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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 12th Dec 05, 5:40 PM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    Great Tickets To Get More Culture Hunt
    • #1
    • 12th Dec 05, 5:40 PM
    0 WOW
    Great Tickets To Get More Culture Hunt 12th Dec 05 at 5:40 PM
    This week I want to find ways to get Christmas family entertainment for less. No Christmas is complete without a trip to a panto, but if you’ve got a big family tickets can be steep (boo hiss!)

    So I want to tap MoneySavers' collective research power to find out how to get bargain tickets to pantos, plays, ballets and operas. For example, can you wait for returns, get cheap standing tickets or become a theatre member if you go regularly?

    Click reply to post your suggestion

    Last edited by MSE Archna; 25-04-2006 at 3:02 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
  • pink_panther
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 05, 8:29 AM
    Theatre Royal Bath
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 05, 8:29 AM
    When I was studying in Bath, (up until last year) we used to get the bench seats at the back of the Theatre Royal Bath for a flat rate bargain £5 per seat plus 50p booking fee. These were only available on the day of the performance from 12 noon, so even sold out expensive shows were accessible to all.

    I recommend getting there early to bag the seats in the middle, but the visibility is pretty good regardless from what I remember.

    Note: This was not just an offer for students (horray!)
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 19-12-2005 at 12:57 PM.
  • nathan barley
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 05, 8:55 AM
    panto tickets
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 05, 8:55 AM
    Not a huge money-saving tip, but save yourself a few quid by buying tickets in person at the box-office. Just got quote for family of 4 for Milton Keynes panto booking online through Ticket Master :

    £21 each + £2.25 fee PER TICKET + processing fee of £2.50..... outrageous.... could get a pair of shoes and a handbag for that!

    Last edited by MSE Martin; 19-12-2005 at 12:57 PM.
    • tubster
    • By tubster 14th Dec 05, 2:12 PM
    • 250 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 05, 2:12 PM
    Free audio walk along the Thames
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 05, 2:12 PM
    If your family likes walking, you might like to try a free audio walk which includes the voices of lots of different people who live and work along the river telling you about their lives and the Thames. Each walk takes a couple of hours; it isn't for little ones, but an 11 year old has tried it and gave it 10/10! The two walks start at Hampton Court and Greenwich.

    To do the walks you all will need either a personal CD player or an mp3 player (ipod etc). If you haven't got either of these, you can hire the equipment for £1 a player from Greenwich Tourist Information Centre. You can download the files for free from, or if you prefer, buy the professionally made double CD for both walks and a map guide for £7 from the website.

    This is a really interesting way of livening up a boxing day walk! Give it a go.


    DECLARATION: I am the author of these walks. I have surveyed 131 people who have tried one of the walks for my research - 96 per cent rated the walk 7/10 or above; 41 per cent rated it 9 or 10.
    • Herodotus
    • By Herodotus 14th Dec 05, 7:31 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 05, 7:31 PM
    Cheap Theatre Tickets
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 05, 7:31 PM
    If you happen to be a teacher, there is an excellent programme offering very cheap theatre tickets. You do have to join, but if you're a regular theatre goer, the membership is bound to pay for itself.

    Their website is being reconstructed, but you can find basic contact details here.

    Hope you find this useful.
    Last edited by MSE Martin; 19-12-2005 at 12:58 PM.
    • bargain-lil
    • By bargain-lil 14th Dec 05, 8:10 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 05, 8:10 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 05, 8:10 PM
    Go to the "schools" pantomime slots. I have just been with my daughters pre-school & paid £8 per ticket. All seats in the theatre (Milton Keynes - Snow white) are £8 wherever you sit - we had the best seats in the house that should have been £21 a throw. I did receive an additional discount of £1 per ticket by booking & paying before 30th September - but there were seats still available at £8 each prior to the shows. I thought it would be quite rowdy there with all those schoolshcildren - but they all so well behaved & it was a fantastic pantomime!

    bargain- lil
  • Stanley_Funk
    • #7
    • 15th Dec 05, 8:59 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Dec 05, 8:59 AM
    Aladdin at the Bristol Old Vic is reviewed well. I've got a family ticket (which can either be for 2 adults & 2 children or for 1 adult and 3 children) for £16.00. We're seeing it next Thursday so can't tell you how good it is yet - but at £4 per head the price is nice!

    Seats at this price are the wooden benches in the gallery - have sat there before and it's fine - although probably not ideal if you have impaired mobility.
    • Fuzzy
    • By Fuzzy 15th Dec 05, 9:38 PM
    • 271 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    • #8
    • 15th Dec 05, 9:38 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Dec 05, 9:38 PM
    Volunteer to go as a parent helper with the school trip, and get in for free! BTW make sure you go with year 4 or above, otherwise you're on constant trips to the loos!

    Downside is the coach journey there and back with the kids! Upside (as bargain-lil says) the place is full of kids having a great time, adds to the atmosphere! If you're not sure just look around at their faces!

    Happy Christmas MSEers
    • purplepurple
    • By purplepurple 20th Dec 05, 11:06 AM
    • 618 Posts
    • 628 Thanks
    • #9
    • 20th Dec 05, 11:06 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Dec 05, 11:06 AM
    I agree... I was asked to go along to the panto with my daughters school and didn't have to pay..... I'm just gutted that I booked 4 tickets to see the same panto when they went on sale in March!... and it's not even a very good one this year!

