Theatre Ticket Buying

There are many ways to buy tickets for London shows, from booking in advance through Official London Theatre to finding a great deal at the TKTS booth or strolling into the theatre on the day. Here are our tips for the most appropriate, secure and safe way for you to buy theatre tickets.

Checklist - practical advice on buying your tickets

  • Ask for the face value of the ticket. Face value is the price before any fees are added.
  • Ask where your seat is.
  • Ask if the seat has a restricted view; these seats should be cheaper.
  • If buying theatre tickets from a ticket agency, check they are members of STAR, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers.
  • When buying in person from a ticket agency, check any forms thoroughly before signing 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 buying tickets by phone or online a few days before the performance it may be advisable to ask if you can collect your tickets at the box office. Try to arrive early – around 30 minutes before the start of the show – to ensure you have time to queue and collect your tickets.
  • If you require information on access provisions before booking your tickets please see the access area of our website. Alternatively, ask the person you are booking with for details. Please ensure you check with the theatre 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.

Buying tickets online

The easiest way to buy tickets online is direct from this website. Go to our buy tickets page to see what is available. Any profits we make are invested back into the London theatre industry through audience development initiatives, bursaries and schemes to help the next generation of theatremakers; in buying from us you’re also supporting the future of theatre.

Many theatres, productions and ticket agencies sell theatre tickets online. All the practical advice about buying tickets applies to online purchases. You should also check that the site you’re buying from is reputable. Some questions to ask are:

  • Does the deal you’re being offered look too good to be true?
  • Does the company running the site have a physical address?
  • Where is the company based?
  • Is the transaction process secure?

For more detailed safety information about buying online, visit the STAR website.

Buying theatre 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 booth is located in the clocktower building and is open from 10:00 to 19:00 Monday to Saturday and 11:00 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 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. There is usually no booking fee when you buy 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 show information section of this website. They are also listed in our Official London Theatre Guide that is available from many tourist outlets.

Buying tickets on the day

If you want to buy tickets on the day of performance, there are two main options. 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 day seats, standby tickets or returns; you can ring ahead for availability to save a wasted journey.

Buying tickets from a ticket agency

There are many ticket agents selling London theatre tickets. The great majority are legitimate, honest operations. A small minority 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. We are. It is a good idea to ask about STAR membership when buying from an agent. For more information visit www.star.org.uk

Ticket agents always charge a booking fee, which will usually be no more than 25% of the face value of the ticket. They might also charge a transaction fee in certain circumstances, which is a fee per transaction rather than per ticket. Always remember to check the fees.

Buying tickets with Theatre Tokens

Theatre Tokens can be used to buy tickets at more than 240 theatres in London and the rest of the UK in these ways:

  • Take your Theatre Tokens to the box office of a participating theatre or to the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square.
  • Write to the box office including your Theatre Tokens and giving your preferred performance date and time. It helps if you can also give alternative performance dates. If the value of the ticket(s) exceeds the value of the Theatre Tokens, please enclose a cheque for the difference.
  • Many theatre box offices will accept reservations made by telephone. Some will ask you to quote a security number from your Theatre Tokens in order to accept it; some will hold tickets for a specified period until they receive your Tokens by post. Others may require the arrival of your Tokens before assigning tickets. Please contact the box office for availability and specific instructions.
  • Please note that Theatre Tokens can’t 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

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