Seeing a West End show in London needn't break the bank. Here are some tips on how to score cheap London theater tickets.
London Theatre Passport
Heading to London and want to see a West End Show but not sure which one? Traveling on a budget? Enjoy considerable savings with The London Theater Passport. You pay a flat fee for a voucher that you can exchange to see a number of select shows with savings of up to 70%. The choice of shows is limited but you can check the list before you buy and exchange vouchers at the Encore Tickets Collection Point in Leicester Square on the day of the show.
Viator doesn't list all the shows but they have a "low price guaranteed" promise and cover all the big London performances. I use them myself and have found better bargains than the theater websites.
TKTS was founded in 1980 as the Half-Price Ticket Booth and is the only official half-price and discount theater ticket outlet operated by the Society of London Theatre, the industry body that represents London theaters. Tickets are available on the day and up to a week in advance.
Buy a Meal or Hotel Deal
Surprisingly, it can often be a better deal to book a meal or a hotel stay when buying theater tickets. The hotel will be near to the theater so you won't have to worry about travel, or the restaurant will be experienced with pre- and post-theater dining.
Superbreak is a great resource for these deals.
Check the Official London Theatre website for special offers from the industry body that represents London theaters. Sign up for their newsletter to help you choose a show and to check the bargains before your trip to London.
The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square (Chelsea) offers standing tickets for just 10p. A limited number of tickets go on sale an hour before performances at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Tickets are only available in person and are restricted to one per person. Each ticket offers a 'restricted view' and they're subject to availability.
The big West End shows get booked up quickly but some theaters do keep some tickets back to release on the door on the day. Contact the theater directly to see what time the tickets are released. For example, the National Theatre releases day tickets on the morning of the performance. There is usually a limit of 2 tickets per person.
90 minutes before a show starts returned tickets arrive back at the box office from ticket agents. Check with the individual theater directly to see if this is likely to happen when you want to go.
For Travelex Shows in the Olivier Theatre, more than half of the tickets for every performance are £15. These tickets can be booked online or by phone.
The Pleasance Theatre in Islington is linked to a theater in Edinburgh, Scotland. Both venues specialize in fringe shows so you see someone new and fresh at a really good price.
The Islington Pleasance has been open since 1995 and has a wide range of productions starring established names and new talent. There's comedy too as well as family-friendly shows.
London Theatre's New Year Sale is run by the Society of London Theatre at the start of each year. It usually runs throughout January and sometimes February and March as well and has a wide variety of theater ticket deals for £10, £20, £30 or £40.
Kids go free to West End shows for the last two weeks in August each year for Kids' Week. Young people aged up to 16 get to enjoy London's Theatreland absolutely free! The under 5s can join in too, with an exclusive program of shows and activities to suit everyone. The ticket deal is simple: For every full paying adult, one child goes free and up to two additional children go at half-price.