    • heaven scent
    • By heaven scent 20th Dec 05, 12:17 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    heaven scent
    Travelex runs a fantastic scheme where you can get £10 tickets on Mondays at a mixture of Royal Opera and Royal Ballet productions from the Royal Opera House.

    100 of the very best seats in the house are available for just £10 and you enter a ballot to win one. We went to see La Boheme a couple of months ago and the seats were brill.
  • elanter
    Cheaper theatre tickets
    If its still there, The Half Price Ticket booth in Leicester Square offers discounts on same day performances.

    Also usually has offers
  • Carter74uk
    Cinema Tickets
    I've very recently come across a website called which offers free tickets to see certain movies, providing you're prepared to give feedback on the film. You basically join and if they're showing a movie in a cinema in your location they'll invite you to a screening. I have just joined within the last few days so I don't know what it's like yet but I think it's definitely worth a shot.
    • Snuggles111
    • By Snuggles111 21st Dec 05, 11:04 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Restricted seats
    If there is an orchestra in the theatre there are usually about 3 restricted seats in the front row of the stalls directly behind where the conductor stands or sits. It all depends on whether the conductor is short or tall - it is just luck if he's short. The seats are greatly reduced.
    • vickylee
    • By vickylee 21st Dec 05, 11:13 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 99 Thanks
    I don't know if this is still ongoing - but the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds used to do an Under 26 thing where you could get tickets to certain performances for under a Fiver, I think it was Monday to Fridays and you had to go in person to the box office.
    Also, if you are a Leeds Card holder, they occasionally do a BOGOF - sometimes it's worth checking to see if they are doing this offer, then getting a Leeds card! That's what I did anyway. Saved £14 on tickets!
    Mum to 2 cheeky little monkeys!
    Usborne Books at Home Organiser
    • ellou02
    • By ellou02 21st Dec 05, 11:38 AM
    • 46 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is fantastic (and I happen to work there!)

    Some top tips for cheaper ways to see the show at Theatres in general:

    1. Check if there are special rates for groups, like one free ticket in a party of 10 etc, then round up a suitable number of friends. Could be a good tip for Children's shows, where other families you know might be going anyway.

    2. Check when stand-by tickets go on sale (eg same day as show, etc)

    3. Check if there is a 'seat miles' scheme, whereby you can volenteer to do some work (may for mail outs about future shows, etc) and get points that can be converted into tickets when you build up enough.

    4. Check local press for any offers (like 2 for one or other discounts)

    5. Don't be shy to call the box offices and ask when the cheapest performances are, and what offers are on at the moment - once you have the info, it's up to you if you book on the phone (and pay the booking fee) or just buy in person later.

    6. If applicable, check if there are offers (or free) carers tickets for wheelchair users, etc

    7. If you want to see a Panto or Xmas show, there are generally better offers after Xmas, so if it was too expensive for you to see the show on the run up to Xmas, ask the Box Office when the prices go down (and when you can actually get a discount for children's tickets - not all performances have a childrens discount)

    Hope this helps
  • tryingtosave
    London theatre
    Half price ticket booth is still in Leicester square (and Canary Wharf now) - well worth a visit if you're looking for a show. The best plan is either to have a look on their website to see what they're likely to have or to pick a few shows you think you'd like and then keep your fingers crossed (and take Time Out with you so you can quickly read the reviews if the choice is more limited - the public library near by has a copy too).

    This site shows you what is likely to be for sale:

    Our experience is that if you can get there about 1pm ish there is a pretty good range of stuff - and it's usually possible to get 2 fairly decent seats to some pretty good / popular stuff. There are some shows they never have though (see site above). Once you get past 4pm on the day, the choice can get a little more limited, but if you're not try to go to a musical (or something really popular / mainstream), it's still definitely worth a visit. It also might be more difficult if there are more than 2 of you - but if you're not bothered if you're not all together ... be flexible and they're really helpful!!

    I personally avoid the other ticket offices. I don't really speak from experience, but I'm not convinced that you'll end up with good seats - even if the "price is right". They should always be able to show you on a chart where you'll be sitting, and if you're getting an full view (do ask!!). It's also sometimes worth checking at the box office of the theatre - returns etc.

    Other thing is that the Mayor's office are doing loads of promos on shows at the moment - have a look at:
  • call me ishmael
    Liverpool Theatres
    The Everyman and Playhouse theatres in Liverpool

    Monday nights - tickets are all £5

    I've been to a few great plays in great seats that should have been upto £20.

    Check the website for listings for the New Year


  • manpower
    Theatre Discounts
    Hi Again All, has a discounted offer available to go to Brentwood theatre in Essex, you can get tickets for just £8 for all ages. Offer available until 30th December. Just print the voucher and take it along with you!!

    They have also got competitions to win a family ticket to Newquay Zoo and a family ticket to Blackpool Tower's Christmas Circus' production of Robin Hood.

    There are many offers on lots of attractions all over the UK. I use this site on a daily basis and have been amazed at how much money we can save if we just look around!

    Hope this helps you all and Merry Christmas to all Money Savers.
  • boxcover
    West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
    The West Yorkshire Playhouse has a Big Deal offer for their Spring season. A ticket costs £40 and gives you the chance to see four plays from seven.

    You can save up to £15 per ticket. Call 0113 213 7700 and ask for the Big Deal. Got them in the post the day after I rang.
  • elanter
    Can I recommend the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith? They have had some wonderful Christmas show over the years.- Shockheaded Peter and Cinderella. This year is the Magic Carpet and Starry Starry Night. My kids loved going here when they were younger.
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