What’s on? Where to look for West End shows and tickets


A huge attraction for those to coming to the UK capital any time of year is one of its entertainment mainstays – the theatre of the West End. Offering melodies and spectacle in the shape of major musicals, compelling thesping in the shape of its top dramas and classical brilliance in the shape of its Shakespeare adaptations, the glamorous, glittering ‘Theatreland’ is a huge draw for visitors wherever they come from. But how can you find out what’s on and where to get hold of tickets?

Well, to be honest, thanks to us living in the digital age, it’s almost as easy done as said. For instance, a website such as ticketmaster doesn’t just show you what’s on in a clear way by listing on its ‘West End shows and tickets’ front page productions by category (musical or play and so on) and allow you to purchase tickets to any show of your choice in advance, but thanks to listing performances of shows in a calendar format it also enables you to check out exactly when the performances are held and all their different prices too, of course.

Moreover, taking Disney’s new musical adaptation of the blockbuster movie Aladdin as an example, you’re informed which theatre it’s on it, can click on a link to see customer reviews of the show and watch a video clip of the show in performance. What more could you want?

Well, possibly a guaranteed way to find cheap or reduced tickets for the theatre? In that case, a website like lastminute is definitely your friend – in particular, its ‘best theatre offers’ and ‘tickets £15 and under’ pages. However, there’s a good chance you’re already enjoying a short break in London and (maybe staying in the neighbourhood at, say, a boutique hotel in London West End – the Piccadilly London West) at the eleventh hour fancy catching a show – but, if you’re from outside the UK, don’t have regular and easy Internet access. So what then?

West End Theatres

Well, your answer may be to go to the famous TKTS booth in Leicester Square first thing in the morning, or go along to a theatre and enter a lottery around two-and-a-half hours before a matinee or evening performance. Such ‘daily lotteries’ usually take place two hours before a show starts – and the tickets featured are likely to be previously unsold ones or returns. Alternatively, you might pop along to a venue just before 10am on the day and, yes, you might well be able to get hold of reduced tickets for that day’s performance(s). A handful of theatres and their shows deploy this policy. Proof then that, even if you’re on holiday, the early bird catches the worm!