Author: Bob Handford
tkts Leicester Square is THE place to start your search for discounted London theatre tickets and is run by the Society of London Theatre. You’ll find their office at the southern edge of Leicester Square, a pedestrianised square right in the very centre of London close to Trafalgar Sqaure. Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus Underground Stations are close by.
Hundreds of half price and discount theatre tickets are available on the day of performance and up to a week in advance from the kiosk, you can only buy in person though. They’ll take cash, credit cards, even theatre tokens. The office is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Sundays (11 a.m. to 6 p.m).
Tkts apply a £3 service charge.
Your best plan of action is to get to Tkts as early as possible after checking out their web site the day before to get an idea of the shows making tickets available and at what price. Search ‘tkts leicester square whats on sale’ in a search engine.
Don’t expect the best selling shows that are sold out weeks in advance, these are tickets where the theatre thinks they would have empty seats unless they deep discount. The best discounts are thus mid-week and during the slack months.
On the day Bob visited on a Saturday in late January there was good availability of some top line shows like Billy Ellott and Bllod Brothers which were discounted by about 30% to £40-£45. Less commercial shows were discounted down to as low as £15-£20. Matinees in the afternoon can be particularly good deals.
Most shows start around 7:30 to 8 p.m. and finish aaround 10 to 11 p.m.
Tips Plus Alternative Places To Get A Good Deal On Theatre Tickets
Its worthwhile if you have specic shows in mind to check the normal prices of tickets on-line. There is always quite a range of ticket prices and a deep discounted top price ticket may still be more expensive than full price for one of the cheap seats. If you have a specific show in mind its worth a punt visiting the theatre in question. Sometimes they’ll sell you a really cheap ticket with an ‘obscured view’ that is often scarcely noticable.
There are also quite a few other kiosks around the Leicester Square area promoting half price tickets. Be very sceptical about these, you can easly get caught out if you are not on top of pricing for the various categories of seats and do ask for their service charges early on which can be steep.
Another good on-line option is the web site lastminute.com which normally has a good choice of discounted tickets and bundles combining tickets with dinner or similar.
If you have a specific show in mind and its a very popular one its probably best to avoid possible dissapointment and buy well in advance. The most popular shows can be sold out weeks in advance, particularly at weekends. Superbreak and Show and Stay (HolidayExtras) are two reputable specialists that offer very good theatre and hotel packages and often have tickets for shows that otherwise have sold out.