For theatre addicts London is like a bar for alcoholics: a paradise and a hell at the same time. Since the beginning of my PhD I’ve spent a bit too much money and time on plays and musicals — more than I’d ever publicly admit. Meanwhile I’ve mastered the art of getting cheap tickets, so if you’re also a theatre lover on a student budget, read on! This article isn’t sponsored by any of the companies I mention (unfortunately).
- Install TodayTix on your phone. You’ll be able to book tickets with one swipe, get some additional offers (e.g. 24-hour-long sales) and, most importantly, participate in lotteries. This way I managed to get affordable tickets for “Everybody’s Talking about Jamie” just a few hours before the show — and the seats were great!
- Check out Shakespeare’s Globe. In the summer season standing tickets cost only £5, the price of lunch in the student canteen. Yes, you’ll have to queue before the play to get a good spot. Yes, your legs will hurt after three hours of “Macbeth”. And yes, you’ll get cold and wet in case of bad weather. But you’ll also get a chance to interact with the actors and literally get inside the play. Even if you’re not a fan of Shakespeare, give it a go, as the theatre features plays by other authors as well.
- Join Entry Pass at the National Theatre. If you’re 16-25, you can sign up for free to get £7.50 tickets for all plays, from ancient to modern, from funny to tragic, from classic to experimental. Some plays took my breath away (“Amadeus”), some almost bored me to death (“Follies”); all in all, I book for every season, before I get too old.
- Consult the Theatre Monkey. Especially if you decide to splurge on some must-see play, make sure you get the best possible seat for your money. This website contains advice on choosing seats in all London theatres.
- Get £10 tickets at Young Vic. For under 25-year-olds they offer £10 tickets for each play as well as “lucky dip” tickets: you find out your seats on the day of the show.
While London isn’t the cheapest place to live in, here you can enjoy theatre even if on a budget, especially if you’re lucky enough to be young and a student. Now, enough writing, time to book some tickets!