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How to buy London theatre tickets

How to buy London theatre tickets

Ticketing tips: How to buy London theatre tickets

First Published 8 May 2019, Last Updated 23 October 2023

When trying to buy London theatre tickets to a West End show, there are plenty of things to take into account, whether it be finding exactly what you’re looking for (London offers plays, musicals, operas, dance, and much more), learning where to book tickets safely or finding out where to purchase the cheapest theatre tickets or last minute offers.

So to help you get the best deals, we’ve compiled some of our top tips on how to buy London theatre tickets. You’ll find that there are plenty of ways to save money on your trip to the theatre and enjoy a great day out to boot.

1. You can buy London theatre tickets at every budget

Theatre Tokens partners with Tesco

Take a look around – shows offer a number of tickets at a range of prices for performances all year round, so you should be able to find tickets to suit every budget.

Just like a West End performer, theatre ticket prices don’t stand still, but are instead dynamic. Ticket prices can go up or down every week depending on availability, so if you can be flexible with your dates, you will often find fantastic deals, particularly at midweek performances.

What’s more, some productions even offer discounted theatre tickets if you queue on the day of the performance – make sure to check out each production’s website for more information.

2. Get last-minute deals

With TKTS, you can see the shows you’ve always wanted to see at great discounts if you book on-the-day. The TKTS website refreshes every night at midnight, so check for discounted or re-priced tickets for some of London’s hottest shows. We sometimes even get returns for things that are sold out! If you’re in central London, you can also pop down to our famous clocktower booth in Leicester Square, where our team of theatre enthusiasts will be able to give you expert advice on the best deals and the shows you’ll most enjoy.

3. Get a sneak peek

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During previews (usually recognised as performances before press/opening night), tickets will often be available at a reduced price. This is a great way to save money and see a production before any of your friends – as long as you promise not to spoil the ending!

You can also catch a sneak peek into some of the West End’s leading musicals and discover London’s exciting new shows with free performances at the annual West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square each summer. Check out all the performances at West End LIVE 2023 here.

You can check out more info and FAQ’s here and keep an eye out for announcements on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and in our newsletter. See you at the stage!

4. Enjoy great family ticket deals with Kids Week

Kids Week 2018

Kids Week has been running since 1998, and every August, it sees thousands of families descend on theatres across London for a packed month of theatrical fun.

During Kids Week, a child aged 17 and under goes free with any full paying adult, and you can also purchase up to two extra children’s tickets at half price. There is a range of free kids activities which accompany performances and can help make your family theatre trip even more magical.

Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about future Kids Week announcements and dates.

5. Get cheap theatre tickets with initiatives including Official London Theatre’s New Year Sale

In case you hadn’t heard, during January and February, a whole host of top London shows offer amazing discounts through Official London Theatre’s New Year Sale, inviting you to get into London theatre. Tickets are reduced to £10, £20, £30, £40 or £50 depending on the show, offering some of the cheapest London theatre tickets of the year.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Tuesday 21 November, with priority booking for Mastercard cardholders via priceless.com at 10am on Thursday 16 November.

6. Keep up to date with London theatre ticket offers and the latest shows

Official London Theatre’s e-newsletter brings you the latest news, offers, London theatre ticket deals and competitions. We also have a special Family Bulletin for family theatre news and offers, perfect if you’re looking to take kids to the theatre.

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Official London Theatre also compiles Access London Theatre, which features audio-described, captioned, signed and relaxed performance listings for theatres across London.

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7. Follow our social media platforms to keep up to date with all the exciting news and events

Whether you follow Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter or YouTube, we’ve got you covered with all the exciting news and events coming to Theatreland so be sure to hit like, follow and subscribe!

8. Save money with theatre ticket schemes

RSC at the Barbican. Credit: Barbican

There are plenty of great ticketing schemes to save money at theatres across London including National Theatre‘s Friday Rush; PwC £10 Previews at The Old Vic, Young Vic‘s £10 Lucky Dip tickets and £5 preivews; Arcola Theatre’s Pay What You Can Tuesdays.

In addition, if you’re a student or under the age of 30, check out our list of where to find discounted theatre tickets for young people including YOUNG+FREE at the Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre’s 16-25 tickets, Young ROH, RSC TikTok £10 tickets and English National Opera’s Under 35s discounts.

9. Book theatre tickets safely with STAR

Ticketing tipsCredit: STAR

You should only book your tickets with Official London Theatre or another member of STAR – that’s the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, the self-regulatory body for the entertainment ticketing industry across the United Kingdom.

You can always trust a member of STAR with your booking and, if something were to go wrong, you have somebody to turn to.

10. Other things to consider

Guide to buying London theatre tickets

Pay attention to ticket restrictions: Venues and promoters will sometimes place restrictions on tickets to ensure extra security measures. For example, you may have to provide a form of ID or the payment card used to purchase the tickets in order to collect your tickets.

Check pricing: There are often extra add-ons and VIP packages on offer which offer a better position or additional benefits. Finalise what budget you are working with and check what exactly is included in the price if you are purchasing a package deal. For example, if it is a concessionary ticket, what proof will you need to provide?

Ticket type: The most common options available for ticketing is digital, printed paper e-tickets, tickets delivery by mail or collection from the box office. If you have tickets that are delivered in the post, be sure to add the correct address and keep them safe as it’s often not possible for those to be duplicated. If you’re moving or have a different postal address to your billing address, be sure to enter the correct details or notify the seller with plenty of time before the event so they can ensure your ticket is sent to the correct place.

Be careful what details you share: Avoid sharing the booking confirmation, images of tickets or barcodes as it may allow others to replicate the ticket and gain entry, therefore preventing you from getting into the show.

Now that you’ve got the lowdown, all you need to do is check out what shows are on offer and get planning!

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