How to get cheap theatre tickets: save in London's West End, Manchester and across the UK
Here's our complete guide to bagging cheap theatre tickets for the UK's top shows, including ones in London's West End, for spring 2023 and beyond.
Savings on top shows can be hard to come by, but if you're keen to find theatre tickets for less, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we've compiled all of the best sites to help you save on top-rated theatre performances, immersive experiences and more attractions from around the country — from London's West End and Manchester to Glasgow and beyond.
First, we'll start with some advice. While this guide offers the best sites and methods for saving on theatre tickets, plus some great deals, there's also an element of luck and timing involved.
Almost every show has a limited run in its given theatre, and if you've got a particular show or genre in mind, your chances of getting cheap tickets will be impacted by how in-demand those tickets are and how much of the show's run remains. There are of course some shows which have extremely long runs — we're looking at you The Mousetrap — and these are often the most well-known which will also effect ticket prices.
Another top tip is to do your ticket shopping last minute. Sometimes if a show hasn't sold enough and there are lots of seats remaining, prices will plummet for last-minute buyers. Even sold-out shows may have tickets returned on the day as people realise they can no longer make it, so it's always worth checking with the box office or online.
Also, if you're willing to take a gamble on lesser-known shows, you can pick up tickets for next to nothing by joining seat-filling ticket schemes. Organisations like Play by Play and Central Tickets charge membership fees or a small handling charge, but will occasionally offer cut-price entry to an eclectic selection of shows. Unfortunately, these only cover London and you don't get to choose which shows are offered.
If you're looking for London shows and can trot along in person, it's worth checking out the TKTS booth in Leicester Square, which often offers discounted tickets.
Finally — and perhaps unhelpfully for some — it's often cheaper to find theatre tickets outside of the capital. While some of the UK's most renowned shows are put on in the West End and around London, the UK has a thriving theatre scene and there are fantastic shows to be found wherever you're based. Now, let's help you find them.
For more exciting things to do across the UK, take a look at the best UK driving experiences, the top London Shakespeare plays, and the best Edinburgh ghost tours.
Looking for a saving? Here's how to get cheap cinema tickets and how to get cheap concert tickets.
How to get cheap tickets for London's West End shows
The West End is London's iconic home of theatre and plays host to some of the most remarkable stage productions on show in the UK, from the likes of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to Hamilton, and we have some top tips and tricks for you when buying West End seats.
The price of a West End theatre show ticket varies depending on where you sit and what you see: limited-run shows, such as The Pillowman, will have a higher ticket price as you can only experience it for a few months. Shows like The Lion King has been running for over 20 years (with no sign of slowing down) so those tickets will be cheaper.
With seating, you'll pay more for a better, unobstructed view, and less for a seat where a pillar could potentially block part of the stage or if you're a long way away. But there are some cases where a cheaper ticket will be one seat over from one with a so-called unobstructed view.
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We can't speak for all theatres, but one of our RadioTimes.com team went to see Wicked and bought cheap seats where the view was supposed to be partially obstructed. However, when they got there, the view was amazing albeit far away.
So, if you're not too bothered about where you sit, we'd recommend picking the cheapest seats to save money. Similarly, if you'd like to go to a West End show for the experience but you're not concerned about which show you see, be sure to select a cheaper one.
To get your hands on cheap theatre tickets, lovetheatre.com is a fantastic destination. We also like ATG Tickets, London Theatre Direct, Ticketmaster, The Ticket Factory and Fever, all of which periodically offer chances to snap-up cheap tickets. The latter leans more towards experiences and immersive shows, rather than a traditional theatre, though. Take a look at their current deals using the links below.
- Shop tickets at lovetheatre.com
- Shop tickets at ATG Tickets
- Shop tickets at London Theatre Direct
- Shop tickets at Ticketmaster
- Shop tickets at The Ticket Factory
- Shop tickets at Fever
If you're based in Manchester, or are visiting the northern city, be sure to take a look at our best theatre shows in Manchester guide.
Best cheap theatre tickets on sale today
We've scoured the web for some of the very best deals available right now, and found some stunners. There's something for everyone, from Harry Potter fans to musical lovers.
- Buy Shirley Valentine tickets from £10 at ATG Tickets
- Buy TINA: The Tina Turner Musical tickets from £11.50 at Ticketmaster
- Buy The Tiger Who Came To Tea tickets from £12 at London Theatre Direct
- Buy Six the Musical tickets from £13 at ATG Tickets
- Buy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets from £15.75 at Ticketmaster
- Buy The Great British Bake Off Musical tickets from £18 at Ticketmaster
How to get cheap tickets for Les Misérables
Les Misérables is one of the best-loved shows on the West End. The tragic drama based on the book of the same name, by Victor Hugo, first ran in London in 1985 and has been performed continuously ever since. That makes it the second longest-running musical in the world and the longest in the West End.
