Want to see many West End performances for an affordable price? Spring 2018 student Zach Regenstein has these tips to share about how to get your hands on inexpensive or heavily discounted tickets.
- Write up a list. Know what shows you’d like to see so you can track yourself; be open to trying other shows based on recommendations.
- Be spontaneous when buying! You don’t need to be a “planner”. Believe it or not, booking tickets for a future date (usually 2 weeks+) can be more expensive. If you have any spare evenings, take a look at show availability. Take advantage of whichever show is cheapest or most discounted at the moment.
- Make use of alternate – but legitimate – ticket sites. Most of the well-known ticket websites like Ticketmaster UK or Nimax have the most expensive prices. I had good luck with TodayTix or Last-Minute Tickets. (But if you’re interested in seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (it’s phenomenal), you must book tickets on their website through the two indicated ticket sites. They will void any tickets from alternate vendors.)
- Take a look at the London TKTS booth. TKTS offers discounted tickets that can be purchased for same-day performances. They list prices online for “Today”, “Tomorrow”, and the following day compared to what the theater sells them at. Be aware that the TKTS booth is first-come-first-serve and can only be purchased at the booth, not online. Swing by Leicester Square to explore your options!
- Individual seating saves you money. Sitting by yourself is one of the best ways to get some of the greatest deals. The majority of people buy 2+ tickets, leaving single empty seats throughout. The theater always wants to sell out all their seats and they will lower prices tremendously on these single seats located throughout – I saw Book of Mormon for 50% off and Aladdin for 45% off!
- Go to the shows on off days. Obviously, the weekends are the busiest days for West End. Do your best to avoid them if you want to save money. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday usually have great prices. I saw Tina: The Tina Turner Musical on a Monday for 40 pounds and Aladdin, Mamma Mia, Thriller! Live, Motown the Musical, and School of Rock on Wednesdays with an average price of 30 pounds each.
- Enter the lotteries or discounted ticket drawings. A variety of shows have ticket lotteries where you can get the most inexpensive seats in the best locations, either in the stalls or dress circle. Some shows don’t offer a lottery, but a discounted ticket “countdown”. Harry Potter the Cursed Child has the “Friday Forty” – at 1:00 PM every Friday, they release 40 tickets for 40 pounds. These tickets are for performances the following week. Look on the show’s websites to learn more about their lottery or discounted ticket drawing options.
Enjoy and make use of London’s rich arts scene!