uk theatres listings,tickets

UK Theatres

Theatres listings and details of shows across the UK

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  4. Booking tickets for London theatres
  5. Buying tickets on the day/last minute

London theatre information:
Booking tickets for London theatres
Buying tickets on the day/last minute

The popular belief is that tickets for shows in London Theatres are hard to get. This is only the case if you want the best seats and for the most popular shows. Most shows can be bought on the day, sometimes cheaper, though you may have a limited option of seats. So if you've not made reservations in advance and decide to see a show, all is not lost. The best places to start are the half price ticket booth Tkts or the relevant theatre box office.

If tickets are "sold out" you still have a few options:

Buying tickets from agencies
Agencies are allocated blocks of tickets and may have some left after the theatre has sold out. Please read the page about buying tickets from agencies for more information.

Queuing for returns or tickets reserved for sale on the day
There are returns for most shows where people can not go to a performance and ask the box office to sell their tickets. Make sure you arrive a few hours before the performance and you should be able to get tickets. Some theatres such as the Royal National Theatre reserve some tickets which only go on sale the day of the performance. The Royal National Theatre's tickets go on sale from 10am but you should be there a couple of hours beforehand or call the theatre the day before to be advised of the time to be there.

Standby tickets
Shortly before a show starts many theatres sell off their standby tickets cheaply. If you are in London for a few days or more then it could be worth checking these out and you might get lucky. At the National Theatre standby tickets are available two hours before performances at reduced prices. There may be restrictions on the sale of tickets though. You may be not be able to get more that two tickets, or even one per person in the queue. Some standby tickets may only be available to senior citizens or students. Call the theatre early in the day to find out if they're likely to have standby tickets. Theatres that have a policy of selling standby tickets cheaply include:

  • Most West End theatres - Senior citizens get half price tickets in the stalls
  • Royal National Theatre, English National Opera - Available to anyone, but only one or two tickets per person
  • Royal Shakespeare Company - Senior citizens, students and under 19's. Limit of one ticket per person.
  • Cottesloe- very limited number

Standby tickets are not bookable in advance, you must be there in person, and you may have to pay cash, so check with the theatre box office and have the cash and suitable identification ready when you go.

Hotel Concierge
If you are staying in a hotel your hotel concierge may have contacts that could get you tickets. These contacts can charge above the standard maximum 25% rate unless they are an authorised agency. Be very careful and check the face value to avoid being ripped off.

West End Cares
This is the British registered charity for AIDS research and support. They have access to the best seats in virtually all West End theatres, at a price. The House seats are sold to you with an understanding that you will contribute an amount equal to the face value of the ticket to the charity. Your credit card will be charged by Crusaid for your contribution and by the theatre for the tickets. There is no booking fee.
Charity Ticket Hotline: 020 7833-3939

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