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How to arrange a school trip to a London theatre

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell First Published 20 June 2019, Last Updated 23 April 2020

Looking to take your class on a trip to the theatre and feeling overwhelmed by it? Want to know which shows offer discount bookings and details of how to contact them? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Whether you’re looking to take a small group of children, a class of 30, or even an entire year group, these London theatres can help you.

And while navigating your students through the city, it’s worth knowing that London school groups can travel across London during off-peak hours ( outside the hours of 06:30 – 09:30, and 16:00 – 19:00) for free. The scheme gives free travel on:

  • Buses
  • Tubes
  • Trams
  • DLR
  • London Overground
  • TfL Rail
  • Most National Rail services within London Zones 1-6
  • National Rail services outside London between Amersham and Moor Park

You can register for this free travel if your school is based in a London borough, or if you’re teaching National Curriculum or Further Education subjects. Available to state, independent and academy schools, you can register for this free travel on the TFL website.

For SEN students, many of these theatres also offer relaxed performances.

Adelphi Theatre

Adelphi Theatre

The Adelphi Theatre has a dedicated line and email address for anyone wishing to organise a theatre trip for groups of ten people or more. You can call them on 0344 847 2311 (Lines are open 10am – 6pm, Monday – Friday) or drop them an email on customerservices@adelphitheatre.co.uk.


Aldwych Theatre

Aldwych Theatre London

If you’re booking a group of 10 or more students, you may be eligible for a group rate at the Aldwych Theatre. You can ring their dedicated group booking department between Monday – Friday from 10am until 6pm on 0345 013 0602.


Apollo Theatre

Apollo Theatre

The Apollo Theatre offers education group rates where there are 10 or more students. The rates are:

  • Monday to Wednesday performances. Stalls/Dress Circle reduced to £22.50 (1 FREE ticket for every 10 booked for Schools)
  • Monday to Wednesday Performances. Upper Circle reduced to £19.50 (1 FREE ticket for every 10 booked for Schools)

To book a group, call 0330 333 4817 or email groups@nimaxtheatres.com


Barbican Theatre

Barbican Theatre, London

The Barbican offers a range of materials for primary, secondary and further education schools.

The Big Barbican Workshop teaches primary, secondary and FE students how to explore art, drama, movement, music, animation and spoken word. Done in a workshop form, students work together in small groups to create new ideas, under the supervision and guidance of established artists. This workshop can also cater for groups with Special Education Needs.

In addition to this, they also have their Barbican Box scheme, aimed at secondary schools and FE colleges in East London. The Barbican Box is a portable box filled with the ingredients that students can use to make and create their own theatre, art or music.

This six-month scheme includes teacher training, where staff are trained up in how to use the boxes effectively. Teachers are matched up with an artist mentor who delivers in-school workshops throughout the creative process. Students are first invited to the Barbican to see a production, and the project ends with students returning to showcase their original work there.

For more information on school visits and bookings, head to the Barbican Theatre’s official website.


Bush Theatre

The Bush Theatre offers a range of support for students. This includes discounted tickets, workshops, show talks, free education packs and work experience opportunities. Student tickets are from £15 in the Theatre and from £10 in the Studio. For every ten students booked the eleventh goes free.

To find out more or to reserve tickets contact the Box Office on 020 8743 5050 or email boxoffice@bushtheatre.co.uk.


Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

Theatres which are run by Delfont Mackintosh offer a range of educational packages which are linked to their shows. From workshops and behind-the-scenes experiences to discounted tickets.

Delfont Mackintosh theatres are:

  • Gielgud Theatre
  • Noel Coward
  • Novello Theatre
  • Prince Edward
  • Prince of Wales
  • Sondheim Theatre (formerly the Queen’s Theatre)
  • Victoria Palace
  • Wyndham’s Theatre

For further information on their Education Department’s work, you can call 0844 482 5165 or email them.

They also have a downloadable guide for schools, with details of what they offer and ticket prices for school groups.


Duchess Theatre

Duchess Theatre London

Group bookings for 8 or more people qualify for a special discount at this theatre. For group ticket enquires, call 020 7930 3000.


