Going to the theatre doesn’t have to empty your bank balance, in fact, many theatres run schemes and programmes especially for young people, to help you access the theatre.
From discounted tickets to complete freebies, these are just some of the theatres, organisations and shows who can help you. Please note, it’s worth taking your proof of age/student ID card along when picking up tickets, as the majority of theatres will ask to see it when you collect your tickets.
The Almeida Theatre offers £5 tickets to anyone aged 25 or under on selected performances for each one of their productions. If you have access requirements, you can also book the Audio Described and Captioned Performances for the same price.
You can either book tickets online (quoting 25UNDER in the promo code) or call the Box Office on 020 7359 4404 and quote “25 and Under”. You can buy a maximum of two tickets and proof of age will be required when collecting tickets.
If you’re aged between 26-30 you can book £15 concession tickets on Monday – Thursday evenings & Wednesday & Saturday matinees.
In addition to discounted tickets, you can also enjoy 25% off all food and drink at the Almeida Cafe and Bart when you show a same-day Under-25 ticket.
If you are aged 26 or under, or a student aged 27 and over, you can enjoy a number of offers when joining the Arcola Young scheme for free.
- £10 Value tickets available for every performance
- 20% off Standard tickets
- Priority booking for new shows
- Exclusive discounts and events
- Subscription for the monthly Young Arcola newsletter
Join now and treat yourself to some cheap theatre tickets.
If you’re aged between 14-25, you’re eligible to join the Young Barbican scheme. This provides its members with discounted tickets, as well as access to exclusive events and creative opportunities.
Each year this scheme offers £5, £10 and £15 tickets for art, film, music, theatre and dance that’s being shown at the Barbican. And the good news is, it’s completely free to join and you pay no booking fees!
And to make sure your friends don’t miss out either, once you’re a Young Barbican member, you can also buy a ticket for a friend (as long as they’re also aged 14–25) for the same price.
For more information, check out the Barbican’s official website.
If you’re under 26 or in full-time education, you’re eligible for the Bush Connect ticket. This will get you £5 off a standard price ticket for productions in the Theatre, and £2.50 off standard tickets for Studio production. As well as money off tickets, Bush Connect will also get you 10% off at their Library Bar, special ticket offers and notifications of giveaways along with a dedicated monthly newsletter including exciting career opportunities and more!
Check out the Bush Theatre website for more information.
If you’re aged between 16 -25 years, you can see shows at the Donmar Warehouse for free, by signing up to their YOUNG+FREE list.
The theatre gives out thousands of free tickets to young people every year under this scheme. YOUNG+FREE tickets are offered via an online ballot to people signed up to their YOUNG+FREE list. Ballot winners will be notified at the end of each month with details of how to claim their tickets, with a limit of two tickets per person, per production.
YOUNG+Free tickets are also available for audio-described and captioned performances, simply email or call box office to get your account set up.
English National Opera
If you fancy entering the world of opera and dance, then the English National Opera (ENO) productions at the London Coliseum run a range of schemes to make a night at the theatre cheaper for you.
The ENO programme offers a variety of specially priced tickets for Under 35s. A free scheme to join, tickets are priced at £35 for stall seats, £25 for dress circle, £15 for the upper circle. Members can purchase two discounted tickets per show (as long as your friend is under 30 or a full-time student), and can also buy programmes for half price.
If that wasn’t enough, the ENO is the first national opera company to give free tickets to audience members under the age of 21. These free tickets are for a Friday, Saturday and opening night performances of any ENO opera in the Balcony area of the theatre. Although it’s worth noting that if you are aged 5-16 you will need to be accompanied by an adult. To book these tickets you need to call 020 7845 9218 and the theatre’s Box Office team will help you from there. More information is available on the theatre’s website.
The ENO also offer concessionary standby tickets. These are subject to availability and will be confirmed from midday on the day of the performance. If standby tickets are offered, they are available to senior citizens, students, Universal Credit recipients, and Westminster City Save holders. Standby tickets must be booked in person in the three hours before a performance.
