London Leicester wait time?

Jan 5th, 2004, 11:35 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
London Leicester wait time?

How long is the wait time to purchase tickets? What time of day should you go? Can we expect to get good seats for say Blood Brothers during Spring break time (March 13-15)or should we just buy in advance? We are only there for 4 days before moving on to York and Edinburgh and want to use our time wisely. Thanks.
connette is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 11:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,785
The ticket booth opens at 10am. Get there around 9:30, and you shouldn't have to wait long in March, I wouldn't think.

Here's the website if you want more info:

http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/tkts

Karen
kaudrey is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 12:14 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 481
Connette, we are going to London in February and I just purchased tickets for Blood Brothers from Keith Prowse at about a 50% discount. Check out the website, keithprowse.com. I have never used the Leicester Square ticket booth and I usually manage to find discounts by keeping an eye on theater web sites. I came accross this discount on the visitbritain website.
Susan56 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 01:37 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
The flat I have rented a number of years is only a little over a block from Leicester Square. I'm a theatre nut usually seeing two shows a day. I bet I've been in that line at least 50 times over the years.

I used to do as kaudrey says -- get there at 9:30, but no more. First of all you will definitely be waiting at least a half hour because that's how long before the windows open up. Otherwise, I don't think I have EVER waited a half hour in that line. If I wait and arrive at 10:15 or 10:30, the line is usually no longer than it would have been at 9:30, but this time it is already moving and I'm usually done in 15 minutes or less. I have been in the line half way up the side of the park and still not spent more than maybe 20 or 25 minutes getting my tickets.

Another matter. Some theatres don't call in their tickets until mid morning, so some shows may not even be available yet at opening.

Yes, you will be able to get good seats for Blood Brothers at the booth.

By the way, the good news is that now the TKTS booth takes credit cards.

I'm curious about those Keith Prowse discount tickets. Their normal tickets tend to be waaayyy more expensive than tickets from the theatre so I'm not sure if you mean 50% off their usual price or 50% off the theatre price. But you could be right. More and more discounts are appearing these days.
Patrick is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 04:06 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Patrick is definitely on the right track. Don't go to TKTS at or before opening time. That is really about the only time during the day you will see a long line. Let it thin out a little. I usually go at around 11AM or a little later -- OR I wait until late in the afternoon or early evening when there is almost never anyone in the queue. Blood Bros is one of the old war horses - like "Complete Works..." - that is almost always available.

I also wonder what Susan56 paid for what sort of seats through Prowse. They are a reputable agency - but also one of the most expensive. I doubt if they would actually sell good seats at 1/2 price like TKTS always does.
janis is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 04:46 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,473
Regarding the good seats for Blood Brother,I am afraid I had a little different experience. Last December, I went to TKTS booth twice,both times at the front of the line, but the only seats available were at the first row.
JudyC is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 05:46 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
JudyC: A clarification re how TKTS works. They only offer you the best seats available when you get to the front of the queue. They will not "run the house" - i.e. search the computer for other available seats. If the first row were the best available when you were at the ticket window that would be your only option. They very well might have had other seats - even ones you might think were better. But if the computer shows those seats as "best available" that is what you get and have to take or leave.
janis is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 06:20 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 481
Hi, I know that Keith Prowse is usually over-priced, but in this instance they are offering real discounts. I follow the theatre websites and I know what the tickets sell for at the box office. I paid $37.60 per ticket for Blood Brothers which is about 20 pounds - half price of the listed 40 pound tickets. I was able to pick my seats (I have copies of the seating plans from Theatre Monkey so I even know the best seats!) My seats are top price stalls tickets. For Bombay Dreams the price is $56.70 per ticket - this is just about a 50% discount. I put in a a request for the Bombay Dreams tickets, as I wanted certain seats. They will let me know tomorrow if I have the tickets, if not, I will try to find some other discounts for that show. I really did get a good deal and I don't have to take any time out of my vacation to wait in line or worry about whether I will get seats to shows I want to see. Susan.
Susan56 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 07:58 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
I couldn't get the links to work on the visitbritain site, but I do know that the normal service charge including pick up (no mailing) for Keith Prowse is an amazing 7 pounds per ticket, even more than they charge at the agencies in the US. So if they sell you 40 pound seats for 20 pounds, do they still add on the 7 pounds per ticket?

On the other hand I totally understand the idea that with limited time, paying more for seats can be much more important or worthwhile than giving up you valuable time to stand in line or even to go out of your way to Leicester Square to get the tickets.
Patrick is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 03:12 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 481
Patrick, I just double checked my information from the ticket purchase for Blood Brothers and here it is: the tickets cost $37.10 each and the total for the 4 tickets was $148.40. So, no service charge! (obviously they must be getting the tickets at a cheaper price from the theatre and adding in a charge - but the deal is a 50% off deal! Trust me, I do a lot of research before I buy! While I don't want to take the time to stand in line, and risk not getting what I want, I also will not pay a ridiculous premium for that benefit. Usually I get tickets by calling the theatres directly, but for this trip I have been searching out discounts.
Susan56 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 05:04 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Congratulations on a great buy, then, Susan. I apologize if I sounded overly skeptical, but as I said from the start, "but you could be right." It's just that so many people think they're getting bargains and ignoring the facts -- like the people who fall for those unofficial (sometimes with big signs saying "OFFICIAL" half-price booths near Leiscester Square and buy cheap 15 pound tickets for 20 pounds and believe the people who tell them they got half-price tickets.

And Susan, I also think you're very smart to be normally calling the theatres direct when you buy full price tickets. I don't understand why people use agencies to do that and then pay an extra fee when the box offices do it for free and offer the full selection and intelligent help with seats. I only wish you could buy Broadway tickets that way!
Patrick is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 05:37 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 481
Patrick,
I am with you on wishing we could get Broadway tickets cheaper. I see a lot of NYC theater and the prices are enough to make me ill. That is whay we head to London frequently and see as much as we can. I just saw Avenue Q, and Henry IV in NYC and the tickets were close to $100 each! Susan
Susan56 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 05:46 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
So true, Susan, but really bothers me is that if you're from out of town you are restricted to going through Ticketmaster or Telecharge, either of which usually adds about $7 to $8 per ticket for charges!! Not only are the tickets cheaper in London, but you can call the theatre direct and get the tickets without fees!! My King Lear tickets which cost $90 each just arrived. Actual cost was $97.25 each!
Patrick is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:03 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 481
Patrick, I am lucky as I work in NYC so I can just go directly to the different box offices. The fees are crazy!

In the past I always purchased directly from the box office in London and I don't remember fees, but this year, according to Theatremonkey.com I notice that most London box offices are routed directly to ticket services and the fees are the same as if you purchased the tickets on line from ticketmaster! So, unless you can walk in to the box office or send a request in the mail, there is no way to avoid the exorbitant fees!
Susan56 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:29 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Ouch, Susan, are you kidding me about those London box office re-routings? I thought that was only after hours, and if you called during regular box office hours you get straight through to the theatre and they still do them without fees (unless you want them sent, but I never do).
Patrick is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:38 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 481
Sorry Patrick, but it is the truth! Check out theatremonkey.com. They list all of the shows and give you the fees for booking by phone directly to from the theatre box office and for booking through the ticket services such as ticketmaster. It looks like most box offices now charge the same - or slightly lower fees. But they do charge fees! If I have to pay I would rather call the box office because then I can pick an exact seat as opposed to having a computer give me what they think are the best available seats.
Susan56 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:08 AM.