We'll be thrilled to see you - and we'd like to help your visit go well if it's your first time at the theatre. Here's some helpful information and answers to common questions.

We love meeting first time visitors. One of the reasons we exist is to help bring Shakespeare's plays to a new audience, around the world. There are some questions we're often asked by first time visitors, which we think help things go smoothly.

The audience clap as the actors on stage bow at the end of a performance.
Audience members in the Swan Theatre
Photo by David Tett © RSC Browse and license our images

"What happens if I arrive late or need to leave during a performance?"

We understand. If you arrive late, speak to one of our front of house assistants. They'll help you get to your seat during the performance, and will also be there to help you leave the auditorium if you need to at any point in the show.

"Can I eat and drink in the auditorium, and is there anywhere I can buy food?"

Yes, you can eat food and drink brought from our outlets while seated in the auditorium.

If you want a more substantial meal, our Rooftop Restaurant is open for pre-show dining and our bars are open for interval drinks during your visit. We're operating a cashless service, so you can safely purchase food and drink before the show or during the interval, and you can order ahead to avoid long queues. 

You can order pre-show and interval drinks for you and your group. We’ll email you a unique pre-ordering link ahead of your visit, where you can select your items and choose when you want to collect them. We send the link to the person who booked the tickets for your group, so they need to be the one to place the order for your group.

"Can I take photos?"

We're really proud of our beautiful theatres. You're welcome to take photos before the show, but please don't photograph or record the actual performance. It's distracting to the actor and the audience. Our staff do keep an eye out and will ask you to stop, so please resist the temptation. 

"What should I wear to the theatre?" 

Some people still like to dress up for a trip to the theatre, but if your style is more jeans and trainers, then that's fine too. The important thing is to be comfortable.

"How long will the show last?"

Every play is different. Our Box Office can let you know the details for the performance you're about to see, otherwise just ask any of the Front of House team.

"Where can I put my coat?" 

Please keep personal items to an absolute minimum. Coats, bags and personal belongings will need to stay with you as the cloakroom won't be open, so only bring a small bag. Large bags won't be allowed into the theatre.

A member of staff will carry out a contactless bag check, asking you to show the contents clearly. They might ask you to remove items from your bag to assist with this.