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Why are theatre tickets so expensive

(69 Posts)
TheoriginalLEM Sun 03-Mar-19 17:00:54

I want to take my dd to see harry potter and the cursed child. I had to have a little lie down when three tickets (ok both shows) cost nearly £700. They were the only available seats.

That is more money than i spend on a holiday!!!

Then i tried to book war horse locally. Ok ish seats £200 for three if us.

I really want dd to see cursed child. I cant justify £700 without train fares and food.

Am i doing something wrong? They were by no means the most expensive seats and there were some cheaper but sold out. My worry is that the cheaper seats will have limited view.

So my question is twofold

1. How can i book reasonably priced seats and 2. Where do people recommend to sit that isnt £££ but doesn't compromise view?

Also is it even worth it? Ive been told its excellent but for that sort of money id want life changing!!!

PurpleFlower1983 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:04:09

It’s ok, not not worth £700! Wait until a new block goes on sale and buy the cheaper tickets. Sign up for e-mail updates.

Etino Sun 03-Mar-19 17:09:32

It’s not worth it. Those tickets are that price ^solely because people will pay that^; they’re or iced at what the market will take. I go to dozens of plays/ shows concerts a year and rarely pay more than £20/ head. Most expensive in the past year was my favourite band ever’s final show at £90.

jellymaker Sun 03-Mar-19 17:11:36

Try seeing shows that are touring the country. They are way cheaper at local theatre

ataleoftwothenthreethenfour Sun 03-Mar-19 17:11:45

There is a bit of a captive audience for this sort of thing. The only thing to do is book really well in advance. For some things (like Shakespeare in Stratford) there are lower prices for those who are members and go regularly. But probably not for Cursed Child

HarrysOwl Sun 03-Mar-19 17:12:04

Completely agree.

Even my local theatre sells tickets between £40-90 which sadly just isn't affordable for me. Even if I go for seats up in the God's on a Thursday afternoon performance.

TheTurnOfTheScrew Sun 03-Mar-19 17:13:45

Get email alerts for new dates. DH and DC1 went in £35 seats, so £140 total spend, and they said the seats were fine.

Petalflowers Sun 03-Mar-19 17:15:01

If you don’t mond what you see, go up to London and get some last minute tickets. They can be greatly reduced.

Alternatively, look around for local theatres, and watch the touring productions.

Petalflowers Sun 03-Mar-19 17:17:24

Also, kids week is great. You get one free child ticketper adult ticket. It lasts all throughout August (so is actually a month, not a week). The popular shows do sellout quickly, so you have to be on the ball, but it’s so worth it.


Seniorcitizen1 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:17:43

Some productions are expensive to stage and this is reflected in ticket prices. But the key factor is market forces - the charge what people will pay and for harry potter people will pay lots - not me but others will

Redcliff Sun 03-Mar-19 17:19:52

Booking way in advance for Harry Potter is the only way - still expensive but way less than £700. I took my mum to an Agatha Christie play in Southend last year - the train tickets there and back plus lunch for both of us plus tickets to the play was cheaper than two west end tickets by themselves

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-19 17:25:11

The TKTS booth in Leicester Square has tickets discounted a day or two ahead (look online for availability) or you can queue for day returns at a fixed price at the theatre box office. Some theatres also operate a lottery system where you register ahead for specific dates and may get lucky (Hamilton is one). National Theatre and RSC/Barbican are among those which offer student and children discounts. Register with the london theatre website for newsletters offering packages and events like Get into London Theatre and kidsweek.

SusieFlo Sun 03-Mar-19 17:25:40

I booked a year in advance for the Harry Potter plays and managed to get dress circle seats for £35 each. However I must confess I found myself wishing I'd forked out for better seats. A few of the effects in the show had extra 'wow factor' for those with better seats in the stalls.

