We will be in London in about six weeks and want to catch a certain play that is totally sold out for its run. I know about ticket services that charge much more than the face value of the ticket. I also know that theaters sell standing room tickets. How early on the day on the performance do you have to arrive at the theater box office to buy these tickets?
I don't think that the theatres do standing room tickets (maybe the Globe). You can get day-returns if someone cancles or returns tickets. Just show up at the theatre around noon or shortly thereafter. Don't trust the scalpers.
I googled London Theater Standing Room and found a post on another site from someone's experience getting standing room tickets. http://ask.metafilter.com/23885/last-minute-London-theatre-ticket I found another site that says that The Globe offers standing room as well. I never did standing room in London, but many years ago I did standing room for the Opera in Vienna. It was quite the experience as the standing room spot in the Vienna Opera is waaaaay up high. You do have to stand and only those up front got the brass bar to lean on. It's one of my memories from my first trip to Europe. Pam
I'm interested in the answer to this as well. Quite a few theatres do standing room day of tickets for their most popular shows - Globe for everything, Hamlet with Jude Law at Donmar, etc. Something like Phedre at the National with Helen Mirren, I can't seem to find anything on standing room for there. I bought tickets to Phedre the day they went on sale, but missed on Hamlet and am hoping to pick some up on a day of.
Is it enough to be at the box office when it opens, or line up before, or? I imagine it varies depending on the popularity of the production.
I have no idea how many standing room tickets are sold by the different theaters, and I blew it by waiting too long to buy tickets for Hamlet. JumpinBug, I guess the question is how early does one have to show up to get standing room only tickets at a sold out play.
Dont know if it still exists but there used to be a kiosk in Leicester Square where you could line up after 4 pm for tickets for shows that evening. Worth a try?
Margaret, from what I understand, the Leicester Square booth is only for theaters selling their tickets there. If the show is already sold out throughout its run, you are unlikely to find them selling it at the TKTS booth.
Richard, I am a huge theater fan as well, but at this point, I think I would be questioning how much trouble is one play worth? It is worth stopping by the theater the day of (or maybe the night before) to ask the questions people are bringing up on here. If it turns out to be an easy thing, stop by and try to get tickets. If it is really complicated, skip it. If the play was the top thing you wanted to do on this trip, surely you would have booked the tickets at the same time you booked your flight. Just remember to keep it all in perspective. If you spend an entire day waiting for a ticket that doesn't come, you have just wasted an entire day in London in a line for nothing! Surely you are not flying to England to do that. :)
As Cary says, the tickets sold at the TKTS booth, are on the "push" list, typically for longer running shows with lot of empty seats, and bigger theaters. For sold-out performances, the best strategy is to go directly to the theater box-office as soon as it opens for the day (9am or so), and ask if they are selling any ticket returns; they're usually are some available each day, but it's very limited. A couple of years ago, Ricky Gervais was doing one of his one-man stand-up shows for two nights only at the Garrick Theatre, it was sold-out for months. I landed at Heathrow, took the Tube directly to Leicester Square walked the the Garrick, waited about 20 minutes for the box office to open and had my tickets....it was too easy:)
One question Michael,
How long was the line at the booth when you arrived 20 minutes early and how long was it when you left? (Maybe that's two questions)
There was absolutely no line....literally just me. Which was shocking as Ricky Gervais was red hot at the time.
Great tip Michael!
I don't book ahead enough to catch sold out shows but will use your technique to see if I can catch a show I would have otherwise skipped.
I have done it a few times. You just need to make sure you are there early (and getting up early is pretty normal on holiday anyway). In my experience they open up the box office and within half an hour (or even less) they have sold all the tickets so you won't be waiting around all day.
You really need to find out exactly what time they open the doors for the day sales.