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How to Save Money on London Theatre Tickets

How to Save Money on London Theatre Tickets

So you want to go to the theatre! The lights, the glitz, the glamour! It’s all really exciting and these days more and more theatre is being produced so there is something for everyone whether its a classic musical such as Les Misérables or a scary jumpy stage play such as the Women in Black. The only problem with live theatre is it can be EXPENSIVE! So today you are gonna learn the best tricks and tips to get the theatre experience you want at the best price possible!

Now you have decided that you want to go to the theatre but where do you start when it comes to actually buy your tickets. So for this, you have a couple of options. This may surprise you but buying your tickets far in advance doesn’t actually save you much money. Yes, you have a chance of getting the exact seats that you want but it really is not the way to save money.

Purchase on the day…

Let’s start with the best way which is either on the day or the day before. Now, this you won’t normally be able to do online this will require some pre-planning and maybe a raincoat if the weather is bad. The first place would be the TKTS Booth in the centre of Leicester Square. This is one of the best ways to get on the day last minute tickets for the top West End shows. The staff there are very knowledgeable and love to have a chat about all things theatre. Now you won’t be able to guarantee any kind of particular seat and there is a high chance that you are looking at getting an “obstructed view” but when you are getting tickets for any west end show at a discount you can’t really complain. Tickets go live at their booth every day at 00:01 am and they recommend following their Twitter and webpage to get the most up to date information as new things are always popping up at all kinds of prices. The other way is just to go up to the box office either on the day or the day before and ask. If you don’t ask you don’t know. Sometimes you can get a good deal as they are trying to get rid of the tickets they haven’t sold and they want a packed house.

TOP TIP! Obstructed views do not mean bad views! They are normally the cheapest tickets you can get and they are normally either side on to the stage or up in the top tiers with a more downward view. Honestly, though you will enjoy your theatre experience either way.

Another way of getting an amazing deal on theatre tickets is by doing a Ticket Lottery. Ticket Lotteries DO NOT GUARANTEE YOU A TICKET but they are the best way to get tickets for around £10-£20 a ticket! Which is CRAZY! Now there are 2 ways to do this. On the day at the box office of most theatres BUT the best way is online. This is incredibly time-consuming as new lotteries will open each day and they only have a limited number of tickets. If you are not fussed over the show you are wanting to watch then this is the way to do it. If you are after a particular show you have to stay dedicated to the cause and be prepared to drop any potential plans you had that evening cause these are NOT advance tickets. Always keep an eye out on the show you want to see website or the box office but if you are not fussy about the show then the best way to collect all your lottery tracking is via site/app Today Tix.

Buying in Advance…

TodayTix is one of the premier sites for booking your tickets in advance. The site is really easy to use and you know exactly what you are buying for, when it is and, where you are sitting. They have detailed descriptions about the shows too. They also provide detailed information about ticket prices with a handy colour-coded system. They have a handy app too so you don’t have to be attached to your computer when ticket hunting. Now TodayTix is probably best used if you are on a budget and you want to compare ticket prices across different shows and different days.

Going mid-week and for a matinée show is the best way to save on tickets in advance. These shows are also most likely to be less packed meaning better seats and if it isn’t packed there might even be a chance to move closer to better seats (even if you booked a different ones) The staff want you to experience the theatre in the best way so if no one is in a seat you want… just ask, the worst thing they can do is say no.

Now if you want to book in advance and make sure you are REALLY getting the best price for your tickets when booking in advance the site you need to look at is Central Tickets! More specifically centraltickets.ticketswitch.com. If there is a discount on tickets they have it! You get free UK delivery and they explain all their fees along the way so there are literally no surprises! You can even collect your tickets from the venue so if you are prone to losing your tickets then that’s a really handy option as well too. They are really handy and you know with them they are giving you the best price!

Other Ways to Save…

Attend Previews…

The ways above are also not the only ways you can save on theatre tickets. There are so so so many shows to choose from these days and theatre is becoming more and more popular so there are a lot of new shows to choose from. An amazing way to save money on the newest freshest shows is going for a preview. A preview is the first version of a show which is shown to a paying audience. During previews the production team pay close attention to audience (and make changes to the show if the audience don’t react as expected) this often means a joke or two may be removed but overall you are seeing the same show for a fraction of the cost.

National Theatre Entry Pass…

If you are on the younger age bracket of people who love a good play or musical then why not get a National Theatre Entry Pass! This pass is for people aged 16-25 and has 2 tiered prices. If you are 16-18 then you can get tickets for £5 and if you are 19-25 tickets are £10. There is only a limited number of tickets for each performance on those brackets for shows at the National Theatre so you have to act fast. Also, you will need ID for when turning up to the venue as staff will check upon entry.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre…

Fan of the classics? Well, you might LOVE Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre £5 tickets! Now with this, you DO NOT get a seat… You actually get to be stood in the Yard for these performances and it’s one of the best views you can get. 700 tickets get released for the Yard for each performance and for only £5 you can not go wrong! If you are wanting a seat though they are only £23 and if you are or going with someone who is under 18 you get £3 off a seated ticket! So there are big savings for some of the greatest work ever written!

Disabled, NHS and HM Forces Theatre Discounts…

If you are disabled, work for the NHS, a soldier for any of HM forces or even unemployed there are performances and tickets that are for you! Contact the theatre to talk about these kinds of discounts as they have available. If you are disabled and have a carer that you need to help with your day to day needs then also let the theatre know as sometimes you can even get free tickets for your carer so you don’t have to miss out on the beautiful experience of the theatre!

Conclusion…

Best way to save is actually not to plan in advance. That sounds counterproductive and opposite to what you would think but you actually get better deals by being a bit more spontaneous. Doing a lottery gets you the best discount by far! But if you do want to plan a bit better than go down the route of centraltickets.ticketswitch.com this is the best way to make sure you get the best price for advance. Once at the theatre save extra money by not buying a program or drinks inside. Most places will let you take in a brand new sealed water and unless you are a serious nerd the programs are not gonna make your night any more special than the experience of watching actors tread the boards.