Her Majesty’s Theatre

Her Majesty's Theatre

This theatre offers school group rates, (top 4 prices), with seats reduced to £22.50 for Monday – Thursday performances. To book tickets, or for more information, you can call them on 0800 852 7244, or drop them an email.


London Coliseum / English National Opera

London Coliseum hosts the English National Opera

The English National Opera is passionate about making opera accessible to young people. Their Enjoy Opera ticket scheme offers UK state primary and secondary school groups £12 per ticket offers, and independent schools are offered £18 tickets. If you look after primary school students, the English National Opera is also happy to chat about upcoming productions and make suitable recommendations for your class.

To book a school trip, pick a production and then complete their short Enjoy Opera booking form.

A limited number of free tickets to dress rehearsals at the London Coliseum are also available to state school groups through the Baylis in the Balcony programme.

Secondary schools can take part in their Opera Squad programme. This is a year-long residency that helps the selected schools with their arts education and ensures students are developing their skills and knowledge around the arts.

Schools are also invited to go behind the scenes of London Coliseum productions and meet the professionals working offstage roles. This showcases to students the clear career pathways into the theatre industries.

They also run a series for teachers, entitled Inside Opera. This series provides useful insights into their productions and gives teachers the opportunity to meet industry professionals.

For more information, and for details on how to get involved in any of the English National Opera’s educational programmes, go to their official website.


The Lyceum Theatre

Lyceum Theatre London

The Lyceum Theatre offers many perks to those booking for groups. This includes a reserve now, pay later policy, easily amended reservations, and savings on the majority of their shows.

Email groups@theambassadors.com or phone 020 7206 1174 to find out more about group bookings. Or head to their official website for more information.


Lyric Hammersmith

Lyric Hammersmith, LondonThe Lyric offers a wide range of packages and ticket discounts for schools, colleges and universities across the UK.

Student tickets are priced at £15 each, with one free teacher ticket for every ten students. In addition to this, the theatre also offers backstage tours, providing students with a unique insight into the world of theatre. These are tailored to the age, study requirements and the interests of your students.

The Lyric also offers bespoke workshops around theatre styles, techniques and practitioners. These are all delivered by directors and creatives from the theatre. They also offer work experience placements for students who are interested in working in the theatre as a career.

In addition to workshops and discounted tickets, every show that’s performed in their main house is accompanied by an Education pack which is available online before your visit.

For more information call the Box Office on 020 8741 6850 or drop them an email on schools@lyric.co.uk.



Mousetrap is a charity that helps to bring theatre into the lives of disadvantaged young people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access it. And there are several ways that teachers can get involved in Mousetrap’s charitable projects.

Theatreopeners is an ongoing programme run by the charity. It provides £8 theatre tickets per student, as well as exclusive opportunities such as Q&As and pre-show insight sessions, to mainstream state secondary schools and sixth form colleges. You can apply for a Theatreopeners programme on the Mousetrap website.

Mousetrap also runs in-depth, in-school programmes. These subsidised programmes are specifically designed to meet curriculum needs and can be tailored to the individual requirements of your school. A range of experts is involved in bringing these programmes to life, including directors, composers, actors, designers and producers.

All of Mousetrap’s programmes involve a trip to the theatre and are accompanied by resource packs, with opportunities to meet the cast and creatives behind the shows.


National Theatre

National Theatre, London

The National Theatre regularly stages around 25 new productions a year and offers a group booking line for both school and college group bookings.

Bookings can be held for 3 weeks from the date of reservation, or until 10 days before the performance date, whilst awaiting payment (whichever is sooner).

You can either call them on their group booking number (020 7452 3010) or fill in the relevant group booking form:

The National Theatre also offers a downloadable information pack, with further advice and information for teachers.

As well as group bookings, the National Theatre also offers backstage tours, visits to their archives and private screenings of previous productions.

For more information on school bookings at this theatre, head to their official website.


Palace Theatre

Palace Theatre

If you plan to see a show with more than 8 students at the Palace Theatre, discounts are often available. Contact their group booking line on 020 7492 9930 for more information.


Phoenix Theatre / Playhouse Theatre

Phoenix Theatre

The Phoenix Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre offer group discounts when you buy eight or more tickets. This discount is perfect if you’re trying to book a school trip there. To discuss your group booking requirements, contact the group booking line on 020 7206 1174 or email them on groups@theambassadors.com.


