PLEASE NOTE: WE RESEVE THE RIGHT TO UPDATE THE INFORMATION BELOW AS WE GET NEARER TO THE START OF THE SEASON, IN RESPONSE TO THE LATEST GUIDELINES ON COVID-19. Do check back here regularly for the latest update.
What happens if it rains?
In most cases the show goes on, in fact over the past 38 years we have cancelled less than 10 performances due to adverse weather conditions. The vast majority of our seats are covered and we will always try to go ahead with a performance, even if it means in some cases delaying the start or pausing the show for a brief period.
However, no performance is guaranteed and, in some circumstances if we feel there is a risk to the safety of our audience or performers we will cancel a show. In such circumstances, the decision to cancel a performance would not normally be made until the time a performance is due to start. This is due to the very localised weather we experience at Hever and its unpredictable nature, it is not unusual for it to be raining at 7.45 and sunny at 8 o’clock.
Whatever the weather, and even with our substantial seating canopies we do remind audience we are still outside, and suitable (warm or waterproof) clothing is advised. And please do remember that umbrellas are not allowed in the uncovered seats within the reserved seating auditorium.
What is the cancellation policy?
In the event of a cancellation or abandonment of a performance or where less than half the performance has taken place no monies shall be refunded. Audience members may claim tickets of an equivalent value for any future performance in the same or following season at the Festival Theatre subject to availability. Original tickets should be returned to the Theatre with a covering letter or email.
What time can we come into the grounds?
The gates open at 6.30pm for all evening performances. This allows time for the day visitors to the Castle to exit the grounds and clear the car parks ahead of the evening shows. If you do arrive earlier than 6.30pm you will not be allowed down to the theatre or its car park before this time. Once the car park is open there is plenty of parking for all.
For matinées and family performances you can park from 45 minutes before and gates open 30 minutes before the performance starts. You will not be allowed into the Castle Grounds if you arrive before this time, but are welcome to enjoy the gardens after the performance. Exit is when the Castle closes at 6pm.
Can we park at the Theatre, and how far is it from the car park to the Auditorium?
Yes, there is free parking available for all theatre events most of which is on hard standing. It is clearly signposted and there are staff at the main entrance on performance days to guide you to the right parking area. There is plenty of parking for all but it is not possible to leave cars overnight.
It is a 5-10 minute walk to your venue from the car park.
Can I visit the Castle during the day? And if so where should I park?
Of course, but your theatre ticket only allows access to the grounds for the performance you have booked: from 6.30pm for evening shows and 30 minutes before the start for afternoon shows. If you wish to extend your visit and enjoy the castle gardens before a theatre performance you can purchase a reduced rate castle gardens ticket at the time of booking your theatre ticket, either online or through the box office. If you wish to tour the castle during your visit you can purchase a castle ticket when you arrive from the castle ticket huts as you enter the gardens. The castle itself is currently closed under the COVID 19 restrictions, the gardens are open, full details are available here.
Please note a package theatre and gardens ticket allows entry to the castle gardens only on the day of the performance during the advertised castle opening hours.
If you do visit the Castle during the day that you are coming to an evening performance, you will need to ensure that you are parked in the correct car park for your event. You can mention this to the Castle car park attendants when you arrive, but if it is not possible at that time you will simply need to move your car at 6pm when the Castle closes. Do remember to move your car as it can be a long dark walk to the ‘wrong’ car park plus the Castle locks its other car parks at the end of each day and access may not be possible until the following morning.
Is the venue accessible?
The festival theatre aims to provide good access for all our visitors, and every year welcomes many members of our audience with different needs.
There are reserved spaces close to the ticket huts and entrance to the grounds for blue badge holders and those with restricted mobility.
For those in wheelchairs, the routes to the event spaces are mainly paved and without steps. In the Two Sisters Theatre there are reserved spaces in the auditorium for those wishing to remain in their wheelchair throughout a performance. Please ensure you reserve the correct seats with the box office when booking your tickets.
