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Attending a performance

If you are attending a performance or event at the Royal Opera House we would like to draw your attention to our security measures.

You will notice a security presence at the Royal Opera House and we may request to search bags on entry or whilst on our premises. You can help us to make sure that this has as little impact on your visit as possible by doing the following:

• Please plan your journey and arrive as early as possible
• Please avoid bringing any bags with you
• If a bag is absolutely necessary, no bag larger than a small handbag please (we would advise no larger than A3 or a briefcase)
• If you do have large bags we kindly ask you to make alternative arrangements for their storage

Bags larger than A3 size cannot be taken inside the auditorium.

Your safety is paramount to us and your understanding greatly appreciated.

Our staff are committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect and we ask that you show them and your fellow audience members respect too. We adopt a zero tolerance approach in response to anyone who interacts with our staff or with fellow audience members in an intimidating, aggressive or threatening manner.

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code – feel free to dress up or down.

When should I arrive?

Visit us for a meal or glass of wine before a performance, but make sure you leave plenty of time to find your seat, especially if you are in the Amphitheatre. We recommend you arrive at the Royal Opera House a minimum of 30 minutes before the performance starts. Performances start promptly and latecomers cannot be admitted.

Announcements will alert you to the start of the performance at 10, five and two minutes to curtain up. If you cannot use stairs please allow extra time to find your seat as lifts can be busy.

Where do I pick up my tickets?

Tickets for collection for today's performances and backstage tours are held at the Main Entrance on Bow Street. Tickets for collection for future performances and backstage tours are held at our Ticket Sales and Shop, on the corner of Bow Street and Russell Street.

What should I do if somebody else has my ticket?

You will need to show your ticket at the main entrance doors. If you are waiting for someone who has your ticket, the best place to meet is by the Box Office. If you leave the building at the interval, tickets must be shown again for re-entry.

Do you provide cloakrooms?

We offer a limited free cloakroom service for small items and coats. However, following recently heightened security measures across London, we have been advised not to allow any large bags, rucksacks or backpacks into the building. Please be aware that if you bring such items into the building we may request that you seek alternative storage arrangements for them away from the Royal Opera House; this could result in you missing the start of the performance.

Bags should not be left unattended in the building at any time and any items that we deem too large to check in to our cloakrooms cannot be taken into the auditorium.

Our cloakrooms are staffed at all times during a Main Stage and Linbury Theatre performance. However, neither the Royal Opera House nor its employees can accept any liability for the loss of, or damage to, any items left in our cloakrooms.

Please check individual web pages for non-Main Stage / Linbury Theatre events to check how cloakroom services may be affected.

How can I reclaim lost property?

You can telephone Royal Opera House Lost Property Monday to Friday 8am–6pm on +44 (0) 20 7212 9567. Please note that unclaimed property will be disposed of after 30 days.

What happens if I arrive a little late?

If you arrive late, for safety reasons you will be asked to wait in the foyers until the interval or a suitable break in the performance when the lights are raised. (This wait can be up to 90 minutes in some performances.) You can view the performance on TV monitors during this time.

What happens if I leave the auditorium during a performance?

If you leave the auditorium during a performance, for safety reasons you will not be permitted to re-enter until the interval or a suitable break in the performance when the lights are raised. You can view the performance on TV monitors in the foyers during this time.

Can I bring children to the Royal Opera House?

Children and young people are welcome and must have their own ticket. Children aged 5–14 must be seated next to an accompanying adult. Babies and infants will not be admitted into the auditoriums. Occasionally certain productions may not be suitable for young children. If applicable, this will be stated in the guidance section on individual production pages.

Where can I buy a souvenir programme?

Souvenir programmes are on sale in the Main Entrance Foyer, the Paul Hamlyn Hall and the Amphitheatre Lobby. They can also be redeemed with vouchers, available to buy online ahead of your visit. Contents include a synopsis (for narrative works), illustrated essays on aspects of the production and the work's historical context written by leading academics and artist biographies.

Souvenir programmes usually cost £7, although programmes for galas and other special occasions may cost slightly more. Free cast sheets are available for all productions by The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.

What food and drink is available?

There are five bars and four restaurants at the Royal Opera House. The café opens at 10am and the other restaurants open 90 minutes before curtain-up. Our menus are designed to complement the production you will see on stage – from Black Swan Bellinis to Nutcracker afternoon tea – and there’s something suitable for a range of tastes and budgets.

Award-winning Criterion Ices are available to buy from ushers in the foyers at £3 each. From the start of the 2015/16 Season there is the option to buy ice cream vouchers online at the same time as you book your tickets.

Can I take food and drink into the auditorium?

Food and drink are not permitted in the auditorium.

Is it possible to record or photograph the performance?

The use of cameras and recording equipment is strictly forbidden.

Can I smoke when using the outside / outdoor terraces?

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises, including all outside / outdoor terraced areas.