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Guide to buying London theatre tickets

Guide to buying London theatre tickets

Your last-minute gift givers’ guide to London theatre

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson First Published 20 December 2017, Last Updated 25 February 2019

Buying Christmas gifts can sometimes be as easy as (mince) pie, with the perfect presents jumping out at you from the shelves. Other times, it can be a nightmare. We’ve all been there; you’re struggling for ideas, there’s less than a week to go – and the prospect of “socks for everyone!” is on the cards.

Never fear, theatre gift-giver, we’ve got your back. With our last-minute gift givers’ guide to London theatre, you’re sure to find the perfect present solution for everybody. And with plenty of shows adding extra seasonal performances to their schedules, there’s never a better time of the year to sample the festive fun of theatre.

So put those socks away (well, until birthdays come around, at least!), and check out our guide below.

“I’m looking for…

“… a last-minute London theatre trip.”

‘Tis the season for great theatre discounts – and you’ll be amazed what you can find. A great spur-of-the-moment gift, why not propose a last-minute, cheaper-than-normal theatre trip, courtesy of the TKTS booth?

At the booth this Christmas, you’ll be able to enjoy a whole host of on-the-day tickets – just be sure to check out our seasonal opening hours. You can also buy for up to two days in advance – so take note, Christmas Eve shoppers, as you’ll be able to grab some Boxing Day performance bargains!

TKTS booth, Leicester SquareWhile there are no guarantees as to what show you’ll see, you can be sure of great recommendations and advice from the cheery staff, as well as even greater value London theatre tickets.

“… Boxing Day brilliance.”

While the idea of spending Boxing Day recovering on the sofa sounds great, it’s not always the best way to keep everybody in the family entertained, especially after the excitement of the day before. That’s where a London show can come in.

London's TheatrelandLondon’s Theatreland

So don’t hang about at home – get yourself down to the West End. In Theatreland-based venues alone, you can enjoy evening performances (from 7pm onwards – times vary by show) from the likes of musicals:

… as well as spectacles like La Soiréecomedies including The Play That Goes Wrong and  The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, and plays including Glengarry Glen Ross, The Mousetrap and Oslo.

Early riser? Pantomime Dick Whittington and world-class musical Wicked both also have matinee shows at 2.30pm.

Further afield, there are also plenty of great other shows also playing on Boxing Day; check them out using the date search feature on our London shows page.

“… a bargain treat to kickstart 2018.”

If there’s a particular production your loved one has always wanted to see, then January 2018 is the time to see it. Official London Theatre’s New Year Sale is the perfect way to get hold of a fantastic value Christmas gift.

Official London Theatre's New Year Sale

We’ve thousands of theatre tickets, reduced to just £10, £20, £30 and £40, for over 40 of London’s biggest shows for performances from 1 January until 9 February 2018. What’s more, there are absolutely no fees to pay on New Year Sale tickets (no booking fees nor postage) – so the price you see is the price you pay.

Not bad, if we do say so ourselves!

“… a way to let them choose for themselves.”

Sometimes it’s impossible to know what somebody would want to see – or, indeed, when they’ll actually be able to see it!

Enter Theatre Tokens, the nationwide theatre gift voucher scheme that might well be the perfect present for Christmas. Tokens can be sent as physical Gift Cards or electronic eGifts – so have no worries about delivery dates – and they can be used at more than 240 venues nationwide, including all of London’s West End.

Oh, and did we mention that Tokens have no expiry date? Yep – this one’s a gift for life, not just for Christmas!


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“… a huge selection of shows.”

Not found your perfect Christmas present just yet? Not to fear – just browse through our London shows section. From show-stopping musicals to family entertainment, and hard-hitting dramas to stunning dance shows, there really is something for everyone.

Feeling particularly festive? Check out our Christmas shows to see this season for some of our top December openings’ tips.

And if all else fails, well… “socks for everyone!”?

Hamilton socks

Whatever you end up going for, have a very Merry (theatrical) Christmas!


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If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.