Duchessgummybuns Sun 03-Mar-19 17:26:11

My daughter and I want to see Hamilton, but for £200 a ticket it’ll have to wait confused

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-19 17:28:25

Hamilton has recently released June tickets and you may still be able to get less expensive tickets if you are quick. If you "like" their fb page you get advance notification of the releases.

JagerPlease Sun 03-Mar-19 17:29:27

I saw cursed child in the cheapest possible seats, I think it was £20 per show. We were really high up but could still see fine

melj1213 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:31:50

Tbf the Harry Potter tickets will be expensive bc they are either late release tickets or returns which tend to be the more expensive tickets. And £700 for 3 tickets is around £120 per person, per show. While that is on the higher end of the scale, £120 for decent seats at a popular West End play is not unheard of. The Cursed Child is bumped up because it is 2 3-hour plays and they're a package deal.

The Cursed Child tickets are still like gold dust - tickets get released every 9/10 months and get snapped up early ... I have been twice, once was cheap tickets in the Friday Forty because I happened to be in London and got lucky. The other time was for my friends birthday last February and we had to book them 16 months in advance on the day they were released (and it took 2hrs in the online queue)

Add on the cost of the production (which is high due to the visual effects and cost of making changes to the theatre to accommodate the production), running costs, wages for actors/musicians/front of house staff/security (including the additional needed for security checks for both shows) etc and it bumps the prices up.

SusieFlo Sun 03-Mar-19 17:39:37

It's worth keeping an eye on a few cheaper options that make it possible to take kids to the theatre.

For the big West End shows, besides Kids Week, you can sign up to an email list for the official half price sale that happens every Dec/Jan. You get an email towards the end of the year with a list of shows and a release date when tickets will go on sale. You need to set a diary reminder and be ready to buy as soon as the tix go on sale. In the last 2 rounds I was able to get very good seats for Matilda and School of Rock, for around £40 each.

Also I'd second the earlier comment about touring shows. And sign up for the mailing lists with smaller theatres and fringe venues. Top seats at outer London venues such as Richmond Theatre or The Rose Theatre in Kingston cost a fraction of West End prices - and these venues often have decent shows pitched at kids.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 03-Mar-19 17:40:09

The website Theatre Monkey has information re seating on theatre venues and is a very useful website in this respect.

JaneEyre07 Sun 03-Mar-19 17:40:23

Last theatre I went to was at the RSC Stratford to see a show, and it cost £160 for the 2 tickets, £40 in fuel, and £10 in parking.

It was amazing, but I really struggled to justify spending over £200 on a night out when my arse was so numb from the seating when we came out, I thought I'd left it behind (Swan Theatre)

I wouldn't pay over £700.

TheoriginalLEM Sun 03-Mar-19 17:40:27

I looked at the friday 40 thing but they only seem to release pairs. I also cannot take random days off work so it isnt feasible.

Is there a way of getting notifications of release dates? Dont mind waiting.

DontCallMeBaby Sun 03-Mar-19 17:41:05

I booked mine and DD’s Hamilton tickets in August for February halfterm. £80 each but if I’d left it until just after Xmas (when I normally plan our halfterm trip) it would’ve been £200, based on what was left for October. Not that I would have paid £200 ...

Various websites are good for seat plans and reviews. I go for the ones that are cheaper and get bad reviews for poor legroom - we’re 5’4” and 5’2”, we don’t need much legroom!

TheoriginalLEM Sun 03-Mar-19 17:42:11

My dd is a funny girl and 13 now so would turn her nise at many kuds productions. She is harry potter obsessed though

SluggishSnail Sun 03-Mar-19 17:42:21

There is a website called Theatre Monkey which collects reviews and organises them by seat. They give suggestions about which seats are best value for money and the degree of any restricted view.

I wouldn't pay £700 for Cursed Child, and that's coming from someone who paid £100 per person for Hamilton.

SluggishSnail Sun 03-Mar-19 17:43:32

X post with other Theatre Monkey fan smile

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