Grab a bargain and see more of Londons best shows
I am often asked how to get cheap theatre tickets in London? We normally attend the theatre a few times a month and always try to find some great bargains. From online upfront tickets to last-minute ticket booth deals it can be a bit of a minefield. Make sure you buy from reputable retailers at a good price. So if you would like to know the top tips to see some fantastic shows and the low down on how to get cheap theatre tickets in London read on.
Purchase from the Official London Theatre TKTS booth.
The Official London Theatre booth is located in Leicester Square. This is a non-profit making official booth that works alongside the theatres. Theatres open up their tickets to them directly for you to purchase last-minute. You can view what is available online but you have to purchase directly from the booth in person.
The TKTS booth is open 7 days a week and tickets can also be purchased up to 3 days before a show.
Be prepared to queue especially on a weekend and it is a good idea to have a few options of what you would like to see. Try to look at what shows are finishing first or which one has the biggest discount and go for those.
I tend to steer clear of smaller unofficial booths around London they tend to be overpriced. I have personally been round to many asking for the same tickets to find they fluctuate and are dearer that direct from the box office’s.
The Official London theatre online
Official London Theatre also do discounts online throughout the year including a New Year Sale. This is a great opportunity to book in advance when tickets are heavily discounted. Official London theatre receive their own allocation of tickets often cheaper than direct from the box office. The sale runs every year from the first of January through to the beginning of February.
Kids go free in August with The Official London theatre.
Kids week has been running every August for the past 20 years. During kids week one child under 16 goes free with every full paying adult.
If you have more children you can buy an extra two children’s tickets at half price. Theatres often put on extra midweek matinee’s to cater for this. See the Official London Theatres website for more details.
At the box office in person
Certain theatres offer discounts directly from the box office. Some theatres do day seats which are available in person on the morning of the show. Tickets for day seats are limited and you may have to queue, but you could bag yourself a ticket as cheap as £10.
Alternatively if you approach the box office shortly before a show starts around an hour some theatres will do a discount for a last-minute seat.
If you have already purchased your tickets you may be able to get your seat upgraded last-minute. Ask at the box office on arrival to the theatre and show them your tickets. We have offered to pay for an upgraded seat before and received a free upgrade.
Not all box offices do discounts on the door but it is always worth asking.
At the box office online
Many Theatres operate a no booking fee so it can be cheaper to book direct with them. Box offices offer many different way to obtain tickets from group bookings to lottery wins, so it is always a good idea to check the shows official box office first.
Ticket prices fluctuate all year round so check back often as ticket price’s often go up and down depending on demand. If you are flexible with dates you can catch some great midweek bargains.
Suit your budget and research the theatre, theatres offer all different prices for different seats. If you take a look at the theatre seat arrangement and capacity you can pretty much work out the best place to sit. In a small theatre a cheaper seat near the back may have a great view, where as in larger theatres it may pay to sit closer to the front.
On other online sites you may pay more for theatre tickets even if it says they are discounted there is normally a booking fee added.
Book a preview!
Watch out for new musicals coming to the West End as they have previews before the show officially opens. You will be able to grab some great seats at reduced prices and get to see it first!
Many theatres have group bookings. By booking a large group of tickets for you and your friends you can get premium seats at almost half price. You will get a booking reference to enable you collect money before paying and everyone gets a good deal!
Win the lottery
Quite a few theatres operate a lottery system where you can enter your email for a show and win your chance to purchase a ticket for as little as £10. There are many variations on this, some offer front row seats, some last-minute rush seats and some a lottery every performance.
Check each individual website for information on how to get last-minute tickets for often sold out shows. Alternatively you can sign up to Todays Tix which is a handy app and website showcasing all of the latest discounts, lottery tickets and rush tickets available.
Grab a free show!
My Box office is a handy website that emails you with last-minute tickets. Get some cheap last-minute or free shows by signing up to My Box Office. Shows may be brand new not advertised as much or maybe have quite a few seats still available. Many venues have special performances, previews or press nights and want to ensure houses are as full as possible. For this reason, many of My Box Office discreet ticket offers will be at very short notice sometimes on the actual day of the event.
Reduced rates and events for students
If you are aged between 15 and 29 you can sign up with mousetrap.org.uk.
Mouse trap organises events each month with last-minute offers and freebies. You could get tickets as cheap as £10!
If you are still unsure who to book with the Star Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers can give you peace of mind. Check out Star Society for clear advise on purchasing from reputable retailers.
Thank you for reading How to get cheap theatre tickets in London, I hope I have given you an insight into buying tickets for your favourite show. Your only decision now is which one will you see first?
All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way.