What's On

To find out what is on in the Theatre, read the daily papers (the Times has a Saturday supplement that is particularly good, listing all theatres and cinemas in the London and near area). For a good guide to London Theatre pick up “The Official London Theatre Guide” (see The Official London Theatre Guide Web Site) which is FREE from many areas in London (check at your hotel/B & B or pick up a copy at the Half Price Ticket Booth (TKTS) in Leicester Square). A number of web sites may also be able to help, I have used TheatreNet.com and What's On Stage, finding them both pretty good. For inside information about the theatres (including what tickets/seats to avoid) try theatremonkey.com.

Leicester Square - Theatre Central

Show Tickets

For shows, the best prices for tickets can be obtained at the Half Price Ticket booth (or online at https://officiallondontheatre.com/tkts/) in Leicester Square on the day of the show at HALF price (plus a service charge). Typically the tickets are the best seats in the house. There are other vendors close (but not IN) Leicester Square that proport to be a “Half Price Ticket Vendor” but the REAL (and best deal as well as perfectly legit) can be had by the one located on the south side of the park in Leicester Square – The building is labelled “TKTS”.

Queues start early, the booth is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm for matinees/evening performances and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. Matinees and evening performances have two separate lines (matinees in the line to the west, evening performances to the east), don't get in the wrong line! I have found that it is fun to get tickets with a few, specific, shows in mind then line up to see if you can get tickets (they do have boards that tell you want shows are on offer for the day as well, they have copies of “The Official London Theatre Guide” which is updated every fortnight (2 weeks)).

Prices for tickets can range (literally) from about £5 for a “groundling” ticket (standing in front of the stage) at the Globe Theatre to as much as £100 for the best seats in the house for a big musical (possibly, much more if you go for the “royalty” option). Most tickets are around about the £60 mark.

If you want tickets in advance, my best advice is to directly contact the theatre, however, there are other agencies on the 'net that may be able to help such as TicketMaster.

Incidentally, if you are fan of musicals then it might be good to check out West End Live, a free yearly event that showcases acts from the various shows currently playing in London over the course of a weekend (generally in June). This huge theatrical event is held in Trafalgar Square with the biggest shows performing early on the Saturday (so this is when there are the largest crowds). In some years the queue to get into the square has stretched well into Piccadilly Circus a good distance away (for a queue)!

Leicester Square - West End Live

Every summer Trafalgar Square also plays host to BP Big Screens which are free live broadcasts of Opera and Ballet shown on large video screens but get there early as space fills fast! Also be sure to pick up a free inflatable cushion as the stone is pretty hard to sit on for a few hours (and a free rain poncho if the weather does not cooperate).