For every show, every performance, Hampstead Theatre offers £10 tickets for Under 30s and students for both Main Stage and Downstairs productions. You can book these tickets online, by phone or in person, and collect your tickets at the Box Office on the day of the performance, bringing along photo ID as proof of your age.
You’ll want to move quickly though, as there are limited numbers of £10 tickets available for each performance.
The Jamie Lloyd season at the Playhouse
If you’re under 30, a key worker and receiving government benefits – you will be able to book exclusive £15 tickets for specific performances of productions during the Jamie Lloyd Season at the Playhouse. These include Cyrano De Bergerac, A Doll’s House and The Seagull.
Be sure to visit the Jamie Lloyd Company’s website and sign up to reminders before tickets go on sale.
This theatre runs the Young Lyric scheme, which provides opportunities and discounted tickets for young people.
Costing just £10, Young Lyric membership is divided into two categories:
- Under 18s: Young Lyric Membership – Parents/carers can book online on behalf of their children.
- Over 18s: Next Generation Lyric Membership – You can book onto all our classes online.
Young Lyric members can book £5 tickets to Main House shows, gain access to low cost/free courses and masterclasses, have access to the Lyric Hammersmith’s practice spaces, and more opportunities throughout the year.
Matilda The Musical
Enjoy the Roald Dahl classic like never before, with Matilda The Musical. The theatre offers 16 tickets priced at £5 per performance to audience members aged between 16-25 years old. In order to buy these discounted tickets, you need to go to the Cambridge Theatre Box Office in person from 10am on the day of the performance you want to see. Only one ticket per person is allowed, and you’ll need a form of ID that proves your age.
Mousetrap Theatre Projects is a theatre education charity who are dedicated to bringing the magic of theatre into the lives of disadvantaged young people.
Primarily working with young people aged between 15-24, their goal is to get people who’ve never been to the theatre before, (whether for financial, social or cultural reasons), to experience a West End production.
Amongst their incredible work is the Go Live theatregoing club which is free to join and offers the following:
- Exclusive group trips – Atleast 2 exclusive group outings as a club per month, to see some of the greatest shows in town. Tickets are offered at an exclusive rate from as little as £7 and for most shows, there’s even an exclusive Q&A.
- Fortnightly emails including more ticket offers from other venues as well as training and career opportunities.
- Opportunity to write and get reviews published on the Mousetrap Theatre Project’s website – great for bloggers and budding critics!
If you’re aged between 15-24, you can sign up to Mousetrap’s mailing list and receive regular theatre offers and opportunities.
The National Theatre’s Youth Programme offers cheap tickets, workshop opportunities and other events for its members. Suitable for 16-21 year olds, you can find out more on the National Theatre’s website.
They also have an Entry Pass scheme for 16-25-year-olds. This free membership provides young people with access to £7.50 tickets, exclusive workshops, events and discounts across the National Theatre.
Park Theatre’s Park Up scheme offers free membership to anyone between the ages of 16-26. This membership will get you £10 tickets during the first week of a production (1 per customer), £5 on the day rush tickets on selected shows, as well as 10% discount in their Café Bar.
Other benefits include:
- Cheap Tuesdays! discounted food and/or drinks offers
- Discounted last minute rehearsal space hire
- Access to a range of professional development masterclasses
To join the scheme or to find out more details, visit the Park Theatre’s website.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Sort out your summer plans by becoming a BREEZE member at the Open Air Theatre. Offered to anyone between the ages of 18-25, BREEZE membership offers you £10 tickets for a main-house production for you and a guest, as well as 20% discounts at the bar and the on-site restaurant, The Grill.
Royal Court (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs)
The Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court offers several ways for young people to save money on their shows.
- £12 Mondays – All seats are £12 for Monday performances. You can purchase them from the theatre’s website from 9am on the day of the performance.
- Concession discounts for students – This takes £5 off Band A and B tickets, including previews and matinees. ID will be required and concessions aren’t available for Monday performances.
