Theater in London

Old Jan 24th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Theater in London

My 22 year old son and I are going to London in March. We want to see some plays while there. What is the cheapest way to get theater tickets? Is there a way to do it online in advance so we don't have to spend time going to the theater each day, and wasting time we could be sightseeing?
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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the official "tkts" booth at leicester square will have half-priced tickets and reduced tickets for shows that day.

otherwise, book your favorite online.

you can do a search and see what has been offered at half price lately.

billy elliot and lion king never/rarely go to tkts at half price i was told by the tkts agent.

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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Here is the link which will let you know what is on sale at half-price tickets for London theatre
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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thsi is probably the link wombats meant to include www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/tkts

They won't be the cheapest seats possible - but they WILL be the best seats available and at 1/2 price.

Definitely avoid the so-calle 1/2 price store fronts around Leicester Sq and only go to the TKTS kiosk.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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If you do purchase online, theatremonkey has seating charts for each theatre, showing the best seats and the worst (for legroom, line of sight, etc.)
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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Oops, forgot to post the link (must be contagious!):
http://www.theatremonkey.com/
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Sorry for starting the contagion and thanks janisj.

Have nearly always had great seats from Half-price. One time the seat was the last row at the Haymarket. The person at half-price indictaed that he thought it was not a great seat but I took it anyway and it was fine because the theatre was so small.

Also have been generally lucky and not had to wait in line for too long so didn't take too long away from having fun
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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I used www.theatretickets.co.uk for London tickets just this past Christmas. I booked three shows through there site and had no problems. Tickets were available to pick up at the box office 30min before the show.

(FYI: I loved Wicked in particular - great show!)

Cheers,

Murphy
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Bookmarking, thank you
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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We were able to get 4th row tickets to Les Mis at TKTS. It didn't take a long time in line and there was some great people watching in the square.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Does anyone know anything about this site: http://www.londontheatre.co.uk/lashmars/index.html
It's the link at London Theatre Guide's site for buying tickets. They have found us great seats. Are they are a reliable source?
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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londontheatre.co.uk is great. Lashmarks is just a sponsor - not actually connected to the site. But Lashmarks is a well known, old time London ticket agency. Totally reliable.

But again - except for blockbusters or very short run things, there usually is no need to book ahead.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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One comment about the "half price" place on Leiscester Square: It sells tickets at the market price!!

For example, we wanted to see Mary Poppins, the stage production. It was sold out at the box office, but booth had a few tickets, for a premium price.

So it is not necessarily a discount house but more of a market price seller.
Once the play starts that unsold ticket suddenly depreciates to zero.

On the other hand, tickets for very popular, heavily sold productions are legally sold at a premium price.

We knew the situation and were satisfied to get in to see the production.

My guess is that the Mousetrap, even though it has been running since Anno Tabac, is often NOT sold out and tickets can be bought at below list price on the day of the performance.

The night we went, the theater was perhaps 60%-65% full.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Bob, did you go to the wrong booth or was this truly the TKTS booth? I don't think I saw any tickets advertised at premium prices for soldout shows. When you enter the square there are a lot of booths that "pretend" that they are THE booth. You have to actually look for the TKTS that is on the side of the stand-alone building on the opposite side of the square. ONLY go to the TKTS booth. That is where you will get the half-price tickets.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Bob was probably at the right place. A year or so ago, the TKTS booth started adding a few top shows for purchasing "convenience tickets". Of course, those shows are sold at full price as you are usually lucky if you can get them at all. Those shows may include big current hits like Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot, and Mama Mia which continues to be a big hit. I was about to say that TKTS never sells Mousetrap tickets, but I just looked at their list for today, and surprise -- another new development, they are selling Mousetrap also -- but at full value. That show which has been running forever has tried to maintain a no discount policy (other than for large groups -- one of their big sells), and I see that at least today they are full price also at the TKTS booth.

Meanwhile, I would be very surprised to find discounted tickets anywhere for those same shows that are sold full price at the TKTS booth. Today (Thursday) there are 20 London productions available at half price at the TKTS booth (plus a 2.50 handling charge), also three shows at a 25% discount (Phantom, Evita, and Antony & Cleopatra), plus the three shows mentioned above at full price plus the "convenience" fee.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Oh, I hope so. Bob has been so helpful to me in the past and I would hate to see him screwed over by those fake discount booths.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Sorry about the typos in my post that should be "Lashmars"

As for TKTS - It does not sell "at premium price" if you mean above face value. They sell a VERY few shows at face value, a couple at 25% off, and all others at 1/2 price.

There is a £2.50 per ticket booking fee so maybe that is what you meant by "premium".

The Mousetrap does not sell tickets through TKTS - ever.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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Janisj - check out the link which you posted (thanks again for that) and you will see that today Mouestrap tix WERE on sale at Leicester Square
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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So there's no confusion, the TKTS booth is described and pictured at this link:
http://www.thisistheatre.com/halfpricetickets.html
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Oh, and here is what it says:
"The following productions are generally NOT sold at 50% discount [at] the booth:
Billy Elliot the Musical
Lion King, The
Mama Mia
Mary Poppins
Mousetrap, The
Anything at the Donmar Warehouse
Anything at the Royal Court Theatre
Anything at the Royal Opera House

The ticket booth sometimes sells some tickets at a 25% discount and others at full price"
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