Why, when and how to buy theatre tickets

Posted on 11 July 2012

If you have a friend or family member's birthday coming up or a hen night or work party to organise, or maybe you just fancy a night out on the town doing something a little different than usual, why not get online and buy some theatre tickets to one of London's many great shows. In London's West End alone there are currently over 80 plays and musicals showing with something to please just about anyone.

Theatre tickets are a great gift idea as you are not just giving the recipient something material but an experience that they will keep in their memory forever.    If you are buying theatre tickets for a very good friend who you know well or a family member, then it will probably be easy to choose a show that you know they will enjoy.   However if you are buying for someone whose taste you are unsure of then it's probably a better idea to get them some theatre vouchers. You can buy these online and they usually range from £10.00 minimum up to whatever price you want to pay.   You can get online first and check out the average price for good seats and then just purchase the amount you want.  Vouchers are usually valid for one year so your friend can then just choose what they want and call up and book over the phone quoting their voucher numbers.

Theatre tickets are also a great idea for a hen night or any kind of social gathering with a group of friends or colleagues.  Hen nights are particularly popular with shows like Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Ghost and former West End show of Dirty Dancing which is now touring the UK.  Fun shows like Mamma Mia! and Rock Of Ages often have the whole audience up and dancing in the aisles by the end of the show.  So-called jukebox musicals that feature the hits of an artist or group are also popular, such as upcoming Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! or Whitney Houston-fest The Bodyguard.  

Most of the shows also offer special group discounts for groups of 8, 10 or 12 or more depending on the theatre.  These group discounts are usually only offered during the week so make sure everyone is available on a week night and you will save a great deal of money on top price seats.  To obtain a group discount you just need to contact your preferred ticket agency online or go to the theatre directly.

Theatre tickets can be purchased online from a reputable online ticket agency, they can be purchased from one of the many ticket booths scattered throughout London's West End, and they can be purchased from the theatre directly.   If you buy from a ticket agency or ticket booth then you will most likely have to pay a booking fee, which is how they make their money.   If you buy from the theatre directly then you will get them at face value, but bear in mind that many theatres box offices are not open 24 hours, 7 days a week, which is one of the reasons they allocate tickets to agencies to help sales.   If you leave it to the day of the performance then if it is a relatively popular show there is alot more likelihood that the performance will be fully sold out or you will be more limited with price brackets and seating areas.

It is always best to book in advance to avoid disappointment.  Many agencies have deals with the theatres and can offer special discount much below the face value of the ticket price which can only be bought through an agency.  If you can find one of these special offers online then in the long run it is more convenient for you and often more economical to book your theatre tickets online.