When travelling to the UK on a vacation, budget is everything. Trips can tot up to be expensive when flights, hotel accommodation, meals and leisure activities are factored in. For tourists wanting to see a Broadway show last minute deals are important. London is the theatre hub of the UK and a number of the better productions that originated on Broadway make their way over here; similarly you make be able to catch a show in the West End before its success means it transfers across the pond. If you missed a show while it was showing on Broadway and you are kicking yourself, you may get a second bite of the apple if a transfer coincides with a trip you are making to the UK.
For UK residents themselves a trip to America may be out of the question but they can still catch their favourite American stars on the London stage as more and more are being lured over to tread the London boards. Wherever you are coming from a good ticket price is paramount. Simply travelling from another part of the UK the costs can soon rack up so the better a deal you can get on the theatre tickets themselves, the less your wallet will rue you! Some theatres do on the day discounts over the counter, particularly for students and senior citizens, but these are dependent on how busy the show is on that day and are pretty scarce on Fridays and weekends…the most likely time for an out of town trip.
Your best bet for cheaper seats is to go on a weekday, and preferably avoiding the school holidays as theatres tend to be fuller then. Quieter shows will often send tickets to the half price ticket booth in the middle of Leicester Square, so you may well be able to snap up a bargain there. If you aren't tied to a particular show you will increase your chance of striking gold, as the queue can be quite long and the earlier you get there the better. Make sure you go to the official booth, which is a large hut in the centre of Leicester Square, usually with a noticeable queue outside it. There are a few smaller booths in the nearby streets that may not always be as reputable and may charge more than you need to pay.
Of course if you are booking travel and possibly accommodation in London leaving the purchase until the day is somewhat risky. A few minutes spent searching on the internet will usually bring up great deals that you can book in advance, either on the theatre's own website or with another ticket agency. As productions need to have close to capacity audiences to turn a profit, any empty seat when the curtain goes up is bad news to the producers of the show. Canny searching can bring up tickets of anything up to, and sometimes even more than half of the original face value of the ticket. Once again, opening your options up to weekdays will increase you chance of success, and you should also only buy from trusted websites. Look for the online agency to be a member of STAR, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers. This self-regulatory body operates within guidelines supported by the Society of London Theatre, Westminster Council, the British Tourist Agency and the Office of Fair Trading, amongst others. If your ticket source is not a member of STAR then take heed, and if you have any doubts at all over their legitimacy, don't buy. Nobody wants to be turned away from the theatre for invalid tickets.
But the offers are out there! Think how pleasing it will be to know you are watching exactly the same show as the person beside you who may well have paid full price, when a little bit of forethought when looking for Broadway show last minute deals
means you can buy all the ice creams you want come the interval! And that can never be a bad thing.