Most Welcoming Theatre Award

UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award 2017 - VOTE NOW


The UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award with Smooth Radio online public vote is now open! We will also announce a winner in each Region/Nation before crowning an overall winner at the UK Theatre Awards ceremony taking place at London’s Guildhall on Sunday 15 October.

The vote closes at 12noon on Tuesday 19 September.

What makes a welcoming theatre?

There are many things that shape your experience when you visit a theatre; a friendly chat with box office staff, enjoying a delicious coffee in the cafe, feeling like you're part of your local community, or being entertained by the panto! The public vote gives you the chance to celebrate your local theatre and all it does to welcome you.          

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, said: “Theatres play a vital role in communities across the UK, so it has been wonderful to see so many votes cast. This campaign brings together audiences, theatres, performers and producers and gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their local venue.”

Paul Phear, Smooth Radio presenter, said: “It is a privilege to team up with UK Theatre once again as we crown the nation’s Most Welcoming Theatre. This award is even more special because it is the audiences, including our Smooth Radio listeners, who have chosen the winner.”



Your supporters will be able to vote for your venue by clicking on the interactive regional map at between 12noon on Tuesday 9 August and 12noon on Monday 19 September. Whenever you Tweet about the Vote, or encourage supporters please use  #welcomingtheatre so they can follow the conversation.
Every user will be able to opt-in for the chance to win £200 in Theatre Tokens*. 

Handles and hashtags



Download the assets here. 

Let your supporters know about the public vote and why its worth them making the effort to vote. We're sure you have lots of excellent ideas for engaging and enthusing your audience, but here are a few to get you started: 

Website calls to action 

  • Put the Award logo/banners or button and put them on your website then link them to our vote page on your home page on 9 August: Highlight the Prize Draw to win Theatre Tokens worth £200 if they vote.
  • If you have a News section, write an article explaining what the Award is about, and what it would mean to your theatre and local community. 
  • Use banners or footers on several pages (such as individual events pages) to remind people about voting for the Award.
  • If you have the time and resources, you could make a ‘vote for us’ video to promote your theatre.    

Reach out to your database

  • Include the Award as part of your usual form of e-communication: make it a headline story in your weekly/monthly e-bulletin, highlighting the chance to win Theatre Tokens worth £200 if they vote.
  • Write and send an email that is all about the Award: why should people vote, what does it mean for your venue and community. 
  • Get your supporters and patrons involved. Ask them to send you a photo of themselves and tell you why your theatre is the Most Welcoming Theatre and make these quotes and photos into an email.    
  • Contact local news publications or “What’s On” websites and ask them to link to the vote, encouraging as many local people as possible to vote for your theatre.    

Get involved on Twitter 

  • Whenever you talk about the vote use the hashtag #welcomingtheatre
  • Follow @UK_Theatre and encourage your followers to do the same.
  • Retweet and quote tweets from both accounts, so that your followers are aware of the Award’s significance to you, and the national significance of the campaign.
  • Encourage your followers to vote for your theatre by sending them to our homepage and mention the Prize Draw to win £200 worth of @TheatreTokens.    
  • Include the voting link in your theatre’s Twitter biography section, and encourage individual staff members to do the same.
  • Tell us about your theatre: why should you win? What makes you unique? Send us five fascinating facts about your theatre so that we can tweet them. Email the facts to
  • What do your audiences say about you? Tweet positive feedback from members of the public to demonstrate how much people enjoy visiting your theatre.
  • Use your connections: if a local celebrity, dignitary or politician visits or supports your theatre or has performed there, ask them to tweet about the Award and make their support for you known.
  • Tweet photographs of your theatre, past productions and staff members. People love to know about people, so any interesting human interest snippets about staff will go down well.
  • Click for some sample tweets
  • Please use Bitly links where possible to save space and this will also help gauge interest and track how many click-throughs you’ve received -
  • Smooth Radio is our partner for the Most Welcoming Theatre Award. Although Smooth cannot promise re-tweets, you’ve got more of a chance of a mention if you tag their regional handle.

Smooth's regional Twitter handles 

  • Central Scotland @smoothscot
  • North West @smoothnorthwest
  • North East @smoothnortheast
  • East Midlands @smootheastmids
  • West Midlands @smoothwestmids
  • London @smoothlondonAnywhere outside these areas just tweet @smoothradio

Inspire your supporters on Facebook

  • Put photos, videos and the voting link up on your theatre’s Facebook page, and ask your staff to share and like your content from their own profiles. Tag #WelcomingTheatre. 
  • Set voting up as an event and encourage followers to invite their friends to vote. Here's how to set up an event on Facebook. 

Remind them in print 

  • If budget allows, produce some of your own branded leaflets to encourage your voters to visit the website to vote.
  • Distribute these at the end of performances, in ticket envelopes and around local businesses who rely on your customers for their business. Why not produce some simple posters at the same time? 

Appoint ambassadors 

  • Appoint one of your Front of House/Customer Service staff to be an Award Ambassador to give out print and telling patrons about the Award and how to vote.
  • This personal touch will also help confirm that you are the Most Welcoming Theatre!
  • Play audio clips before each performance
  • Use the call to action audio trails supplied by Smooth Radio to play prior to performances to get your audiences voting. Click here to get the audio clip.
  • Please don’t amend the audio in any way though. There are versions with and without an instruction to turn-off mobile phones.
  • You may want to hand out print prior to playing these announcements to reinforce the message. 

