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.
Trafalgar Studios – Studio 1
Box F (Restricted View) BOX F1 £18.50
I went to see Drag Panto ‘Cinderella’ and this restricted view seat was the only ticket left so I grabbed it. It was very restricted and I couldn’t even see the stage unless I leaned right over the ledge and even then I only caught glimpses of what was happening.
I feel like this seat was similar to the £7.50 ticket I got for Dear Evan Hansen (from the previous blog) and so this feels a bit expensive at £18.50 when there really wasn’t much of a view at all.
Les Miserables – Sondheim Theatre
Upper Circle C1 £17.50
Tickets for Les Mis aren’t cheap because its a classic show but there are some £17.50 tickets in the Upper Circle if you can’t fork out around £50 for a decent seat.
The view is very restricted but you do see bits of what is going on and the music alone is worth listening to live so whilst these seats aren’t great, they are reasonably priced for what you get.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Palace Theatre
Stalls D3 £20.00 (per part)
I believe these restricted view seats at the front of the stalls are released a few weeks before each show and get you up close to the action.
There is a massive pillar in the way and so you only see about 50% of the stage but certainly enough to be worth £20 for each show.
It is still a magical show, even with only half the stage in view.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Apollo Theatre
Grand Circle F11 £20.00
Great clear view of the stage from these seats.
Can’t really complain for the price of this one.
I would definitely sit here again rather than pay for a more expensive seat.
Pretty Woman: The Musical – Piccadilly Theatre
Standing room at back of Royal Circle £20
This new show is selling out every day so far and so standing tickets are being released online at the back of the Royal Circle.
Sometimes these tickets appear online a couple of hours before the show and sometimes a few days in advance and so it is worth keeping a close eye on the website.
The very top of the stage is missed but nothing happens up there so it doesn’t matter.
The Mousetrap – St Martin’s Theatre
Upper Circle E18 at £19.52
The Mousetrap is the worlds longest running theatre production and if you haven’t seen it then you really should go because its brilliant.
I got a ticket in the Upper Circle for £19.52 (the year the show opened) and the view is perfect because the theatre is quite small, so you still feel close to the action. It’s a real bargain for the price!
However, vertigo sufferers beware – this is not a place to sit if you have a fear of heights as you feel like you are sitting on the edge!