place in November and we wait with anticipation for good news for the industry as a whole.

Is the pantomime going ahead?
It is with great sadness and huge disappointment that we announce that this year’s Theatre Royal pantomime, Humpty Dumpty, has been rescheduled until November 2021. The uncertainty around ongoing restrictions and maintaining social distancing means that it is not possible for us to open the pantomime this year as planned.

Humpty Dumpty will now run from Tuesday 23 November 2021 until Sunday 9 January 2022.

We will be contacting all existing bookers with details of alternative 2021/2022 dates over coming weeks. As this is such a large and complex show, we ask customers to wait for this correspondence and not to contact the Box Office.

Tickets for all other shows taking place in 2021 are on sale and you can buy online here.

MAKE A BOOKING

Is your box office counter open?
No, the building is not open to the public at this time.

I want to make a booking. Can I book over the phone?
We have fewer staff working currently due to the impact of the national health crisis and so we are not taking telephone bookings. We will update customers via our website and email when we can start taking telephone bookings again.  You can book tickets online.

I want to make a group booking – how can I do this?
Groups of up to 9 people can book tickets online at here.
Groups of 10+ people can email boxoffice@theatreroyal.co.uk Please be aware there may a delay before we are able to respond due to reduced staffing levels.
 
I am disabled and want to buy a ticket – how can I do this?
You can book tickets online at here. If you are a member of our Access Register you can book tickets for you and your companion online too.
If you want to book a wheelchair accessible space please email access@theatreroyal.co.uk and a member of the team will get back to you. There may be a delay before we can respond to you, please bear with us.

The Access booking telephone line and text relay service are not currently available but we will reinstate these services at the earliest opportunity.

My online account isn’t working – how do I get help with this?
Email boxoffice@theatreroyal.co.uk A member of the team will get back to you however it may a number of weeks before you hear from us as we process cancellations and customer refunds. We thank you for your understanding and patience.

EXISITING BOOKINGS

I want to speak to someone about my booking – how can I do this?
We are unable to take calls about new or existing bookings currently. When all box office services have resumed we will let customers know via our website and by email and will be pleased to assist with your booking query.

Will the performance I have booked to attend be rescheduled or cancelled and how will I know?
We hope we do not have to reschedule or cancel many more performances but we have to follow government instructions in these unprecedented times. We will wait to make a decision about a performance until we are certain it will not be possible for it to go ahead on the original date, but will ensure we give you sufficient notice of this. We will do this in date order, so if you are booked for a performance in February 2021 for example, it may be a little while until we have an update about your booking.

We will be in touch with you by email, and will announce rescheduled or cancelled performances on our website. Be sure to check your email junk inbox for this mailing, as some customers have reported this happening.

The performance I am booked to attend has been rescheduled or cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis and I have asked for a refund. When will I receive this?
We are working through requests for refunds as quickly as possible and in date order; if you have requested a refund and you have yet to hear from us it may be a number of weeks before we get back to you. Our team is working very hard to get through this quickly and the support and understanding we are receiving from our customers is hugely appreciated.

The performance I am booked to attend has been rescheduled or cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis and I asked for credit on my account – what can I use this for and how long is it valid for?
Credit will be applied to your Theatre Royal booking account and is valid for 1 year. We will automatically extend the expiration date of all credit by the period of closure to allow you the widest choice of performance when we re-open.

You can use this for any future performance at the Theatre Royal.

Credit can be used when making online bookings or via the telephone when the contact centre re-opens in the future. Please note we are not taking telephone bookings until further notice.
 
The performance I am booked to attend is still scheduled to go ahead as planned but I don’t want to attend anymore due to COVID-19 – can I get a refund, exchange or credit?
We are not rescheduling or cancelling performances unless we are sure that it will not be possible for them to go ahead. If the performance you have booked for has not been rescheduled or cancelled, then we will not issue a refund, exchange or credit as per our terms and conditions of purchase (excluding Friends or Advantage members).

What happens if the performance I am booked to attend is rescheduled to another date?
Wherever possible we will reschedule performances that cannot go ahead due to COVID-19 to a later date, so our audiences won’t miss out on fantastic shows.

If the performance you are booked to attend cannot go ahead as planned, you will receive an email providing you with options. If you want to transfer your booking to the new date offered, you can select this on the email.

You will be offered the equivalent day, time and seats for the rescheduled performance with no change in price and any specific access requirements will of course be applied to the booking. There may be occasions when it is not possible to offer like for like transfers, for example if the production is rescheduled and reduced to a week rather than two weeks, then the first week’s bookings will take priority. For customers with tickets for the second week, we will do our best to accommodate you into the same day of the week and time, however there may be some seat changes.  We will honour the original ticket price unless the seat price is lower, where a refund will be given for the difference in price.
 


ACCESS
I want to join your Access Register – how can I do this?
You can join by completing the form available in the website. Information about Access at the Theatre Royal can be found on our website here.
Due to the current COV ID-19 crisis we are working with reduced staffing levels and there may be a delay before we are able to respond to you.

I recently applied to join the Access register. When will I receive my card so I can book tickets online?
If you recently applied don’t worry, we will be in touch but there may be a delay of a number of weeks before you receive your Access card.
If you are waiting for your access card and want to make a booking please email access@theatreroyal.co.uk There may be a delay of a number of weeks before you hear back from us and we thank you for your patience.

