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The West End on a Budget

Atlanta Yeatman | February 6, 2019

I find going to the theatre one of the best ways to unwind after a long day of philosophical discussion. Having lived near London all my life, I’ve managed to work out a few tips and tricks to get the best ticket deals in the World’s capital of amazing theatre!

  1. Be a seat filler. Sign up to seat filling websites where you’ll be emailed a few days before or on the day of a performance for very cheap (often £3/£4) or even FREE tickets to performances. Granted, you probably won’t be asked to come along to ‘Hamilton’ or ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ anytime soon, but this is a great way to discover fantastic venues and performances (I had never heard of The Hampstead Theatre before 2018, since seat-filling here one evening I’ve been back to everything they’ve shown since). Central Tickets is probably the best one that I use on the reg.
  2. Lottery Tickets or Rush Tickets. A few of the big West End shows offer a limited number of highly reduced price tickets for that evenings performance for really good seats. Download the app “TodayTix”, this is where most shows run the lottery and rush ticket process from. I can highly recommend ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ at the Apollo Theatre for a real feel good show, where you can get £20 tickets in the front row in their lottery. Rush tickets are released on the day of a performance on a first-come, first-served basis. At the moment I would suggest you catch ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ at the Piccadilly Theatre for £25 Rush Tickets.
  3. Standing Tickets. I know it’s not quite as comfortable, but boy is it cheap! Not all theatres offer this, but I bagged myself a standing position at the back of the auditorium for ‘Les Miserables’ last year for about a tenner, I think? If the show is good enough then you won’t notice the pins and needles! A standing ticket in the pit at The Globe to watch a Shakespeare with the other groundlings is one of the best ways to experience the Bard in my humble opinion.
  4. Drama Schools. Pretty much all of the big acting and drama schools in London have loads of public performances and seeing as they’re students just like us, the prices reflect that! When you’re going to a show at RADA or Central, they’re as close as you can get to professional without the hefty price tag.
  5. Student Schemes. Lots of theatre’s offer student priced tickets, others have free student memberships which entitle you to cheaper tickets and maybe discount at the bar! The English National Opera (Access All Arias), The Bridge Theatre (Young Bridge), Royal Court (Young Court) and Royal Opera House (ROH Students) are included in this to name a few.
  6. Day Seats. This is kind of similar to lottery tickets. Some theatre’s hold back a few tickets to sell cheaper on the day of the performance. This is often only available in person at the theatre box office. I know that ‘Wicked’ do this as does ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (my fave) for Thursday matinees and some National Theatre productions too.

I hope this will help any of you who want to see more on a budget!

Atlanta Yeatman

MA Philosophy