Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Is it better to buy tickets to London's West End Musicals Online? (

Furryhearts31 Aug 5th, 2012 01:16 AM

Is it better to buy tickets to London's West End Musicals Online?
Hi, my husband and I are intending to catch a few musicals in London. Just wondering if anyone could advise if it is cheaper/ better to buy the tickets online or when we get there? Thanks in advance!

xyz123 Aug 5th, 2012 01:51 AM

Tough question to answer. Cheaper? Probably not but then again depending on when you go, there might be special promotions on. (For example at the endf of every January and early in February before Americans descend on London during President's Week here among others, they have a promotion called Get into London Theatre where many musicals drop their prices. You can also go to a site like, click on the London button and it will list the discounts available at many shows and musicals.

Others shows and musicals never discount. For example, up till now Mamma Mia at the Prince of Wales Theatre never discounted or at least almost never discounted. Their run there however is ending and they're moving at the beginning of September. Who knows if they'll continue not to discount or whether they will begin to have tickets available at TKTS (more on this in a second).

But you never know. Les Miserables has been playing for years and years and for a long time, it was easy to get discount tickets. This past summer when I was in London, no discounts were available and it was more or less sold out except for the seats in the boondocks and it is harder for me to walk up flights of stairs now than it used to be.

In Leicester Square, there is a free standing structure with the letters TKTS on it. In the past, it was fun to go there at 10 AM each morning and look to see what shows they had tickets available to for that day only. Usually there was a 50% discount. It is changing a bit but it's still, if you haven't bought in advance, to stop off there and see what is available (make sure it is the official TKTS booth actually in the bak of the little park that is Leicester Square, not one of the rip off joints on the pedestrian street leading frm Leicester Square station to the park (you'll know you're there when you reach Burger King).j

So the long and short of it is you can look for discounts at or similar sites or if there is something you are dead set on seeing, buy in advance online and dn't worry about it. In the scheme of things, a few extra pounds won't matyter all that much given what you're spending on the trip.

Oh yes, another fact many don't know. Many shows have concessin tickets for senior citizens which in London starts at age 60. For many shows if you stop at the box office the morning of the performance, usually but not always on a weekday and you are 60 or more, it doesn't hurt o ask about concession seats (usually best seats at 1/2 price).

I'm xyz123 and I approved this message.

flanneruk Aug 5th, 2012 05:49 AM tells you what's currentlly being discounted over the next couple of days.

Usually (right now the Olympics are killing London tourism, and we're all away, so there are more tickets on sale through TKTS than usual), musicals people want to see have to be prebooked (at full prices). Obviously, this is especially true during the peak season (late Sep-June), when tourists have gone home and we've come back: what's left at TKTS is the stuff no-one really wants to bother with.

But that varies by show and by time of year. If there's somehing you particularly want to see, especially once we've got the theatres back to ourselves, it's usually wisest to book ahead. If you just want to see any old show, may as well wait and buy from TKTS

gh21 Aug 5th, 2012 03:00 PM

I would say it depends on how set you are on seeing certain shows. Buying at the theater or TKTS in London may limit your choices based on availability. I always buy in advance, as I like to know that we have definite plans for the days/ evenings of our choice. Buying just a few months in advance, I have gotten seats 10 rows from the stage, well worth paying full price. That being said, there usually are no bad seats so if you wait to buy while you are in London, you will also have a great experience.

janisj Aug 5th, 2012 03:43 PM

Except for the blockbuster hits and some limited run shows at the Donmar or National, there is no need to pre-book. Even in the busy theatre seasons.

You can get great seats to the vast majority of shows after you are in London. But if you want to see one of the few biggies/limited run shows, then you'll want to prebook as soon as your dates are firm. But because these are the most 'popular'/hard to get tix, they won't be discounts

Vicky Aug 6th, 2012 08:08 AM

I pre booked from he US. But remember to contact your credit card company - I always do for travel but hadn't thought to do so to book a theatre ticket. AS the booking company was in the UK my credit card would not go through because the credit card company suspected fraud. I definitely wanted to see certain things, so was happy I pre booked.

2010 Aug 6th, 2012 08:59 AM

I pre-booked theatre tickets on-line for our upcoming stay in London. I wanted to avoid disappointment since it's a popular show.

The following website was useful to see seating plans for London theatres. Each is colour coded based on views, comfort & value for money.

Good luck!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:07 PM.