There are reports that we of the British people are now officially out of the recession.  A growth of 0.01% is worth celebrating for the economy. It won’t of course reflect upon West End ticket prices for some of the hottest shows, but there are ways to beat the high prices and get a bargain.

General:


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Here are some of the more ‘general’ ways in which you can get cheaper tickets.

Previews
Nearly every theatre show will have a preview, this is the time when the cast and crew iron out any problems that might arise during the first few days of the shows. Nearly all theatres make ticket prices cheaper (normally concession prices throughout). They tend to book up early – remember though, the performance is classed as still ‘in-production’ before it passes its Press Night.

Last Minute.com
Theatres often add their shows to Last Minute.com – it’s a great way of getting discounted tickets for nearly all major west end shows. Many Fringe theatres have now been adding their shows too at a slight discount. Theatre Thursdays are also a big hit. Once a month (sometimes twice), Last Minute.com give away further reduced tickets on Thursdays from 10am. Subscribe to their newsletters to find out when these offers are active.

TKTS
TKTS, run by the Society of London Theatre, is theatreland’s ticket booth offering tickets to shows on-the-day and up to a week in advance, with many at a discount. A full list of what is available on their website at www.TKTS.co.uk or displayed outside the booth itself in Leicester Square.

Pay What You Can:
Pretty self explanatory, but essentially you pay as little or much as you want to pay to see the show. These tickets are very limited, and often require turning up early to collect/get them. Generally not bookable in advance. The following theatres operate this scheme:

Arcola
BAC
Camden’s Peoples Theatre
Gate Theatre
Theatre In The Pound, Cockpit Theatre
Tricycle Theatre

Under 26
If you are under the age of 26 then here are a number of different ways to get extremely good deals on theatre tickets. They differ from completely free tickets, £5 tickets or reduced tickets. Some even allow you to take friends and family along, at no extra cost. Each scheme is slightly different, so be sure to read the rules before applying.

Barbican FreeB – FREE tickets
Entry Pass, National Theatre – £5 Tickets
Donmar Discovery, Donmar Warehouse – FREE tickets
Aditya Mittal Tickets, Old Vic -£12 Tickets
TheatreFix – CHEAP Tickets.
Under26 – OffWestEnd.com – CHEAP Tickets
Breeze – Open Air Theatre – £10 Tickets

Under 30
So, not everyone is under 26, so here are a few places that have stretched their limit to 30 and under.

Finborough Theatre – First week discounted tickets
Master Class – (see their forums) – FREE

Local Theatre Discounts/Local Residents Schemes:
As a form of good will and to draw local audiences into the theatre, many theatres operate discounts on tickets for local residences or for people who work in the local area. Each theatre operates different policies on this, so the best thing to do is to find your local theatre and check out their ticket options.

These tickets normally have to be brought at the box office as proof of address is required. Ticket prices vary depending on each venue.

Subscriptions:

There are a number of subscription based websites where you pay a set fee for joining the website, and then get regular offers on discounted tickets. These subscription sites may not be the most favourite method but they have been certainly proven countless times to offer great value tickets for some of the major West End shows. Often producers will give proportions of their tickets during previews/press nights to ‘bulk out’ the audience through these subscription sites.

PlayByPlay.com
TotallyTheatre.com
TheAudienceClub.com
WhatsOnStage.com

Friend of the theatre:

Most theatres offer a freinds scheme where by you donate money to the theatre and in return you get priority booking on all shows, and sometimes (often dependent upon how much you donate) will get free tickets or access to special events. Again, each theatre operates different schemes so shop around to see what might offer you the best deal on tickets.

These are some of the ways in which you obtain cheap theatre tickets. There are also many other guides and I suggest you always search and compare various theatres before buying tickets.