I am a member of the Acess register, how do I book online?
In order to ensure you receive your free Personal Assistant (Carer) ticket when booking online, we will need to make sure that your online account is linked to your Access Requirement Register account. If you haven’t used online booking before or you have but have only recently joined the Access Requirement Register, please send an email requesting ARR online booking along with your name, address and Access Requirement Register customer number (this can be found on your Access Member card) to us at access@theatreroyal.co.uk.

After we have linked your accounts, to make a booking please ensure you log into your account prior to purchasing tickets. Once logged in, select your show and your desired seats. Please select seats for everyone in your party at the standard price (including the person who will be a free Personal Assistant (Carer)). Once the tickets are in your basket you will find one of the tickets will be discounted to provide you with a free Personal Assistant (Carer) ticket; this is done automatically so please double check the total prior to making payment to ensure this free ticket has been applied.

If you have any other queries regarding your online account please contact us at access@theatreroyal.co.uk It may take a few days to link you accounts, so if your booking is urgent (e.g. a show has just gone on sale) and you haven’t an account in place then we would recommend booking through the Box Office directly to secure your seats and then set up your online account for future bookings.

Please note that Wheelchair spaces are unfortunately unavailable to book online and must be booked directly through the Box Office.  As we are not taking incoming calls currently due to COVID-19, please email your request to access@theatreroyal.co.uk and you will recieve a response, please note this may take a few days, bear with us.

MEMBERSHIPS & VOUCHERS
I have a gift voucher which is due to expire, will you extend the expiration date until you re-open?
We understand that customers are unable to use their gift vouchers currently and therefore we will automatically extend the expiration date of all gift vouchers by the period of closure to allow you the widest choice of performance when we re-open.

I have a Friend’s Membership but I am not unable to use it at the moment as you are closed. Can I get a refund?
We want to ensure our customers who have a Friend’s membership are able to enjoy all the benefits of the scheme and so we will automatically extend all memberships by the period of closure to allow you the widest choice of performance when we re-open.

GENERAL
How do I make a complaint?
Complaints can be emailed to feedback@theatreroyal.co.uk however due to reduced staffing levels this account is not being regularly monitored until such a time that staff return to their duties.

If you are getting in touch about a rescheduled or cancelled performance we will not respond to your email to feedback. A member of the box office team will be in touch soon. Please be patient whilst we work through the list of cancelled performances in date order.
If your email is about something else, you may not receive a response for a number of weeks and then only to the most urgent enquiries so we kindly request that you do not send follow up emails to allow us time to respond. We appreciate your understanding and patience during these exceptional circumstances.

I attended a performance and left something at the theatre – how can I check lost property?
We are unable to check our lost property until further notice. Please email feedback@theatreroyal.co.uk with a description of the item, the date you attended and your seat numbers or booking reference. We will respond to you at our earliest opportunity.

SUPPORT THE THEATRE ROYAL
I read that the Theatre Royal is a charity and relies on tickets sales to survive. What can I do to support the Theatre Royal’s future?
The Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust is an independent charity and we receive no funding. We rely on our share of tickets sales; we only keep a small proportion of ticket income which pays for the running of the theatre.

Like the other great Grade 1 Listed buildings of Britain, costs of conservation at the Theatre are high, as is ensuring that the building itself as well as our productions are accessible to all.  But alongside the programme of plays, musicals, opera and ballet, and of course our pantomime, we run extensive community, education and participation activities.

All this work needs constant financial support. As an independent charitable trust our future depends on you.

However large or small, your gift will make a difference – you will help to maintain the great tradition that is the Newcastle Theatre Royal.
There are different ways you can donate to the Theatre Royal. These Acts of Kindness will help us keep going during these difficult times.
Act I ‘Give a little, give a lot’

A donation however large or small will help see us through these difficult times and ensure we are here for future generations. Donate here.
 
Act II ‘Let’s be friends’
Join the Friends of Theatre Royal to save money on future shows and help to ensure that we can always be here for you. Join here.
 
Act III ‘Sit on thy throne’
You can name a seat in the auditorium and leave a lasting legacy of your support for this great venue. Name a seat here.
Book a ticket

Support us and the future of the Theatre Royal by booking for a future performance here.
 
LEARNING & PARTICIPATION

Will the Sept – Dec term of weekly workshops still be on?
No. Anyone who has already purchased a ticket for the term will be provided with a refund and we will not accept any further bookings. When we are able to deliver the next course of workshops we will advertise this on our website, and by direct email.

If you are due a refund a member of our team will be in touch with you. This may take several weeks due to the volume of refunds we are currently issuing.

Are you still going to run Project A from September?
Like the rest of the performing arts industry the Covid-19 pandemic tore through normal life and plans and the future of Project A hung in the balance. Newcastle Theatre Royal has fought to save its flagship actor training programme to ensure that future generations could continue to pursue acting careers without leaving the region or paying high training fees. Now, with the help of the Barbour Foundation, Pink Boutique and the Sunday for Sammy Trust, long-time supporters of Project A having previously provided bursary assistance to a number of students, Project A will continue as planned from September 2020.