I go to the theatre. A lot. Too much, some might say. I say not enough. But I’m a poor student, how do I manage it? Well, I never pay over £40 for a ticket (and rarely over £25), and here’s a few tips on how I do so:
TodayTix – TodayTix is a free app which is dedicated to giving the best discounted tickets to top West End shows, and is used in three different ways. Firstly, you can simply buy tickets for shows for performances that week at discount prices. If it’s your first time buying, use my code ECRNE to get £10 off! Secondly, TodayTix does Rush tickets, which are essentially digital days eats. You have to unlock them by sharing on social media, but get yours before 10am for just £15/20. Currently, An American in Paris, Travesties, and Virginia Woolf are some of the shows on offer right now. Finally, and this is the big one, the app runs daily lotteries, meaning you could be in with a chance of bagging front row seats to a top West End show for a fraction of the cost. Through this app I’ve won front row seats to Dreamgirls and Kinky Boots, amongst others, and highly recommend if you live in London and want to chance getting tickets for that day.
National Theatre Entry Pass – If you’re in the prime discount age of 16-25, then I recommend signing up for the free National Theatre Entry Pass scheme online. By signing up, you get priority to buying tickets for shows, and they cost just £5! I’ve managed to bag really good seats, including front row for The Deep Blue Sea with this scheme. With an entry pass, you can also bring a friend along for just a £7.50 ticket. In addition, you an also book special workshops which often also include a ticket to the show it’s focusing on, as well as a discount in the shop.
Young Barbican – Much like the Entry Pass scheme, the Barbican Centre grants 16-25 year-olds discounted tickets to a range of their theatre, dance, music, and art for 35-15, and cinema tickets for just a fiver. The Barbican is a fantastic space which houses so much creativity and always has something new and interesting going on, so it’s definitely worth a visit or fifty throughout the year. Just sign up on their website!
Shakespeare’s Globe – This historic gem along the Southbank has 700 tickets for £5 every performance, and these tickets are for a Groundling (so, standing). Sure, you have to get there early to be near the front and you feet may ache, but it’s so worth it to be immersed and have the best view in the (play) house.
Day Seating – This is the most common way of getting cheap theatre tickets on the day of performances for large West End Shows, though it does require you to get up pretty early. Each theatre’s box office opens at 10am and queues start at around 8:30 (though depending on the show this could be later or even earlier). Theatre Monkey has a full list of theatres and what seats/prices/discounts they offer so check them out over there. The only time I have dayseated was for Matilda for the £5 tickets they offer for 16-25s in the upper circle, which is a fantastic view!
TKTS – Leicester Square’s TKTS booth is the place to go directly for day seats, opening at 10am, offering a huge variety of shows and offers.
Get Into London Theatre – This website, during the cold months of January and February sells tickets for the majority of West End shows for£10/20/30/40 for weekday performances. This is an amazing initiative to allow people who wouldn’t usually be able to afford to go to the theatre and see great shows in great seats. In 2016 I managed to see Wicked, Billy Elliot, and Miss Saigon for £100 in total which I thought was fantastic.
Prompt – Again for students, Prompt is a site affiliated with ATG which is live only from 12-3pm each day. The site offers cheap to tickets to productions in London owned by ATG Theatres.
Hampstead Under 30s – For every show, the Hampstead Theatre offer £10 tickets to students and all under 30. I’m yet to make a visit to this theatre, but after hearing about this I definitely will!
Almeida Theatre – The Almeida is a wonder for wider participation and cheaper tickets, as recently demonstrated by their amazing ‘Hamlet For Free’ week for under 25s. They have a range of ticket discounts on their website, including for £5 tickets for under 25s, discounts for those living in the Islington area for opening performances, and under 30s can get £15 tickets, too. All the details and Ts and Cs are on their website!
SeatPlan – This marvelous website doesn’t sell tickets as such, but sure does help you fund your theatre addiction. On this website, you can review seats at the majority of West End theatres. If you take a picture of the view from your seat, your ticket, and add your review, you will earn £1 credit to your profile. For every £10 you earn, you can receive a £10 theatre token! So far I’ve earned £40 and am going to be saving up until the end of the summer so I can get a nice ticket to a top show! So dig out all your old tickets from years gone by and make sure you keep track when you see shows!
Mousetrap Theatre Projects – MTP gives students on any theatre-related course a £10 ticket and a workshop or Q&A every month to a top West End musical. You have to be quick, though, as they do get booked up very quickly. Just sign up online!
Hot Ticket Offers – I think I signed up for this during Freshers week and have been getting emails ever since! The site (I think) is for students and offers cheap tickets as well as running competitions. I recently managed to grab a £10 ticket to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf thanks to their offer code, so I’m really looking forward to that in May!
A general tip is just to shop around, enter competitions, try and see previews or weekday shows as these will generally be cheaper, too! Do you have any other tips? Let me know and I’ll add them!
I hope you found this list useful! Do you have any tips or tricks on getting cheap theatre tickets I’ve missed? If so then do let me know!!