We all know that theatre can be an expensive habit, and for addicts like myself the costs can become astronomical. So here are my top tips for seeing the shows you love, but cheaper.
I stay away from many of the unofficial ticket booths around London. I can never vouch for the authenticity of their tickets nor their prices. There are many stories of people being stung with false tickets or heavily overpriced. So don’t waste your money on a scam.
So many theatres around London operate Day Tickets. As the name implies, they are purchased on the day of performance, often at much cheaper prices. Unfortunately, there can be queues from quite early in the morning for some of the shows with sold out runs. Most ticket offices open between 9 and 10am, meaning you may need to devote a full day to see the production, the build up throughout the day can make this option well worth considering.
Check with the website of each show to see if they sell day tickets, but National Theatre have a well established day ticket programme. And get there early!
For more information on daily Rush tickets see below on TodayTix
Some of us are lucky, some of us not so. If you’re feeling lucky there are many lotteries daily, weekly and monthly for different West End shows. Basically, put your name in the hat, if you’re pulled out you will get front row or “best available” seats for that evenings shows.
Book of Mormon have a popular lottery each day with entries accepted 2.5 hours prior to each performance, in person at the Prince of Wales Theatre. For those elusive Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets, they have a weekly “Friday Forty” online lottery at 1pm every Friday (available here https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/uk/ticket-information)
Tkts is the only booth I will purchase my tickets from, open 7 days a week, located in the Clocktower in Leicester Square. There, you can buy tickets directly from the box office, on the day, up to 3 days prior to the performance. Many seats are at a discount, but the friendly staff can also advise on full price tickets for other shows. It is run as a not-for-profit business, with all profits being plumbed back into the industry, so you can feel pretty good about your purchase.
I love an app! TodayTix, is one of my faves. It is so easy to use, you can buy tickets (some shows with significant discounts) up to 30 days in advance, collecting your tickets on the day from the theatre. You can also enter lotteries and Rush tickets, also earning £10 credit if you refer a friend.
They also host many front row lotteries, and also provide you the opportunity to increase your odds of winning by linking to your social media. Currently, they have lotteries for Kinky Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Dreamgirls and The Great Gatsby. Entries are free before 3.30pm each day, with a handy notification if you win. It may require a few attempts but with perseverance, luck will be on your side.
Finally, they have Rush tickets, a similar concept to day tickets, available at 10am directly from the app, with the ability to set a quick reminder a few minutes before sale. For some shows, Rush tickets sell out in seconds, I regularly battle for the limited seats to the current runs of Hamlet and The Tempest. Tickets are limited so take advantage of them while you can. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, An American in Paris, 42nd Street and Road are all available on the app currently too.
Other online sites
There are lots of other websites offering ticket deals, shows of the month and ticket/dinner combo options. Here are a few that I have previously used.
I hope you enjoyed my article and see you in the theatre soon!