Tuesday 21 May 2019

How to Get Bargain Price West End Theatre/ Musical Tickets

9 to 5, The Musical
9 to 5, the Musical

I absolutely love going to the theatre in London's West End but we all know that it can end up pricey. Before having my children I had seen most every musical that was out and my husband and I would think nothing of spending £80 or a £100 on each ticket. After the children came along, that just wasn't practical anymore and my trips up to London for the theatre became few and far between.

A few years back I realised how much I was missing out and started to find out how I could see some of the big name shows without spending a fortune. I have been lucky enough to see some crackers in the last few years - 42nd Street, Wicked, The School of Rock, Dream Girls, Thriller Live and the Curious Incident, all for a great price.

So I'm going to share with you how you can bag great price tickets too, but don't worry, you won't be sat up in the upper circle, I only like to be in the stalls or front of the Royal Circle, so I always get good seats.

1. Enter the Ticket Lottery for the Show you fancy
Have you heard of a ticket lottery?  I think many people haven't yet and they are great. You can enter online to be part of a lottery (lucky dip) to get one or two top price tickets for a much reduced rate. Of course many times you won't win but it is super easy to enter and costs nothing, so why not give it a go. I've entered a couple of times and won tickets for Matilda once. Sadly I couldn't use them as I got the week wrong, but I was able to pass them on for someone else to enjoy.

Matilda the Musical - up to 2 £25 band A tickets, drawn 3-5 days before the performance.

The School of Rock - up to 2 £15 band A tickets, drawn 3-5 days before the performance.

Hamilton the Musical - up to 2 £10 tickets, drawn the day prior. There is a 22 hour entry window.

Aladdin the Musical - up to 2 £20 tickets, the lottery opens at 11am on Mondays and closes at 11am on Tuesdays. Entrants can select up to 3 choices of performance for the next week

Aladdin Theatre Show

The Book of Mormon - up to 2 £20 tickets, entries accepted from 12 noon each Wednesday for performances the following week. Also there is a daily lottery in person, you can enter 2.5 hours before the performance.

2. TodayTix App
I first used this app about five years ago and have found it excellent ever since. Again it is for short lead time performances and my favourite way of using it is for the TodayTix rush tickets and front row lotteries.

Basically you can set an alert in advance to remind you when the rush ticket/ lottery opens. They will open at 10am on the day of the performance and you need to be ready and waiting and extra quick to apply for your ticket. I love that there is no waiting, you know then and there if you have the tickets and you just need to pay to secure them.

£25 Rush Tickets - You can get up to 2 tickets for Waitress, Tina, the Musical, Come from Away, 9 to 5 the Musical, Man of the Mancha, Six and Fiddler on the Roof

£20 Rush Tickets - You can get up to 2 tickets for Orpheus Descending, Emilia, Mamma Mia and Rosmersholm

£20 Front Row Lottery - Up to 2 tickets for Everybody's talking about Jamie

£25 Front Row Lottery - Up to 2 tickets for All my sons

Friday Forty - For Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This play runs in 2 consecutive parts and each week there will be 40 tickets for every performance available through the TodayTix app. You can enter from Monday at 12.01am until 1.00pm every Friday, valid for performances the following week. At 1pm every Friday the lottery will close, and the winners will be notified between 1.00pm and 5.00pm the same day and then have an hour to claim their two tickets for $40 each, they will be some of the best seats in the house and will gain you entry to both parts of the show.

As well as these great opportunities to get super cheap tickets you can secure good discounts for many of the big name shows in advance as well. Just use the filters and browse by show to see what is on offer.
School of Rock
School of Rock

3. TKTS - The Official London Theatre Ticket Booth
Situated in Leicester Square and run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) this is the one booth you can trust to offer you a great price and genuine tickets. Personally I'd never buy from any of the others dotted about.

You used to only be able to buy same day tickets but now you can buy today, tomorrow and the next day and even check prices and availability online before turning up at the booth, but be aware things can sell out real quick. I like the fact that online it shows you the TKTS price in comparison to buying direct from the theatre so you can see if you are getting a discount and how much. You can even use Theatre Tokens at the booth too.

Sign up for their newsletter to find out when the best deals are becoming available and also to be the first to know about the New Year sale they run each year.

4. On the Day Tickets at the Theatre
Quite a number of theatres still keep back day seats to sell on a first come, first served basis to those who queue at the box office, normally at 10am on the day of the performance.

Phantom of the Opera - A limited number of £25 day seats are available for the Thursday Matinee performance. These can only be bought in person from Her Majesty’s box office from 10am on the day of the performance.

The Lion King - A limited number of £20 day seats are available to purchase each morning in person at the Lyceum Theatre box office.

Wicked - A limited number of £29.50 day seats are available to purchase at 10am in person at the Apollo Victoria Theatre box office.

Theatre Monkey has some good information on getting day seats, so it is worth taking a look as they have updates from real life buyers.

5.  Use Student Discount
Not every show will offer a discount for students, but it is worth doing a bit of digging as so many do and most of which, seem to be available via the Student Beans website, here's a few examples -

School of Rock - If you have a valid student ID and can log into Student Beans then you can access £15 Band A and Band B seats for performance Monday - Thursday. That is an excellent saving.

Wicked - two tickets from £22 each via Student Beans

Book of Mormon - two tickets from £20 each via Student Beans

Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
6. London Theatre Week - Each Feb/March
In 2019 TodayTix offered tickets for £15, £25 or £35 per ticket for many of the top West End shows, during a short window from 25th February to 10th March.  It is likely they will do the same again next year, so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in early 2020.

7.  Kids Week - Each August
Kids Week, run by Official London Theatre runs for the whole of August, a child aged 16 or under can go to any participating show for free where tickets are available as long as they’re accompanied by a full paying adult. Adults can also buy up to two extra children’s tickets at half price and there are no booking fees. Loads of shows participate, and you can see musicals, operas, play and comedies. There are also lots of good opportunities for meet and greet, workshops and other activities that engage children.

Last year we saw The School of Rock as part of Kids Week in August. Sign up on the official website to receive emails and find out when tickets go on sale. You then need to be quick if you want one of the top shows and a prime date.

The list of shows for this year is now live and booking is from 10am on Tuesday 11th June 2019.

8.  Shop around Ticket Websites

Encore Tickets - I've used this site a couple of times now and got some great prices.

Best of Theatre - I got top price Thriller Live tickets from here back in March for £35 a seat

London Theatre Direct - I've not personally used this site but I have a friend who swears by it

I hope you've found my ideas useful. There are some amazing shows on in London and it's always great to get the tickets for a bargain price!

Recent shows I have seen and really enjoyed (that are still running) include - Thriller Live, The School of Rock, 42nd Street and Wicked.

Also, if you are a family looking for tickets then make sure you check out this wonderfully supportive group on Facebook. The members are a font of knowledge, help each other out and pass on recommendations. FAMILIES who ❤️ THEATRE (official).

Why not pin this post for later?

Theatre tickets pin