At time of writing, there's quite a disparity in ticket pricing, as you can see from the listings below. Right now, the best deals are to be had via Ticketmaster where you can get tickets for just £22.
- Buy Les Misérables tickets from £22 at Ticketmaster
- Buy Les Misérables tickets from £23 at The Ticket Factory
- Buy Les Misérables tickets from £24 at London Theatre Direct
How to get cheap tickets for Matilda The Musical
Roald Dahl's hit children's novel Matilda is re-imagined as a musical in this thrilling stage production. It's another West End favourite, and it's even been made into Matilda the Musical movie starring Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull. Currently, the cheapest deal for Matilda The Musical is £20 tickets at LW theatres.
- Buy Matilda The Musical tickets from £20 at LW Theatres
- Buy Matilda The Musical tickets from £23 at The Ticket Factory
- Buy Matilda The Musical tickets from £24 at London Theatre Direct
How to get cheap tickets for Hamilton
Unfortunately, Hamilton's longstanding icon status on the West End means tickets are in very high demand and, as such, sizeable discounts are hard to come by. However, finding cheap tickets is something of our forte, and we've found some £24 tickets at London Theatre Direct.
Buy Hamilton tickets from £24 at London Theatre Direct
How to get cheap tickets for Wicked
Wicked is one of the longer running musicals in the West End having been playing since 2006, but has had renewed popularity since the sing 'Popular' went viral on TikTok. It's currently in the Apollo Victoria Theatre and is one of our favourites. And luckily for you we've managed to find tickets available at Ticketmaster for just £24.75.
How to get cheap tickets for The Lion King
The Lion King is one of the most beloved shows on the West End. The 1994 Disney film has been reimagined as a spectacular theatre production, which boasts glorious special effects, enchanting music, and brilliant animal costumes and figures.
As The Lion King musical is always so popular, finding tickets for under 40 quid is a mean feat. Well, a mean feat for anyone other than the RadioTimes.com team! Currently, Ticketmaster sells the cheapest seats at £39.50 each.
- Buy The Lion King tickets for £39.50 at Ticketmaster
- Buy The Lion King tickets for £40.25 at The Ticket Factory
Watch Disney films like The Lion King for less with our Disney Plus offers guide.
How to get cheap tickets for Cabaret
Set in Berlin during the Jazz Age, Cabaret invites you to step inside, loosen up, and be yourself! Cabaret follows the story of struggling American writer Clifford Bradshaw as he wanders into the seedy yet exciting Kit Kat Klub and meets Sally Bowles, a talented cabaret performer. The musical has won seven Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival, and promises to be an electrifying night out.
Currently, the cheapest tickets for Cabaret are at ATG Tickets for £30.
How to get cheap tickets for The Great British Bake Off Musical
The limited season of The Great British Bake Off Musical must end on Saturday 13th May this year. While that news could be as disappointing as a soggy bottom, we're about to cherry flip it on its head and offer you a Paul Hollywood handshake-worthy deal instead: save up to 53 per cent on The Great British Bake Off Musical tickets.
Buy The Great British Bake Off Musical tickets from £18 at Ticketmaster
Visiting the capital city for a few days? Or perhaps you're a local and want to try something unique? Take a look at the best London rooftop gardens and the best London bus tours.
Best cheap theatre tickets around the UK
If you're not based in London and don't want to travel to the capital, don't worry. With many shows touring around the UK there are some great deals to be had on theatre all around the UK. If you're based up north we've got a guide to the best theatre shows in Manchester. At the moment, the Six the Musical tour has tickets starting from just £13.
Buy Six the Musical UK tour tickets from £13 at ATG Tickets
For more savings on theatre tickets across the UK, take a look at our recommendations for cities near you:
- Manchester: shop Manchester tickets at Ticketmaster
- Manchester: shop Opera House theatre tickets at ATG Tickets
- Manchester: shop Palace Theatre tickets at ATG Tickets
- Glasgow: shop King's Theatre tickets at ATG Tickets
- Glasgow: shop Glasgow tickets at Ticketmaster
- Liverpool: shop Liverpool Empire theatre tickets at ATG Tickets
- Leeds: shop Leeds tickets at Ticketmaster
- Birmingham: shop Birmingham tickets at Ticketmaster
- Edinburgh: shop Edinburgh Playhouse theatre tickets at ATG Tickets
For more on theatre and ticketing head over to our Going Out section. For exciting things to do in the capital city, check out the top London experience gifts, best West End shows and best London walking tours guides.