Sitting in the cheapest theatre seats possible for West End shows
December 20, 2019  //  By:   //  Blog  //  Comments are off

Theatre tickets in London‘s West End can be expensive. But there are cheaper options out there if you don’t mind have some restrictions in terms of view and leg room. I wanted to talk about how theatre can be accessible to everyone and there are options if you want to enjoy live theatre but don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on a ticket.

So this week I went to see seven West End shows, from the cheapest possible seats I could find online. It is important to note that all tickets were full price, directly from the theatre websites and not at a discounted price. It is always worth looking out for discounts online but if you want to see one of the following shows and can’t find any discounts online, here is what you can expect if you book.

Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre)
Seat: Grand Circle, N3
£27.50 (there are some cheaper restricted view £22.50 seats in the Upper Circle but I didn’t find any for the dates I was looking at).
Despite being the back row of the Grand Circle, the view was perfectly clear and I couldn’t fault it. The warning says not suitable for vertigo sufferers but as it was the back row I didn’t really notice the height. Not the cheapest of cheap tickets but for a big show like this it’s a real bargain.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (London Palladium)
Seat: Royal Circle, F20
I’m not exactly sure of the logic with this show but it looks like they decided to reduce the price of single seats throughout the auditorium in order to fill the gaps and maybe encourage people to sit separately or even attend on their own. Whatever the reason, I managed to get a great seat in the Dress Circle for just £22.50. They have since also released standing tickets in both the Stalls and Dress Circle for just £20 and so if you don’t mind standing that could be a good option.

Dear Evan Hansen (Noel Coward Theatre)
Seat:Grand Circle, AA26
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a theatre ticket as cheap as £7.50. For that price, just to be sitting in the auditorium, listening to a live theatre show I think is worth the ticket price. The view is very restricted because you are side on but you can get glimpses of the action happening on stage. But you get what you pay for here and there isn’t much to see. However, it’s a hot new show in town and so if you want to experience it in some capacity then it’s an option.

Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre)
Seat: Stalls, D40
I always sit in these restricted view seats when I go to see Wicked. You do miss some small moments that happen at the side of the stage because of the staircase and some of the classroom scene is restricted because you can’t see what is written on the blackboard but if you have seen the show before or don’t mind missing a couple of small moments then these seats give a great up-close view of the action on stage for a pretty decent price.

Girl From The North Country (Gielgud Theatre)
Seat: Grnd Circle, AA5)
These seats are in the slips at the side of the Upper Circle and the view isn’t great. I could only see 1/3 of the stage, even if I leaned forward) and so missed a lot of the show. However, I could listen to the songs and managed to follow the story without seeing a lot of the actual action on stage. So if you really want to see the show but £15 is your budget then I’d say go for it. But if you can stretch to the next price bracket £22.50 then you’ll probably have a much better time sitting face-on at the back of the Upper Circle instead.

Curtains (Wyndhams Theatre)
Seat: Grand Circle, C30
One interesting thing that can sometimes happen (especially during mid-week matinees) is that if you buy a ticket in the Balcony or Upper Circle, and the performance hasn’t sold particularly well for some reason, a theatre may occasionally close off these sections and upgrade your seats to fill gaps in the rest of the auditorium to make the lower levels look more full. This happened with this show and I was upgraded to seat C29 in the Royal Circle (normal price £52.50). The view was great and didn’t really miss any of the show.

& Juliet (Shaftesbury Theatre)
Seat Grand Circle, A33
The view isn’t as bad as it looks in the picture. All you have to do is slouch down in your chair to watch the show below the bar or sit up and watch over the bar. It wasn’t particularly distracting or restricted and there was a very clear view of the stage with performers faces clearly visible.

If you enjoyed this blog, let me know on social media and maybe I will do a part two where I cover some more of the cheap seats in the West End.

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