If you're in London for the day or a few days and want to see a musical, what would you do? What's the best and cheapest way to get tickets? Well, that depends who you ask and what you want to see, but our penguins have written here a few tips that could help.
Some theatres release a few reduced price tickets on the day of the performance. To be able to buy these you have to purchase directly from the theatre. If it's a popular show you should turn up early to make sure you get tickets. The box office usually opens around 10, depending on the theatre. The approximate time you should be there depends on the show and day of the week. It's a bit easier to get these tickets on weekdays.
Some theatres might not sell reduced price tickets on the day, but if you're really interested in going to a sold out show, there's one more option: returns. You can queue during the day to get returned tickets. These are usually sold at face value, so no discount there. And again, depending on the show, you may have to queue for the whole day. For example, don't expect to get return tickets for 'Harry Potter and the cursed child' if you turn up 30 minutes before the show. It's worth saying that, unlike the day tickets, which are sold first thing in the morning, the returns are usually available closer to performance time. And again, ask the theatres about their policy on returns. There's usually a special queue to get these and they can inform you better on how it works for each specific venue.
This is becoming a more common practice to sell day tickets and make the process a bit fairer. It also helps to avoid people gathering at the theatre doors, fighting to get a ticket to a demanded show. The way it works is similar for every theatre, except for 'Harry Potter and the cursed child'. Basically it takes place usually two hours before the performance time, write your details in a paper, and if yours is drawn, you got it, you can buy (usually) up to 2 top price tickets at a much lower price. If you're felling lucky and want to try this method, these are the shows where you can try to get tickets for on their lottery:
If you've been around Leicester Square you'll notice that there's lots of ticket booths selling reduced price tickets for the West End shows. A piece of advice if you're looking for cheap tickets, these places don't sell only discounted tickets, so make sure they are actually cheaper than the face value. The most demanded shows like 'The Lion King', 'Matilda' or 'Mamma Mia' are rarely discounted, so ask what the face value is or check online. My favourite place to get these tickets is the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. Their website and information panels are quite clear to see what the discount (if any) is for each show, and they'll be glad to help and recommend any show.
Just a quick Google search will throw a lot of results for websites offering reduced price tickets. We've tried a few ones, for example:
We suggest following them on Twitter and subscribe to their newsletters to get notified as soon as something goes on sale. Also, like I mentioned before, Today Tix offers lotteries, rush tickets and other discounts.