London. The theatre capital of the world alongside Broadway. The West End is incredibly iconic and something you must tick off your list when you’re visiting London. I worked in the theatre industry for a long time and the question I got asked the most is … you guessed it … ‘How do I get cheap or discounted theatre tickets?’ Well, my friend, you may just be in luck because there are five great ways to get cheap London theatre tickets … and here they are!
What are day seats I hear you cry? Day seats are approximately 6-10 seats in the theatre that the venue holds off to sell at a reduced rate. What’s the catch? These seats are only available at the theatre box office on the day of the performance you want to see. The box offices usually opens at 10 am but I’d recommend getting there as early as possible to secure your ticket. You can find the list of theatre’s who offer day seats right here.
Rush Tickets are offered by Today Tix. Today Tix are a theatre ticket agent who offer discounted theatre tickets through their app or website. What’s great about them is they never knowingly sell partial or obstructed view seats. Every morning on their app you can unlock ‘rush tickets’ for certain shows wherein return for sharing on Facebook or Twitter page you are able to enter to be in with a chance of buying discounted seats (usually around £20) for that day’s performance. It’s a bit like day seats as I mentioned above but you don’t have to leave your bed! It’s first come first served … so download it and be quick! Also, it’s only available on the app, not the website.
As well as day seats, lots of theatres in London run a theatre lottery. The lotteries vary of how you enter. For example, some of them are online like Dear Evan Hansen. Some are in-person like Book of Mormon. Some of them are via an app like Hamilton. Again, lots more information about who offers ticket lotteries here.
4. SEAT FILLERS
You can get your hands on very cheap (and sometimes free) theatre tickets by becoming a seat filler with schemes like Audience Club or Central Tickets. These schemes run when shows have available seats which need filling at short notice. They do, however, usually have a long waitlist.
5. FINDING THE BEST VALUE SEATS
Theatre Monkey, the website I have linked to all over this page does a fantastic map of each venue where they tell you where all the good value seats are. This isn’t where the BEST seats are but where the best VALUE seats are. For example, there may be an instance where seats are classed as restricted because the top of the stage is cut off and therefore the theatre has reduced the price. It could turn out that doesn’t make a difference to your view because nothing happens at the top of the stage and therefore those seats are fine. Seat Plan is also a good reference point because they show you the view from each seat.
Before we go, here are some must-know tips before I let you loose on getting your theatre fix…
✓ Get involved early
Theatre-goers treat these things very seriously. I should know – I am one of them. Get to the theatre as early as you can for day seats or hit the send button on the website application asap.
✓ Do your research
Some shows won’t have a big demand for these types of tickets. Others will have massive demand. I would suggest having a look at the Theatre Monkey website to gauge how the lotteries are being received on each show. I love this website. Also, check reviews or go into the box office the day before to suss it out.
✓ Be prepared to go on your own
Most of these schemes offer a max 2 per person. However, you are much more likely to get a ticket as a single person.
✓ Know your restrictions
Like I said, these schemes usually offer just 1-2 tickets per person. You can’t rock up and ask for 10 for your family.
✓ Be flexible
You have to be willing to sit wherever you are given. There is no luxury with day seats to swap if you don’t like the view.
I hope that’s been helpful and you get your hands on some cheap London theatre tickets. Have a wonderful time at the theatre!
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