We use cookies on this website to improve how it works and how it’s used. Read our cookie policy. I understand

What to expect

We want to make sure that you have a truly unforgettable experience at the London Coliseum.

Here, we’ve gathered together some of the questions most frequently asked by our audiences to help you plan your visit – whether you’re a newcomer to opera and in need of some advice, or arranging a special night out.

If you’re new to opera

Is there a dress code?

ENO welcomes everyone to the opera and therefore does not believe in a dress code. Some of our guests like to dress smartly while others will wear jeans and trainers.

Will I understand what the actors are singing?

Yes. All English National Opera performances are in English, with the lyrics projected above the stage.

Arriving on the night

What time should I arrive?

We recommend arriving early so that you have plenty of time to collect your tickets, purchase a programme, and find your seat. If you’d like a drink or a bite to eat when you get here, you’ll find one of our bars open from an hour and a half before the show. You’ll be able to take your seat in the theatre auditorium from 25 minutes before the performance begins.

Bag checks

We are currently operating security checks at the entrance to the London Coliseum, so please ensure that you arrive in good time before the performance. Please note that no food or drink purchased off-site (including alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and water) is allowed into the theatre.

What is your food and drink policy?

For performances at the London Coliseum we do allow sealed bottles of water to be brought in to the theatre. We do not permit any food or other drinks purchased off-site (including alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and water). If your water bottle has been opened or is partially full we will ask you to either empty it and refill it with the free water we provide inside the building, or leave the bottle with us to recycle. We have free filtered water available at every bar and on every level of the theatre. Food or drink purchased from the London Coliseum, or our free filtered water, can be taken inside the auditorium.
If you have any dietary or access requirements we welcome you to contact us in advance so that we can ensure you are able to bring in anything that you require for medical reasons.
With the wide range of work presented at our theatre, we’ve adopted these security measures following feedback from audiences, other London venues, our Front of House teams and specialist security firms in order to ensure that our policies are in line with other performance venues in the West End and Greater London.

What do I do if I have dietary or access requirements?

We allow people with medical, dietary or access requirements to take food and drink into both the theatre and auditorium. If you are able to contact us in advance of your visit that would be fantastic, but if not then please just let our security team know when you arrive so that they and our House Managers can discreetly ensure that you are able to take in anything that you require. It’s really important to us that people with dietary, medical or access requirements aren’t inconvenienced by our food and drink policy and can also relax and have a wonderful night.

Am I allowed to bring in water?

Yes, as long as it is in a sealed water bottle. If your water bottle has been opened or is partially full we will unfortunately have to ask you to either empty it or drink it outside. This is to prevent people bringing in alcohol in water bottles, something which has unfortunately happened and has not only broken the terms of our licence but has also caused disruption during performances for other audience members. Once you have emptied or finished your water outside, you will be able to bring in your empty bottle and refill it inside the Coliseum with water that we provide for free at every bar and on every level of the theatre. We know this is a pain and are really grateful for your patience.

Am I allowed to bring in food?

We’re afraid we do not allow any food from outside the London Coliseum to be brought into the theatre. However if you have a large food package that is clearly a gift or shopping, you will be able to bring it into the theatre but you will have to check it into our cloakroom.

Is there food and drink available inside the theatre?

Yes, we have five bars in the theatre serving food and drink, as well as free water available at every bar and at every level of the theatre.

Can I take my drinks into the auditorium?

Yes, you are welcome to take drinks bought from the Coliseum bars, or our free water, into the auditorium in plastic cups provided. You can also take your own bottle refilled with our water.

Can I take food into the auditorium?

Yes, we have a selection of snacks for sale at our bars that we have chosen because they won’t rustle or disturb other audience members enjoying the performance. We don’t allow sandwiches or hot food in the auditorium as people tell us very clearly that this ruins their enjoyment of the performance.

What if I’m late?

While we recommend arriving early, we know that being late is sometimes unavoidable. Don’t worry if you do find yourself delayed – you’ll be able to view the performance on a TV monitor until you can take your seat at the interval.

Where do I collect my tickets?

If you’ve chosen to print your tickets at home, you’ll find your e-tickets attached to your confirmation email. You can print these out and head directly to your seats when you get here. If you’ve chosen to collect your tickets, you’ll need to go to our box office in the theatre foyer.

Do you have a cloakroom?

Yes – our cloakroom is free of charge and you’ll find it on the lower ground level of the theatre.

I’ve got a question that isn’t answered here

Our friendly box office team are happy to help. Give them a call on 020 7845 9300 (we’re open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm) or email: [email protected].  You can also tweet us @e_n_o