SRO In London

London, The Arts

Pigs, astronauts, ghosts, shoes & umbrellas – it must be a new theatre season in London…but you probably won’t get in to see much of it.

Being an arts addict in London and actually finding decent seats can be a pretty expensive pastime unless you keep your ear to the ground and get in early. One answer is to subscribe to online fringe sites and watch out for previews. Another late-stage gambit is to buy Time Out on Tuesday (a day early) from the handful of central London shops that stock it ahead of time.

Neither method will get you a ticket to ‘Frankenstein’, but in the movie-into-musical stakes there’s ‘Ghost’, ‘Betty Blue Eyes’ ( from Alan Bennett’s ‘A Private Function’) ‘Shoes’ and ‘The Red Shoes’, Kneehigh’s ‘The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg’, plus the Pet Shop Boys doing Astronaut ballet in (the almost completely sold out) ‘The Most Incredible Thing’ at Sadler’s Wells.

But that’s just scratching the surface of what’s available this spring – the list is insane, but the problem – as ever – is ensuring that your hard cash is spent watching something worthwhile, assuming you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, and not having to sit through ‘Love Never Dies’ or ‘Dirty Dancing’ (which, being a discerning reader of this site, you should know better than even contemplating).

I’m shocked that the rather tame ‘Ghost Stories’ is still playing, but the audience for it appears young and everyone has to start somewhere. But it seems that everything of any worth is either sold out or down to a handful of rubbish seats.

Meanwhile, look to the smaller venues around Southwark and London Bridge for cheaply priced nights out – some fringe theatres are starting to offer Easyjet-style tickets that become more expensive the later you leave it to book. In order words, they reward a leap of faith with lower prices, which seems fair to me.

4 comments on “SRO In London”

  1. Jon says:

    The Place (dance theatre, Euston) does airline pricing, as does Southwark Playhouse.

    Both are excellent places. The Place also has an affordable bar – although being a dance venue it has the downside of making me feel like a fat, ugly tourist in comparison to the lithe sophisticates who are also in attendance.

  2. Porl says:

    another trick is to follow companies and venues on twitter and be the first to hear when ticket deals, offers and competitions are to be had….

    Some of the large scale show prices are astronomical. A possibility is to wait until a show tours, and with advance planning you could buy tickets for it in the provinces, and get your rail travel and a hotel for the night all in for less than the price of 2 x west end seats…

    War Horse £85?? Do me a favour! Can anything really be worth that?

  3. Helen Martin says:

    Eighty-five pounds! And that’s not even a new show. I wonder what they’ll charge by the time it’s actually produced here. The suggestion of waiting till it shows outside the westend sounds like a best bet and you might find yourself the next day in somewhere with fascinating shops and museums? Maybe?

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Two days until Frankenstein is shown at our local theatre. Got to get a ticket.

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