There is nothing like live theatre, the talent right in front of you, and being in the moment is indescribable. When you see a good piece of theatre it can stay with you forever. But as we all know, theatre can be expensive and therefore can be quite inaccessible to some. If I had a penny for every time someone asked me how I afford all the theatre I see, I would be able to afford all the theatre I see. The trick is finding cheaper sources for tickets.
So here are my top tips to finding cheap theatre tickets in London:
- Day Seats (my favourite) – Day seats are great if you are prepared to test your luck, wait in queues, and possibly be disappointed, as they are only available on the day. Each theatre has their own policy on day seats so make sure you check before you go, this also applies to where in the theatre the seat will be, Theatre Monkey has a current list of day seat policies for each theatre. As a general rule, the box office usually opens at 10am, so whether you queue before 10am or arrive later depends on the show and its popularity, they are usually limited to 1 or 2 per person. See my earlier post A Theatre Day Out: The Guide for more information.
- TKTS Booth in Leicester Square – Originally known as ‘The Half Price Ticket Booth’ this is a great place to get genuine discounted tickets. You can check what is available on the day here: http://www.tkts.co.uk/whats-on-sale/
- Seeing a show in previews can be a cheaper way to see the show as well as allowing you to be one of the first to see it. Previews are the performances before the show opens to theatre critics; during this time, the production team can make changes to the show.
- If you know someone working on the show you want to see, they may be able to get you comps, in which case, lucky you!
- Group bookings are a good way to get cheaper seats for shows which are less likely to have other offers.
- There are many websites offering cheaper tickets for performances if you book a certain amount of time in advance or for specific performances.
Do not pay premium price for tickets! Top price are not always worth the extra money. Check on Seatplan (a website full of seat reviews across London’s West End) or Theatre Monkey (a page dedicated to seats to buy and avoid in each venue) before you book your tickets to see reviews for many theatre seats and get the best seats for the least amount of money.
Another little trick I tell myself to make theatre cheaper is to go and see two shows in one day to save on travel fees, and time. Of course it is not possible for everyone to do this, but it’s worth a thought if it is something that is possible for you!