MTAS Blogger Katie Rose (@Katie_E_Rose) looks into ways you can save some £££’s on your theatre tickets!
What’s the Deal? Tell me What’s a Happening…
Loving musical theatre is something that we all share, but it can also have quite an affect on our bank accounts, at times prices of tickets can be so high it can restrict us to what shows we can see, as we may not be able to afford it, which can then lead us to miss these new experiences that we enjoy. But what if going to the theatre didn’t mean a massive hole in your bank account? Intrigued you ask…here are a few ways I have saved my pennies.
- Ticket Websites
When purchasing tickets for West End Shows the main websites we head to are usually
ATG Tickets, SEE tickets, and Ticketmaster. When purchasing tickets from these websites I will always (for once) tick the sign up box for updates, and offers that will be coming up in the near future. ATG tickets especially run annual deals that are worth joining in with, I did manage to get second row stall seats for Guys and Dolls for their summer special at a discounted price. Also SEE tickets did an amazing deal for the New Year which I hope they bring ATG back soon! All they do is send you an e-mail with a deal, and which shows are included, then you get a code which you put in the end to get great priced seats.
But don’t just stick to the main websites explore, sometimes typing in the name of the show and ticket deals you will be surprised as to what you can come across. Websites that I personally go to are:
Again you can be surprised what you can come across!
I am sure that many of you are most likely aware of this app, but those who haven’t it is defiantly one to download on your phone, free to install TodayTix is your mobile theatre box office which fits perfectly in your hand and pocket! Every day it provides tickets for each west end show for on the day or the in the week, many at a discounted price.
You can opt for Rush tickets, where tickets that have been handed back, go out to those who have applied for these tickets, you need to prepared to go on the day that they are available, however once you have opened these Rush tickets you will always be on the waiting list, and each ticket again is at a discounted price, currently I know Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are participating (which sadly is closing soon), Oil, and Ragtime.
They also have great competitions or as they call Lotteries where you can enter to win 1 or 2 tickets for front row seats at a discounted price ranging from £15-£20, it’s a fabulous chance to get close to the action of a West End show. I for one was very lucky to have won the Kinky Boots Lottery in August, and it has defiantly encouraged me to try my luck at the other shows that are participating (Bodyguard, The Entertainer, No Man’s Land, and Lazarus) as well as re entering for Kinky boots (yes it’s amazing!). However be advised that the tickets are for the same day that you have entered the lottery so always ensure that your evening is free, and you have enough time to get to London (They do advise if you have won in good time for you to arrange this).
Another App you can look into is Travelzoo, again free to install, it provides great deals for selected Theatre productions, with some including meals, or hotels stays. It’s always worth a click, and search to see what they can offer for future visits to London.
- On the Day
Planning a trip to London, and decide you want to catch a West End show, well with theatre all around you, and booths you have a great opportunity to. Many theatres hold day seats for the public; this is usually either for front row (put aside from the usual box office) for on the day purchase, at a discounted price. You can also try and see what other seats are available too. Day seating however you need to get in early (many Box Office opens at 9am) as there is only a limited number provided, and once gone that’s it.
Some theatres rather than Day seats hold lottery’s of their own, such as the Book of Mormon, and Aladdin, these is where again you put your name in a draw to win front row tickets at a discounted price. Again it’s the luck of the draw but it’s always worth a shot.
Then you have the many booths that surround the West End, the main one I would encourage you to use is the TKTS booth in Leicester Square where they provide discount tickets in all areas of the theatre, for the day performance in each show running currently. TKTS is run by Society of London Theatre (SOLT) a not-for-profit organisation representing the London theatre industry so it is the most reliable of the ticket booths. I used them last May for We Will Rock You, and purchased great seats. As for the other booths I tend to make sure the person selling the tickets know what we are purchasing, as one booth we purchased tickets to see past show Sweeney Todd, and advised they were great seats, unfortunately it didn’t pan out that way (lucky we were able to move as it wasn’t a full theatre), but again they can offer good discount tickets for any show you wish to see.
Now I can understand when you want to see a show, you want the best seats, and the best view, and many of us believe that if you pay more you get just that…but that’s not the case. It is hard to come across great deals for the shows of west end that are that are of high demand, or brand new to the theatre, Book of Mormon, Lion King, and Les Miserables to name a few, that mainly have deals that take away the booking fee…
When this occurs I tend to focus on the seat, as with many shows there are different price ranges for the seats, which can vary high in budget, to a reasonable price. However those that are in that reasonable price may not be deemed as the best seats in the theatre. This is where I turn to a great website called Seatplan. I don’t lie when I type this, but website has been an amazing help when trying to choose seats for new productions, or high demand shows that rarely make it onto the discount sites, or have deals on. It provides you with reviews of seats from each theatre in the West End by the public who have sat in them, some are just written reviews, but some you may be lucky include a picture of the stage view from that said seat. So when I have a budget but really want to see a show I look at what cheaper seats are available and then check the reviews to get an idea as to what I am paying for.
I have not complained yet, and because of it I have been happy to see Funny Girl, and Gypsy (don’t be disheartened by the upper circle it’s a great view), and the Play that Goes Wrong. So if you want to know what you are paying for, look into this site, it may open you up to save some pennies and get a great seat at a cheaper price!
Also if you do use this site, and you have seats you can review yourself, then do, as if you join this site (which you can do through Facebook) then each review you provide, and also if you include a photo you get a point, 1 point equals to a pound and every 10 points you get a £10 theatre voucher! So again helping you save the pennies, and being treated! What more could you want?
These are just a few ways that I have carried out in buying tickets for the Shows that I have seen in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. That’s not to say though they are the only ways, and always up for recommendations to save further! But I hope that maybe these may help you also.
What are your ways of saving the pennies when it comes to purchasing tickets for West End Shows?