London is famous for its theatre’s but going to see all of your favourite shows could make your bankrupt with the latest ticket prices.
But surprisingly, there are ways around the enormous fees most people pay for a trip to the theatre.
Here’s my advice if you want to try and make your theatrical night out as economical as possible…
The name lottery might sound a bit misleading, as you certainly don’t win a free ticket. But many theatres run lotteries that offer the chance to bag a cheap ticket for a sold out show.
These run daily and weekly and can vary from online or in person at the box office. Here are some of the most sold out shows that offer tickets through lotteries…
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
This is the most sought after show on the West End right now and notoriously near impossible to bag tickets for, at the moment its booked up until early 2018. But each Friday they run a lottery called the ‘Friday Forty’ which at 1pm each Friday, 40 £10 tickets for the following week are released allowing those who missed the boat when the initial ticket release happened to bag some.
The Aladdin lottery is a more traditional one where at 10am each day you are able to fill out a form in person at the theatre and enter the lottery for the show that day. Entries are accepted up to 2 and a half hours before each show and then the winners of one pair of £25 tickets are announced in the most theatrical way possible…a golden wheel.
Under 25 schemes
If you’re lucky enough to be under 25 (sorry if you’re not!) you can get cheap tickets in lots of theatres across town including prestigious venues like the National Theatre (they have an entry pass scheme that offers £5 tickets), Young Vic (£10 tickets) and Donmar Warehouse.
The Donmar have a YOUNG + FREE scheme that offers a certain number of walk up tickets completely free for certain performances – but there’s some T’s and C’s involved so check them out here.
If you’re feeling sprightly, you can nab standing tickets for a fraction of the price of a usual ticket. Venues such as the Royal Albert Hall offer a standing option for their current run of Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna which is great value if you’ve got the stamina (£29 as opposed to around £70 for standard seats).
Or for a more traditional theatre experience, head to Shakespeare’s Globe and watch a traditional Tudor play like a true peasant or ‘groundling’ by standing up in front of the stage. I’d check the weather forecast first though as the Globe has no roof!
This can be an off putting term for many when buying theatre tickets, but to be truthful, the view isn’t often all that bad and sitting next to a pillar can sometimes be worth it for a hefty discount. There are also websites dedicated to showing you what the view of the stage will be like from your seat – visit Seatplan before you book to check.
So don’t worry, next time you fancy catching a show but find the prices have been hiked or even worse, it’s sold out, you might not have to stand in that hideously long queue for the Leicester Square ticket booth after all.