Piccadilly Theatre

Piccadilly Theatre

The Piccadilly Theatre offers a group discount if you purchase eight or more tickets. In order to book for a group outing there, fill out the form on their website, and one of their customer service agents will be in touch within 24 hours.


Royal Opera House

The new Royal Opera House exterior (Photo: Luke Hayes)

The Royal Opera House run a range of schemes to help students understand and enjoy the ballet and opera.

This includes special matinee performances just for school children, with tickets costing only £7.50 each. Ideal for introducing your students to specific productions, it’s currently been offered to over 10,000 children across the UK. The Royal Opera House will also provide support with travel costs for schools that are coming from outside of London.

If you would like to add your school to the waiting list for performances which are fully booked, or if you have any further questions, contact the Royal Opera House on 0203 772 6340 or email them at schoolsmatinees@roh.org.uk. More information can be found here.


Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

The Turn Of The Screw at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (Photo: David Jensen)

This theatre is only open between the months of May – September each year and will put on several shows during this period.

The theatre’s website has clear information about age suitability and discounted tickets are offered to school groups. A teacher can often go free with every ten tickets booked under their scheme.

To book education tickets, fill in their online Education Booking Form. Or you can email them on education@openairtheatre.com, or call 0333 400 3562 (Mon-Fri, 11am – 5pm) for more information.


Sadler’s Wells

Sadler's Wells Theatre London

Sadler’s Wells is eager to help teachers help their students become interested in the world of dance. They offer a varied programme of projects, working closely with their Associate Artists, and they have lots of helpful resources, from facilities to resident and visiting companies, choreographers and dance artists.

To get involved, you just need to contact them on learning@sadlerswells.com, and they’ll try and find you an appropriate project or information.


Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare's Globe, London

The Globe offers a range of activities for a variety of ages. From immersive and playful workshops, to attending productions, many of their programmes can be tailored to suit your students’ needs while also meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum of England.

And if your school is based in the Southwark area, they offer weekly Youth Theatre. This performance project takes place in schools and during their annual festive celebration, A Concert for Winter.

More information about what Shakespeare’s Globe can offer your school can be found on the dedicated education section of their website.


St Martin’s Theatre

St Martin's Theatre London

Home of the longest running show in the world (The Mousetrap), St Martin’s Theatre offers a handy discount if you book more than 15 tickets. This school discount is valid for performances on Monday – Thursday (including matinees), and 1 free teacher ticket is given per 10 bought.


Stratford East

stratford east theatre

Here there is a dedicated team to help teachers from schools, colleges and universities educate their students about the theatre industry. For more information, contact their School’s Partnership Manager srobins@stratfordeast.com or phone them on 020 8279 1104.

Ticket deals are offered for their shows, with Newham Schools offered £9 a ticket, and Non-Newham Schools offered £10 a ticket. For more information, call their box office on 020 8534 0310. If you book over 30 tickets, you’ll be offered a free 50-minute drama workshop for your students.

They also offer bespoke behind-the-scenes tours and theatre workshops, which you can get the full details of on Stratford East’s official website.


The Old Vic

The Old Vic (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

The Old Vic is renowned for their work with schools, including providing free theatre tickets and creating bespoke learning experiences both in the classroom and online. So far they have worked with over 60,000 students across London.

As well as offering resource packs for teachers, The Old Vic also runs school visits. If you’d like your students to attend one, fill out the online form on the theatre’s website, or for any enquiries, drop them a line on education@oldvictheatre.com.


Young Vic

Young Vic Theatre

The Young Vic runs special Schools & Colleges projects to encourage students in the world of theatre.

They work with local schools and colleges in Lambeth and Southwark, providing direct access to the artists and offering visits to their venue.

Schools and colleges in Lambeth or Southwark have free access to:

  • Funded tickets
  • In-school workshops
  • Onstage workshops
  • Other projects
  • Events for teachers

If your school is based in Lambeth or Southwark, to find out more about these projects contact Georgia Dale, Schools and Colleges Projects Manager, on georgiadale@youngvic.org or 020 7922 2858.

If you’re outside of this location, the Young Vic offers discounted tickets, as well as comprehensive resource packs. Contact their Welcome Team on 020 7922 2922 for more information.

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