Are Cheap London Theatre Tickets Any Good?

Written by Karen Bryan

war horse ticketI bought a couple of cheap London theatre tickets on lastminute.com for my ‘London on the Cheap‘ trip in January 2014. I paid £10 for a balcony seat for ‘Lost Boy’ at the Charing Cross Theatre and £17.50 for  a fourth price side view balcony seat for ‘War Horse’ at the New London Theatre.

With top price tickets for ‘War Horse’ selling for £73.50 on lastminute.com, I was curious to judge if paying more than four times the price for a ticket was worthwhile.

When you buy London theatre tickets on lastminute.com, you don’t know which seat you’ll be allocated. You only discover your seat number when you pick up your ticket at the box office prior to the performance.

Both the tickets which I purchased did warn me of a restricted view. However, even the second price tickets for ‘War Horse’, costing more than £50, mentioned restricted views.

I attended ‘War Horse’ on a Monday night. My seat was third from the end in the first row side balcony seat. Although I’m quite tall,  the safety rail was in sight when I sat back in my seat.

new london theatre balcony guard rail

But when I leant forward, I had a good view of the stage.

new london theatre balcony view

Now the people in the middle seats in front of the stage had a fantastic view of the action, but would I have been willing to fork out £73.50 for a seat there? No.

I was happy enough with my experience considering the price I paid. The couples on either side of me, who’d also bought the £17.50 tickets on lastminute.com, thought that their tickets offered good value for money.

My £10 balcony ticket for ‘Lost Boy’ was also a side view, with the safety rail in the line of sight when I sat up straight.

stage view from balcony at charing cross theatre

Although I do acknowledge that the balcony safety rail could be more of an issue for shorter adults and kids, I’d buy the cheapest London theatre tickets which I could find in the future. This is based on the fact that I don’t want to shell out for an expensive ticket when I might not even enjoy the show and that in some theatres and even quite expensive tickets still have restricted views.