Ticket Buying

There are a variety of ways to purchase tickets to London’s fantastic shows, from buying in advance through Official London Theatre to strolling into the theatre on the day. Let us help you find the most appropriate, secure and safe way to buy your tickets.

You can buy in person, via telephone or the buy through theatre tickets section of this website. You can pay by cash, cheque, credit or debit card, or by using Theatre Tokens.

Here is some information on the different ways of buying tickets, together with a checklist of practical advice.

Buying from the theatre box office

Theatre box offices are generally open from 10:00 and usually close about 30 minutes after that evening’s show has begun (they stay open throughout matinée performances). There is usually no booking fee when you buy tickets in person. If you telephone the box office direct to order tickets, you may be charged a modest administration fee and/or booking fee. At busy periods, some box office telephone numbers ‘trip over’ to ticket agencies (ie you may call a theatre box office and find yourself speaking to a ticket agency). In this instance, any fees should be identical to those charged by the box office.

You will find addresses and telephone numbers for theatre box offices in the listings sections of this website. They are also listed in most national newspapers as well as such publications as the Evening Standard and Time Out, and the Official London Theatre Guide leaflet published by Society of London Theatre and available from many tourist outlets.

Buying tickets from the TKTS booth in Leicester Square

tkts logo

Our TKTS booth in Leicester Square is the best way to buy discount and full price tickets in person on the day of performance and up to a week in advance. The Leicester Square booth is located in the clocktower building. It is open from 9:00:00 to 19:00 Monday to Saturday and 10:30 to 16:30 on Sundays. The majority of London's most popular shows sell tickets at the TKTS booth, so there is always a great deal of choice. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be able to tell you exactly where you will be sitting to ensure you have the best theatre experience you can.

Visit the TKTS website for more information.

Buying tickets from a ticket agency

There are many ticket agents selling London theatre tickets, ranging from well-known international organisations to tiny independent companies. The great majority of ticket agents are legitimate, honest operations. A small minority, however, are less reputable.

Most legitimate agents are members of STAR (The Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers), an organisation that aims to encourage best practice among ticketing outlets. It is a good idea to enquire about STAR membership when considering buying from a ticket agent. For more information about STAR members or their code of practice, call the STAR Helpline on 0870 603 9011 or visit www.star.org.uk

Ticket agents always charge a booking fee, but it will usually be no more than 25% of the ‘face value’ of the ticket (ie the price you would pay if you bought the ticket direct from the theatre box office in person). They might also charge a transaction fee in certain circumstances, which is a fee per transaction rather than per ticket. It is advisable to check the size of the fees which an agent is seeking to charge you beyond the face value. What are booking fees?

Unless you are buying tickets direct from the theatre in person, you are likely to be charged some kind of booking, transaction or administration fee when purchasing theatre tickets. These charges cover the operational costs of selling and distributing theatre tickets. They should not normally be more than 25% of the face value of the tickets and in most cases are significantly less.

Buying tickets online

The easiest way to buy tickets online is to buy them direct from this website. Go to our buy tickets page to see what is available.

Many theatres, productions and ticket agencies also now sell tickets online. All the practical advice about buying tickets (see Checklist below) applies to online purchases, with the additional warning to check that the transaction is secure. Details of transactional security measures will be given on reputable sites.

Please note that a greater range of tickets may be available directly from the box office.

Buying tickets on the day

If you want to buy tickets on the day of performance, there are two main alternatives. Firstly, discount and full price tickets for many London shows are available from the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square. If you are buying tickets on the day there are often some fantastic deals to be had. Secondly, you could go direct to the theatre box office for standby tickets or returns; you can ring ahead for availability to save a wasted journey.

Buying tickets with Theatre Tokens

Theatre Tokens can be exchanged for tickets at more than 240 theatres in London and the rest of the UK by the following methods:

  • Personal bookings - take your Theatre Tokens to the box office of a participating theatre or to the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square.
  • Postal bookings - write to the box office enclosing your Theatre Tokens and giving your preferred performance date and time. It helps if you can give alternative performance dates which are also acceptable. If the value of the ticket(s) exceeds the value of the Theatre Tokens, please enclose a cheque for the difference.
  • Telephone bookings - many theatre box offices will accept reservations made by telephone. Some will ask you to quote a security number from your Token over the phone in order to accept it; some will hold tickets for a specified period until they receive your Theatre Tokens by post. Others may require the arrival of your Theatre Tokens before assigning tickets. Please contact the box office for availability and specific instructions.
  • Please note that Theatre Tokens cannot be used to buy tickets from ticket agents.

For details on how to purchase Theatre Tokens or to order online, please visit www.theatretokens.com

Checklist - practical advice on buying your tickets

  • Ask what the face value of the ticket is. If you are buying in person, ask to see it.
  • Ask where you will be seated.
  • Ask if the seat has a restricted view as these seats should be cheaper.
  • If buying tickets from a ticket agency, check that they are members of STAR (see below).
  • When buying tickets from a ticket agency in person, check any forms thoroughly before signing them as you could be signing away your legal rights. The form should clearly indicate the face value of the ticket, where you are seated and what the additional booking fee is.
  • If you are purchasing tickets over the phone or online a few days before the performance, it may be advisable to ask if you can pick your tickets up at the box office before the performance (indeed, this might be the only option near the performance date). Try to arrive early - around 30 minutes before curtain up - to ensure that you have time to queue and collect your tickets.
  • If you require information on Access before booking your tickets please see the Access area of our website for more information. Alternatively, ask the person you are booking with for details. Please ensure that you check with the theatre first about their disabled access facilities before booking.

Don’t buy tickets from touts (scalpers). They can operate from booths, online or on the street. If you are in any doubt, don’t buy.

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