How to Get Cheap London Theatre Tickets

London’s West End is a world-renowned theatre hot spot. With groundbreaking productions, new arrivals, and old classics, there is always something for everybody on stage here in London! One of the most exciting experiences in town, visiting the theatre in London can also be one of the most expensive. So here are a few of our tips and recommendations for how to get cheap London theatre tickets!

TIP: If you have purchased, or are considering purchasing, the London Pass, keep in mind that you are entitled to up to 40% off several West End Theater productions, such as Wicked, Thriller, Kinky Boots and Alladin.  Be sure to also check out our guide to London on a budget.

Buying Discount Tickets

  • Visit the TKTS Booth in Leicester Square – A non-profit organisation, TKTS has been based in Leicester Square since the 1980’s and is the largest purveyor of discount tickets in the West End.  http://www.tkts.co.uk/
  • Go directly to the theatre. Today, many theatres are hoping to compete with online ticket-touts are often willing to reduce prices in the hope that guests will visit directly with them. In addition, some popular shows purposefully keep tickets set aside for last-minute purchasers.
  • Buy Returns. Occasionally, when unable to attend shows people have bought tickets for, they will call to get a refund and ‘return’ their tickets. These tickets can only be nabbed at the last minute, and only ever in person, – but will also often come with a bit of a discount.
  • Go as a group. Group bookings can get MASSIVE savings – sometimes up to 50%! So grab your friends and make it a group occasion.
  • Get on Twitter and Facebook. Nowadays, social media is a huge way for theatres to reach consumers. Occasionally, discount promotions and tickets are advertised on Twitter and Facebook, specifically for friends and followers of the individual theatre.
  • Grab the Metro. London’s free daily morning newspaper, the Metro is available to pick up in every Underground station in town. With extensive listings of current shows running in the West End, the Metro occasionally publishes promo codes and advertises discounts you may not otherwise find anywhere else!
  • Look into the London Theatre Passport – A third party that offers best available seats for a set rate, with a selection of shows – depending which theatres are currently participating.

 

Top Tips to Help You Pay Less

  • Ask to view the seating plan. This will give you an idea of not only the layout of the theatre, and what your view might be, but also will list the cheapest possible price for tickets.
  • Wait a while. The newer the show, the more expensive the tickets will be. Think of seeing some London classics to help you save more money – think Les Miserables or Mama Mia for example.
  • Buy in advance. When you know you’re on the way to London, get hunting straight away. Oftentimes, tickets bought well in advance can come with a significant discount.
  • Buy last minute. For a true bargain, it is often best to buy tickets on the day when many theatres mark down their tickets in an effort to sell them before the performance begins.
  • Don’t take a seat. Many theatres in London sell ‘standing only’ tickets, which cost a lot less than full price. Depending on how long the show is, you may want to think about standing, rather than sitting. Some theatres will bump up ‘standing only’ tickets to sitting tickets in case of no-shows.
  • View the matinee. Evening shows are by far more expensive than day time productions. Catch a matinee to save yourself loads of money – and also, the theatre tends to be less busy during the day time.
  • Go during the week. Weekends are the busiest time for London’s West End. Going during the week can sometimes get you nearly a full 50% less for your weekday ticket, instead of the weekend.
  • Be flexible in your choice of show. If you know you want to see a show, but don’t have your heart set on anything in particular, take a peek at places like TKTS and get the cheapest tickets you can – even if it’s a show you may never have heard of before!
  • Look beyond the West End. London is packed full of theatres – and not all of them are massive gran theatres seating hundreds of people. Smaller theatres can provide excellent performances at prices significantly lower than those based in the West End. Take a look outside the centre of town at places like: The Almeida Theatre (www.almeida.co.uk), The Old Vic (www.oldvictheatre.co.uk), The Young Vic (www.youngvic.org), The Soho Theatre (www.sohotheatre.com), Sadler’s Wells (www.sadlerswells.com), Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and The Globe (www.shakespearesglobe.com).

+++Don’t forget to check out our many pay-what-you-like walking tours of London!+++

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