Create and distribute your own media 

  • Download the EPK Toolkit here which includes the following:
  • Logo lock up (Most Welcoming Theatre in association with Smooth Radio) and Logo lock up Vote Now button.     
  • Images of the Guildhall, London, the venue for the ceremony and some images from last year’s award ceremony and a Sample Press Release
  • Pre show clips from Smooth presenters for broadcast before performances and a slide to show on auditorium and Front of House screens.
  • Approach your local print and broadcast media and we will distribute press information via our extensive media database covering both regional and national press outlets.
  • Our Press Office is here to help. Contact Dan Austin - / 020 7557 6729 for any further information and requests. 

Help your audience vote

  • If some of your audiences are not able to vote online at home you could set up an i-pad or PC in your foyer to encourage people to vote – they will need an email address. 


We will be monitoring votes and will contact you to check up on any unusual activity. Good luck! 

* Full terms and conditions for the prize draw can be found in the drop-down box below.  

When can I vote?   

The vote will open at 12 noon on Wednesday 9 August and close at 12 noon on Tuesday 19 September.  

Which theatres are eligible? 

  • Organisational Members 
    All Organisational member venues/theatres have been automatically entered into the vote. If you wish to opt-out, please email us by 27 July. 
  • Professional Members who represent venues/theatres have the opportunity to opt-in to the vote by emailing us before 27 July.  
  • SOLT Members who represent venues/theatres have the opportunity to opt-in to the vote by emailing us before 27 July.  

Non-members are not eligible to take part. If you wish to find out more about becoming a Professional Member, please click here

Regions and Nations 
We will announce a winner in each of the following Regions/Nation before crowning the overall UK winner:

London, East Midlands, South East, South West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, East, Wales, North West, West Midlands, Scotland, Northern Ireland. 

Overall UK winner 
We will announce an overall winner at the 
UK Theatre Awards ceremony taking place at London's Guildhall on Sunday 15 October. 

How do I cast my vote?  
Once the vote opens you'll be able to click on the Region/Nation on the 
interactive map and then tick to vote for your theatre of choice. You will be able to cast one vote only and must provide your name, email address and postcode. You can opt-out of receiving further information from UK Theatre or our sponsors. 

How is the vote calculated? 
The voting is being monitored by the Electoral Reform Services. To ensure that smaller theatres are not at a disadvantage, a formula is applied which divides the number of votes by seating capacity. 

For updates on the UK Theatre Awards and the UK's Most Welcoming Theatre, please follow us on twitter @uk_theatre

 Overall winner: The UK's Most Welcoming Theatre

The Mill at Sonning

Regional and national winners


Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

East Midlands

Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Theatre


Orange Tree Theatre

North East

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Northern Ireland

Lyric Theatre, Belfast

North West

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick


Pitlochry Festival Theatre

South East

The Mill at Sonning

South West

Salisbury Playhouse


Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl

West Midlands

Lichfield Garrick

Yorkshire and the Humber

Hull Truck Theatre

Prize Draw Rules

1.    This prize draw is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over, except employees of the Promoter, Society of London Theatre or Smooth Radio, their families or agents. This prize draw will be governed by English law.

2.    The prize draw is free to enter.  To enter the prize draw, you need to place an online vote in the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award via the website between 12noon on 9 August and 12noon on 19 September 2017. You must be 18 years or over to vote and a UK Resident. No responsibility will be accepted by the Promoter for lost entries or for entries not completed or received due to a technical fault.

3.    Only one entry to the prize draw will be accepted per e-mail address.

4.    A winner will be chosen by random draw from all entries received by 12 noon on 19 September 2017 (the closing date).

5.    The winner will receive one prize of Theatre Tokens worth £200. The prize is non-transferable and non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered.

6.    The winner will be notified by email within 5 working days of the closing date. If there is no response from the winner within 5 working days of being notified by the Promoter, the Promoter reserves the right to select another winner in accordance with the process referred to in paragraph 4 above. The prize will be sent to the winner by post.

7.    The Promoter's decision will be final and binding in every situation and no correspondence will be entered into.

8.    Contact details will be added to the Theatre Tokens mailing list and used to contact the prize draw winner. You will not be required to participate in publicity related to the prize draw. To obtain details of the winner please write, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope, to the Promoter at any time after ten days following the closing date of the draw.

9.    If a prize is unavailable due to circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control, the Promoter reserves the right to provide a substitute prize. The Promoter reserves the right to hold void, cancel, suspend or amend the promotion where it becomes necessary to do so.

10.  By entering the prize draw, you agree to abide by the rules of the prize draw (including all instructions) and the Theatre Tokens terms and conditions, which can be accessed at the Theatre Tokens website:

11.  The Promoter is UK Theatre Association incorporated and registered in England and Wales with company number 0323204 and with its registered office at 32 Rose Street, London WC2E 9ET. The prize is provided by Theatre Tokens which is a trading name of Society of London Theatre, incorporated and registered in England and Wales with company number 527227 and with its registered office at 32 Rose Street, London WC2E 9ET.


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+44 (0)20 7557 6700

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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.