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Advance theater tickets

Is there any advantage buying theater tickets in advance on line? Is it possible to get tickets at the box office?

Posted by
8862 posts

Depends on the show and how long it’s been running.

Hamilton is huge. I saw it two weeks ago but had booked tickets in November. Agatha Christie’s Mouse Trap has been playing for years so suspect you could get tickets at the box office.

Don’t forget to peruse the half price ticket offerings online as well.

Posted by
38 posts

Well, if it's a popular show, your seating options (section/price/etc.) might be limited by the time you get to the box office, if it isn't sold out completely - if you buy online you can lock in your preferred night, seats, etc. well in advance, and then plan your schedule around that (if you buy direct from the theater with a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card the cost is the same as in person, I believe.)

Posted by
27405 posts

There were several plays I was interested in seeing during my visit to London last September. I bought the Hamilton ticket way, way ahead of time but waited on the others until I arrived in London. By the time I got around to trying to buy tickets, the other plays were sold out.

Posted by
4012 posts

Is there any advantage buying theater tickets in advance on line? Is
it possible to get tickets at the box office?

Yes. You'll have more seats from which to choose if you buy them in advance. Moreover, you can read reviews of the seats to find out if there are problems like partial visibility, abysmal leg room, etc and thus you can avoid them.

Also, a play or musical you might want to see could be sold out if you wait until you go to the box office.

On the flip side, if you want to go to a discounter on the day of the performance like TKTS for 1/2 price tickets, why not if you are flexible about the seating.

Posted by
991 posts

As other forum members mentioned, if you want to see a particular show, then it is best to book in advance. However, even for popular shows there are options. For example, I neglected to book my Hamilton tickets far enough in advance. Four days before I went to London before Christmas, I went to the check for returns in the ticket option on the Hamilton website and secured two tickets, row k orchestra for 200 pounds each. I got lucky.

I have also used Viagogo to get last minute tickets (there is typically a mark-up on resale).

Posted by
38 posts

Beware online "discount" sites - I just bought tickets for "Company" the other day, so prices are fresh in my mind - a quick check shows both of the above are more expensive for seats in the section/row I bought than the ones I got directly from the theater.

Posted by
136 posts

Getting "day seats" (or what we call rush tickets in the U.S.) is another good option. For these, you queue at the theater before it opens on the day of the show. I got a second row dress circle ticket for Company this past November for £25 with no additional fees; the show was otherwise sold out and no tix were available through TKTS. For my ticket (for a Friday night show), I arrived at the theater 10-15 minutes before it opened and was #7 in line. It's best to get there earlier than that during peak tourist season.

The Theatremonkey website is a great place for recon on what's available, folks' experiences getting tickets, etc:

(And for those who enjoy meeting the locals when they travel, I got the day ticket scoop from a Londoner I was chatting with in a pub :) )

Posted by
106 posts

Adding to what others have said, I recommend that if there is something that you really want to see, especially if it's very popular, you get your tickets in advance. When I went at the end of October I saw Hamilton, both Harry Potter's and Company. I bought all of those tickets in advance or I never would have been able to see them.

However, there are theaters that do have day tickets. Two years ago I saw Follies at the National and bought my ticket ahead of time. I happened to go back to the theater, and I could have gotten a Wednesday matinee ticket on the day of the show. The National Theatre also has a Friday lottery for tickets the coming week for reduced prices, but you have to be pre registered and get in an online queue for that.

If you just want see something that's been on a while, you can try to half price ticket booths.

Posted by
2785 posts

If you like sitting close to the stage then you would want seats in the stall area.

Posted by
740 posts

I just bought a ticket to Hamilton in September. Very reasonable prices considering what I paid in the U.S. last year. 100 pounds for aisle seat in Row R in the Stalls.