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London Theater - Tickets and When to Go

We will be on the Rick Steves London City Tour in May and would like to take in a play. For those of you that have been on the tour, there are a few evenings open, and we were wondering which would be best. The other part of the question is should we buy tickets in advance or wait until we're in London to purchase seats. We will probably choose one of the long running plays rather than any of the hot new ones.
If you have any other tips for getting the most out of the tour please let us know.
Thank you!

Posted by
8871 posts

Been going to London theatre for decades.

Use WhatsOnStage website to see whats on while you’ll be there.

Or this website:

You should also know you can buy same day tix at the 1/2 price ticket booth in Leicester Square.

They have a website as well where you can see what shows are available:

In recent London visits saw Hamilton, Witness For the Prosecution and the brilliant Mark Rylance in Jerusalem.

Over the decades have seen Helen Mirren, Brenda Blythen, Daniel Craig, David Tennent,
Ian McKellan, Judi Dench, Charles Dance and others.

Love London theatre. I think it’s the ice cream cups that are available at intermission.

I’ll go to the box office and pay full price if the show is popular. That’s what credit cards are made for. Otherwise it’s the 1/2 ticket booth for same day tix.

I usually sit in the stalls but love 2nd or 3rd rows in the first balcony if tix are available. I like seeing the entire stage.

The interesting aspect besides Witness for The Prosecution being an Agatha Christie story is that it is performed in an actual courtroom at County Hall.

London theatre is great. GO!

EDIT: FYI that restrooms are often in the basement and not terribly large. So the wait can be lengthy.

Posted by
5687 posts

If you have your heart set on a particular show, then buy your ticket in advance from the official box office website. You will have the best choice of seats but you will pay full price. The website
is a great resource for finding what is on, seeing which website operates the official box office, and checking seating diagrams and seat reviews to determine where you might want to sit.

If you are flexible about shows, you can buy your ticket from TKTS on the day of the performance. You no longer have to go to the booth in Leicester Square. You can use their website and they open up sales at midnight (UK time) for that days performance. Start monitoring the site before you travel to get an idea of what might be on offer. In general, it has seemed in the past that there is more availability on weekdays than on weekends.

I go to London almost every year and go to the theatre almost every evening that I am there. On my last trip, I saw eight shows. Five were purchased in advance; three were purchased at a discount from TKTS. If you follow TKTS, you will notice that some shows are regularly available at a discount and other shows are never available.