I love living close to west end. I love immersive theatre. I love musicals. I love comedies. In fact I love almost all theatre. Its one of the things D and I share. But when saving for a house became a priority outings on the west end ended up quite far down the list.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a bargain, and I rarely pay full price for anything. I’m not into bartering, like I can’t ask for a discount face to face, that’s definitely something I should work on. But I love finding quick and easy ways to see all the shows we love for almost a fraction of the price.
Being a West End bargain hunter needs to come with a little bit of flexibility. If you have something you really want to see, then definitely spend the money and get the seats that you want. It will be totally worth it. But if you’re just after a fun date night, then I have some tips for you.
This is one of my favourite apps. It hosts not only West End shows, but shows all over London ( I also think NYC is available on this app) including immersive shows, one man shows, pretty much anything happening in the capital.
There are two ways I get cheaper seats using this app. Firstly I look for any shows we want to see and look if they deals. A lot of shows have what is called “Rush tickets”, you sign up to access these by sharing the show on social media and by doing so you unlock access to seats that are available on that day. They become available at 10.00 each show day. The trick with this one is to set an alert so you don’t forget to book them, and jump online as near to 10.00 as possible. I’ve missed out on shows at 10:02. And no one really knows how many tickets are released per show. But if you’re flexible on day of the week, I’ve seen 2 seats together for popular shows on a Wednesday night. At £25 a ticket, its pretty good value.
The other great option with Today tix is the front row lottery. Each day they raffle off the front row of a few shows for £25 a ticket. They announce the winners at 16:00 each day. If you miss out they do try and offer you the next best rate available, but this is hit and miss. We haven’t managed to win a lottery this way yet, but we have been offered a good rate for great seats after we missed out. So this is a great option still.
Seat filling companies
There are a few of these around. I use one which I’ll not name as it breaks the membership rules. But as I said there are few options around and each one tends to have similar events on them. Essentially you are offered discounts on theatre tickets to act as a seat filler. We’ve seen some amazing shows that we’d not normally go to see. Its hit and miss. Some months we’ll not see anything and other months they’ll have a few shows that interest us.
Again each company will have a set of rules that you must adhere to. I tried a few different ones and some of the rules of membership weren’t for me, so definitely look out for the right one for you.
In London each borough tends to have their own discount card. I work in Victoria which means I am entitled to the local card and as there are theatres in Victoria it quite often gives discounts to the shows. When we lived in Waterloo the card for that area is pretty awesome as the Vaults always has such fun shows. So do a little research and work out which borough you can get a card for and enjoy all the discounts its offers.
From Facebook posts it looks like D and I spend so much money on shows, when in actual fact I don’t think we’ve paid full price for quite some time. London has so much to offer and as locals you can get so many good deals you just have to spend some time looking.
Hopefully I’ve given you some places to start searching so you too can see the best of London.
Peace out for now….