London theatre information:
Booking tickets for London theatres
Getting advance notice of show changes and openings
If you want to see the best shows and get the best seats in the West End then you need to be prepared to buy tickets as early as possible. You need to know in advance when a show is going to open, particularly if you have a penchant for opening nights or talking about the latest shows.
West End shows run for long periods, years in many cases. Other shows run for anything from a single night upwards and with hundreds of theatres and venues in London it is difficult to know which show are on at any time. Certain shows sell out quickly for early performances, particularly if they get great reviews or are associated with a major star.
So to stay informed and stay one step ahead of Joe public you could try some of these tactics.
Joining a club/newsletter
These may cost you an annual fee, but it may be worth it as they often include offers to such things as opening nights which you may not get otherwise. You will be able to book tickets through these clubs before tickets go on sale to the general public.
- Society of London Theatres have a free e-mailing list and also a version that can be posted to you, at cost. Details on are their web site or you can call 020 7557 6771
- The Ambassador Theatre Group have their own membership scheme which gives you advance information and allows you access to seats reserved for members.
Join a free mailing list
To get ahead of the game you should join some mailing lists. They will send you details of shows and offers so you should be first in the know. You may be able to get advanced tickets online before you can at the box office. This option doesn't cost anything and you can join any of these sites:
- London Theatre Direct
- Some theatres or producers have their own mailing lists. It is always worth joining these as you will get information straight from the horse's mouth, and you may get special offers or priority booking.
- Society of London Theatres have a free e-mail list
- London Theatre Club have a free weekly e-mail list
Keep an eye on the press
Promoters let reviewers and journalists know what's coming in advance. Keeping an eye on the paper helps, but then there are many other eyes on the same paper so you need to act quickly. New shows are also advertised in the papers shortly before tickets go on sale to the public, but then the lines can get busy.
Contact the box office
When you hear of a show you should try the theatre's box office first. If they can't help you over the phone, try the producers or promoters. Our Directory should help you locate the one you need.
Visitors to London
One particular problem for visitors planning a future visit to London is deciding on whether the show will still be running when they arrive. Following some of the tips above should keep you informed. If there is a show that you really want to see, then book early to avoid disappointment, otherwise there will be something suitable for you when you arrive.
Back to Buying tickets for London theatres
Back to FAQs