National Theatre set to trial earlier start times

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The National Theatre is set to trial earlier start times as it attempts to adapt to post-pandemic audience behaviours.

From February next year, the National Theatre in London will pilot a select number of early evening performances from 18:30. 

The trial follows research undertaken by the organisation to better understand audiences and their post-COVID lifestyles and habits, including changing work patterns and journey times, particularly for those living outside of London. 

Earlier performances will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a limited number available for each new production featuring on the South Bank – where the National Theatre is located – during the first half of the year. 

The early evening performances hope to offer flexibility for audiences to make the most of their evening, with more time after curtain down to eat or travel home. 

“Audiences are always at the heart of everything we do, and in direct response to what they have told us, we are excited to be trialling an earlier start time of 18.30 for selected performances,” said director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris. 

Tickets for the National Theatre’s 2024 season of performances will go on sale on November 9.