Here are a few tips to bear in mind when booking theatre breaks.
1) Try to be flexible about your dates.
This is really going to help you get to see the show that you want at the the price you can afford so even if there is a special anniversary coming up or something like that it’s well worth investigating several days either side of the exact date. It’s also worth think carefully about whether your London theatre break really needs to be on a weekend or a weekday because the difference can be surprising and it’s not always in the direction that you might think.
2) How important are the seats?
Not all seats are created equal by far, and for some people the experience sitting in the middle of the stalls is much superior to that at the back of the circle. I think it comes down to personal preference and experience though, so think carefuly about your previous theatre experiences and then check out which kind of seats are being offered as part of your theatre break. Some offer “Best seats available” which sounds like it could mean anything but actually that’s one of the better offers. Others offer “Top Tickets” or “2nd price and 3rd price” but if there is a seating plan then with a little bit of imagination you can get a pretty god idea of what your seats are going to be like. Don’t forget also that there’s a huge difference in the size of some of these London theatres, with quite small intimate vintage theatres in listed building in the heart of theatreland, and then some quite huge auditoriums for the really big shows like Wicked and We Will Rock You.
3) Transport to London.
I know how much people value their own personal space in their car but London really is the exception in our car-dependent world. Getting around cantral London can seem like a jungle to the unaccustomed driver and there’s nearly always nowhere to park. So you’ll end up in some undergound car park that costs nearly as much as a theatre ticket and you’re still miles away from the theatre. So the best bet is usually to arrive by train and the get about on foot, by taxi or even on the tube.
4) Musicals or Plays.
You might have a show in mind when you start looking online but don’t be put off if you can’t get the most famous musical on the dates you planned, there are always new shows coming into the West End and sometimes it’s more fulfilling to go and discover something new that hasn’t been reproduced on tour or elsewhere yet. One of the best things about the London scene is that you can often get to see some very famous actors and actressese performing in classic plays by the great authors, so that’s something to consider as a change from the latest blockbuster music revival with the original Broadway cast.
For more tips and advice to get the most out of London Theatre breaks you might visit the Theatre Breaks Magazine