How to get cheap theatre tickets online

There’s always at least one play or musical that you fancy going to see – but when you look at the price of the tickets your heart sinks. However, if you’re flexible on your dates and have time to spare to do your research, then you can find bargains on the web.

The Phantom of the Opera. Ben Lewis 'The Phantom' and Kelly Mathieson 'Christine Daae'. Photo by Johan Persson.

A word of warning first of all: just like at the theatre, on the internet all may not be what it seems. Some dubious operators have bought website names that are very similar to official theatre websites so check which site you’re using carefully. Look at the small print and never buy a ticket without seeing a seating plan. You have a legal right to see where you’re sitting, in case you’re being sold a seat with a restricted view.

Ticket touts can also operate over the internet so check you are buying from legitimate agents, such as members of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (Star).

Despite the caution, buying tickets online is really easy. Rather than having to trek to box offices with your fingers crossed or chance your luck at an official theatre booth, you can browse from the comfort of your own home, planning ahead or seizing last-minute opportunities. Here are some tried and trusted websites to check out...

Central Tickets (https://centraltickets.co.uk)
This website is a seat-filling operation, with free and cheap tickets for London productions, mainly offering tickets for the same day or the next week. You must become a member and then you will be emailed with the latest availability. Members are expected to dress smartly, be punctual and not brag about their cheap seats. This site is ideal if you fancy a night out, but you don’t mind what you go and see.

Last minute (https://www.lastminute.com/entertainment)
This website has a comprehensive list of all the big theatrical events in London, at reasonable prices. Have a look at the under £15 categories and its top 10 deals to secure good seats at a discount.

Today Tix (https://www.todaytix.com)
You can book theatre tickets for up to a month in advance on this site, but its beauty lies in getting your hands on cheap tickets for the same day. You can enter daily lotteries for shows like Dreamgirls and Kinky Boots, which give you £20 front-row tickets if you win. There are also daily “Rush tickets” for certain productions released at 10am each day on a first-come, first-served basis.

Love Theatre (https://www.lovetheatre.com)
With flash sales, cut prices and deals, such as cutting booking fees, this is a good general site to search for your night out. It’s particularly good if you are planning a trip in advance.

Theatre Monkey (http://mail.theatremonkey.com/index.htm)
As well as selling discounted theatre tickets, Theatre Monkey has a wealth of knowledge on all things theatre, including a very detailed theatre guide which allows you to check out reviews of specific seats – legroom, view, satisfaction – before purchasing tickets. This site is a treasure trove of interesting information, worth visiting for a peruse at any time.

See Tickets (https://www.seetickets.com)
This is another good all-rounder site, especially if you are on the hunt for specific tickets for a show. If you get a gang of you together, you could benefit from its special site for discounted bookings for more than 10 people https://www.seetickets.com/content/groups

Theatre companies
You can buy full price tickets online cheaper than over the telephone from some theatre groups. For example, take a look at www.atgtickets.com for Ambassador Theatres and www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk for Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

Get lucky!
Some shows have their own lotteries. Tickets for Hamilton are famously expensive and hard to come by, but enter at this site https://hamiltonmusical.com/lottery/ and each day you’re in with the chance to win a pair of tickets for £10 each. Similarly you can win tickets to other West End shows, for example Aladdin https://www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk/lottery/form and the Book of Mormon https://www.bookofmormonlondon.com/. Don’t forget though, not everybody wins!

DISCLAIMER: Throughout this article, we reference third-party websites and contact details. These references do not constitute an endorsement by the Oddfellows and the use of their services is entirely at your own risk. The Oddfellows does not accept any liability or responsibility for any third-party material on other websites.