- Under 26 – A limited number of £15 tickets are allocated to Young Court Friends. This is a free membership scheme for young people under the age of 26 years old. As well as discounted tickets, this scheme provides 10% discount on drinks in the Royal Court Bar & Kitchen, 10% discount on playtexts from the Samuel French bookshop and website, and exemption from ticket exchange fees.
- 10p standing – A limited number of standing places go on sale one hour before each Jerwood Theatre Downstairs performance for 10p each. These places may not always be available, the views are restricted and tickets are subject to availability.
Pop along to the website and see what’s on offer!
Royal Opera House
Join the thousands of students making the most of the Young ROH scheme. It’s completely free to join and allows you to unlock several offers including:
- More than 10,000 dedicated Young ROH tickets (limited to 2 tickets per valid student card)
- One complete whole house performance of The Dante Project on Thursday 21 May 2020
- Ten Slips and Standing tickets for every single main-stage performance at face value (usually £4–£9)
- Five dedicated Amphitheatre performances
- Dedicated booking days for each Booking Season
- Last-minute £10 Young ROH Standby tickets
- Discounts in the bars and reduced-price programmes on Young ROH Amphitheatre evenings
- A price range from £1 to £25 on Young ROH Tickets
Sign up for an account or visit the Royal Opera House’s website for more information.
Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
For the Royal Shakespeare Company’s London Season at the Barbican, 20 £5 tickets are available for every performance (except Press Night) for anyone aged 16-25. You can either visit the Barbican Box Office in person or get them over the phone on 020 7638 8891.
Be sure to check out their other London offers for 16-25s including their West End transfers and Matilda The Musical.
The Sadler’s Wells theatre offers a number of advance concessions to students and families. This includes up to 2 half-price tickets for children under 16 per 1 full paying adult on selected matinees and some evening performances at Sadler’s Wells and the Peacock Theatre.
Standby tickets are available for students and anyone under the age of 16. Priced from £20-£25 for the best available place, your seat allocation is subject to availability.
In addition, those aged 16 – 30 years old can enjoy £10 tickets to see the best dance shows in the world with Barclays Dance Pass. What’s more, it’s free to join, you don’t pay transaction fees and you can even bring a friend aged 16 – 30 for the same price.
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Discounts are available for anyone aged under 26 at most performances and productions. Concession discounts starts at £10.
The Old Vic
Five weeks before the first preview of a show, The Old Vic releases £10 tickets under the PwC £10 Previews scheme. At least half the number of seats in the theatre become part of this scheme, spread across the full auditorium. Usually available for all main stage productions, it’s limited to two tickets per transaction, and are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. These tickets go quick, so it’s worth signing up to the mailing list to find out the exact date and time of these tickets being released.
If you’re a student and looking to defy gravity, the Apollo Victoria Theatre offers student discount on Wicked tickets.
In order to purchase these discounted tickets, you’ll need to go to the Apollo Victoria Box Office in person, on the day of the performance you wish to attend, with your student ID. Student discount is valid for all performances, except on Saturday evening performances and peak periods.
You can purchase two tickets per student ID, but the ID card holder must be present when the booking is made.
Accepted student IDs forms are; NUS card, NUS Extra, Young Persons Railcard, International Student Identity Card (ISIC) or international Youth Travel Card (IYTC), or any valid Student ID card with a photo.
If you live or study in the Lambeth or Southwark area of London, then the Young Vic is the place for you.
Along with offering a free ticket scheme for young people from this area, this scheme also runs workshops and holiday projects, offers backstage passes, and runs introduction to theatre courses. To find out more, drop them an email or pop along to the Young Vic box office.
And if you’re not from the area, don’t worry! The Young Vic offers a number of other concessions including a number of £10 tickets for every production for full time students and people aged 25 and under. This discount has a strictly limited availability, so booking in advance is recommended and please remember, you will be asked for proof of age or full-time student status when you collect your tickets.