Advice for a Theater newbie in London

Want to take the misses in august as she has always wanted to go.

Would like advice such as best place to buy tickets,

Show recommendations,

Which are the best Theaters?

We will be going around the 23rd august, Any advice much appreciated :)
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  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,573
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    edited 27 May 2014 at 10:55AM
    redboy1 wrote: »
    Want to take the misses in august as she has always wanted to go.

    Would like advice such as best place to buy tickets,

    Show recommendations,

    Which are the best Theaters?

    We will be going around the 23rd august, Any advice much appreciated :)

    Theatre monkey has seating plans for all the theatres and posts opinions as to which are the best value for money seats for each theatre. It also has tips on getting discount tickets.
    http://www.theatremonkey.com/

    Also some good tips on getting cheap tickets here;
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4849791

    If you're not that bothered about what show you see, are on a tight budget, and can get into London early, then it might be worth trying to get 'day' tickets (although I guess Saturday will be the busiest day) - these are tickets whcih the box office holds back to sell cheaply on the day in person on a first come first served basis. We saw Warhorse this way last year as we just happened to be wandering past the theatre when the box office opened at 10am, but for more popular shows you would probably have to queue from early on to be in with a chance.

    If you are travellling in by train, then you can get 2-4-1 tickets to shows such as Stomp and 39 Steps using your train tickets via this website
    http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/entertainment-shows-concerts

    Note that traditionally there are no shows on Sundays

    THere is also an official outlet for selling reduced theatre tickets in Leicester Square - you have to go in person to buy them but can get an idea of what;s available and at what prices via their website here

    http://www.tkts.co.uk/
  • InsideInsurance
    InsideInsurance Posts: 22,460
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    Best place to buy will depend on which show you are going to and how you define "best".

    Ticketmaster for example "randomly" assign you seats from their allocation, the last show I went to I booked directly with the theatre as not only was their booking fee lower than TicketMaster, they allowed you to actually select the seats you wanted and had much better selection of seats listed for the same price.
  • redboy1
    redboy1 Posts: 199
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    Thanks for the input folks. Tickets are going to have to be booked before we go as I don't want to chance just trying to buy on the day.

    That les miserables has some great reviews. Its hard to think what the misses would like, I know she likes Michael Jackson so thriller would be good but I'd sooner her (and mine) first experience of a theatre be more of a play. I imagine thriller would be more like a concert type show. It wouldn't surprise me if she would like that Matilda, even though Iits aimed at kids.

    Just can't believe the price of these tickets though, didn't think they would be so high.
  • susancs
    susancs Posts: 3,888 Forumite
    Les Mis is really good, but you need to book well in advance to get good seats, especially for a Saturday.

    I am going to see Miss Saigon this week and it is getting a lot of positive feedback, but we did book months ago for it.

    Jersey boys is the true story of The Four Seasons group.

    If your wife likes the Wizard Of Oz then Wicked is the story prior to this. It is well staged.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,573
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    edited 28 May 2014 at 9:04AM
    redboy1 wrote: »
    Thanks for the input folks. Tickets are going to have to be booked before we go as I don't want to chance just trying to buy on the day.

    That les miserables has some great reviews. Its hard to think what the misses would like, I know she likes Michael Jackson so thriller would be good but I'd sooner her (and mine) first experience of a theatre be more of a play. I imagine thriller would be more like a concert type show. It wouldn't surprise me if she would like that Matilda, even though Iits aimed at kids.

    Just can't believe the price of these tickets though, didn't think they would be so high.

    You don't say where you are coming from but does it have to be London ? Do you have any local theatres nearer? Shows such as Thriller, Chicago have been on tour round the country and Wicked is at the moment, as is the Mousetrap.
    http://www.wickedtour.co.uk/venues.asp
    http://mousetrapontour.com/tour/?touryear=2014

    Tickets will almost certainly be cheaper than in the West End and if you go to your local theatre you may be more likely to return, in which case, if it is an ATG theatre, it might be worth investing in a ATG theatrecard (around £30 a year I think) whcih will give you discount tickets and no booking fees.
  • paddyrg
    paddyrg Posts: 13,543 Forumite
    Many productions will tour when they come off the West End, maybe in a slightly trimmed down form, but cheaper. The West End is great for big shows, but sure know how to charge.

    If you're not that fussed about what you see, then don't book ahead and get yourself a bargain on the day at the "tkts" booth (the only official one) actually in Leicester Square. Many great shows launch on the West End with massive investment but don't last forever - "Betty Blue Eyes" for instance was a great show, very technical, but vanished after a short run. Get a copy of Time Out and find something you haven't really heard of but that could be interesting, and take a punt.

    Or if you're wanting to book ahead at one of the most important West End plays of the last decade, it has to be "War Horse".
  • susancs
    susancs Posts: 3,888 Forumite
    I went to see Miss Saigon yesterday and it was really good. I took a chance on £27.75 seats that were in a box at the rear of the stalls and thought they were great value, with only the very top of the stage/scenery not visable. Lots of legroom as there were four free standing chairs and a table.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,573
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    paddyrg wrote: »
    Or if you're wanting to book ahead at one of the most important West End plays of the last decade, it has to be "War Horse".

    Which is also on tour throughout the UK at the moment
    http://www.warhorseonstage.com/tickets/uk_tour

    It's a shame the OP hasn't come back to tell us if he has his heart set on London or where he is based, as I'm sure we could come up with some alternative shows at alternative locations if we had that info.
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
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    redboy1 wrote: »
    It wouldn't surprise me if she would like that Matilda, even though Iits aimed at kids.

    Matilda isn't really aimed at children. The lyrics are by Tim Minchin, they're extremely clever and intricate...most of it would go entirely over childrens' heads. It *does* have children in it, but it's just mind blowing how good they are...it's very funny and quite emotional in places. I'm a 31 year old bloke and have seen it 3 times now and would love to see it again.

    Wicked is quite good as an introduction to the West End - it's big production, big performances, quite broadway (for obvious reasons) and it's in a nice theatre that's easy to get to. You can also get reasonably priced tickets on lastminute.com et al these days.

    Book of Mormon is also *hilarious* if you're into that kind of thing, but it's not to everyone's taste.
  • redboy1
    redboy1 Posts: 199
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    Sorry for not getting back folks. Ive been trying to get in touch with someone i used to work with to book a Marriott hotel as they have a platinum account so get all the perks for cheap rates.
    I have not had a reply and im a bit gutted as lastminute.com had some good prices up until 17.00 today and now its over. Also the marriott had some good rates for august and now they have gone up :mad:

    Oh well it gives me more time to investigate shows. were from close to derby but im looking for london theaters as i thought this would be the best experience for her to see a show, its also why i would like the theater to be a decent one to round off the whole experience or are they all pretty much the same?
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