There are accessible toilets at the Guthrie Pavilion for the Two Sisters Theatre, Anne Boleyn’s Walk and Loggia events. The route to this area is between 5 and 10 minutes long and does include a small hill on the way back to the auditorium. Please ask the Theatre stewards at the event to guide you.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the Theatre Auditorium.
We are an open-air venue situated in a Grade 1 listed Garden so certain restrictions may exist. For individual requirements please contact the Theatre Box Office, and we will always do our best to help.
Do we need to bring chairs to watch the show?
This depends which venue you are visiting and where you are sitting.
In the Two Sisters Theatre Centre, West and East Tiers where the seating is allocated you do not need to bring seating.
On the Two Sisters Lawn (either side of the tiers), The Main Lawn Stage, The Loggia and Anne Boleyn Walk you are welcome to bring seating (none is provided). You are also permitted to use small tables in this area, or picnic rugs, beanbags, but no gazebos. Please respect other members of the audience who are sitting in this area, the theatre stewards will be on hand to guide you to a suitable spot where required.
Can we bring tables and chairs for our picnic?
Yes, you very welcome to picnic in the Castle grounds before evening performances, and after matinée shows and bring whatever makes you comfortable.
Do I have to buy a ticket for my child?
All children over the age of 18 months must have a valid ticket for any show.
What ages are the Family Shows Suitable for?
There is nothing in our family shows that is inappropriate for younger children, but the style of show may be more appealing to different ages. Please call the box office if you would like our guidance.
Is there anywhere to eat at the venue?
For the Two Sisters Theatre and The Loggia performances the Guthrie Pavilion overlooking the lake, serves pre-theatre suppers before evening performances. The menu is available from our downloads page from the end of March. Tables can be booked when you purchase your theatre tickets online or through the theatre box office. Supper sittings start from 6pm until 1 hour before the performance starts.
Afternoon teas are also available after the matinée performances of the plays. These must be booked and paid for in advance and can be purchased with your theatre tickets online or via the box office.
For events on the Main Lawn the Moat Restaurant and BBQ will be open from 6.30pm.
Dining at Hever
Can we bring alcohol to the Theatre?
You can bring your own food and drink, including alcohol, to enjoy before the show.
Can I take photos or video of the performance?
No flash photography or videos may be taking during the performance. It is also not permitted to operate smart phones or tablets in the auditorium during a performance, so no photographs on these devices can be taken. It is hugely distracting for other members of the audience for screens to light up during a show, and the Performing Companies do not allow it. Most require the Theatre to monitor the audience and strictly enforce this policy. We politely request you to make the evening more relaxed for our stewards and other members of the audience by respecting this policy.
Can we dance during the show?
We want you to have the best time possible and fully enjoy the show! There is plenty of space to dance at the Main Lawn events. In the Two Sisters Theatre you can dance by your seat and in the grass seating areas, but aisles and access routes must be left clear at all times and COVID 19 social distancing guidelines must be adhered to at all times. For your health and safety, this means that no dancing is permitted in the walkways immediately in front of the stage; and the East and West Tiers (unless you are sitting in Rows A!).
Can I smoke at the Theatre?
No smoking is permitted in the event spaces at any time.
Can we bring our dog?
No animals are permitted into the event spaces, except for Assistance Dogs.
Can I get a refund?
In a ‘normal’ year all tickets are non-refundable, but tickets can be exchanged up to 3 days before the performance. There is a £5 administration fee and the original tickets must be returned to the Theatre Box Office. However, if COVID 19 restrictions require us to postpone or cancel a performance, or you are showing COVID 19 symptoms, then we will offer exchanges or refunds as necessary.
There is a discount of 10% for groups booking 20 seats or more for a single performance. Group tickets must be booked by telephone or email firstname.lastname@example.org they cannot be booked online. Deposits will be taken and ample time (performance date permitting) will be given to pay the balance, please discuss this with the box office when booking. Group discounts can only be applied to full priced theatre tickets not Friends discounted prices.
HEVER FESTIVAL THEATRE IS AN OPEN-AIR VENUE WARM CLOTHING IS ADVISED