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London Theatre Tickets- Good value Or Ripoff?

  • 18 Jun 2011
    Are London theatre tickets value for money or are they overpriced and ripping off the general public?
London theatre tickets in the west end have always been in high demand and with an abundence of great talent and spectacular stage shows, musical and plays to choose from it is little wonder that the theatre  is a draw for foreign tourists, domestic visitors and Londoners alike.  But are theatre tickets in London fairly priced and good value or are the public being fleeced by greedy agents and touts?

West end theatre shows have always been a big selling factor for visitors coming to London and for decades the only way that people could buy theatre tickets was  directly through the theatre, hotel concierges, and last minute ticket booths in Leicester square.  There were actually very few agencies that specialised in theatre tickets back then and the ones that did exist generally dealt in the 4 and 5 star hoel concierge market to retail tickets at what was then inflated ticket prices with customers having to swallow substantial booking fees for all shows and all performances.  This practice of course still exists and will always do so in the high end of the market as there will always be a certain clientele that are willing to pay extra for good service and relieved stress levels.

Hotel concierges selling theatre tickets  to their guests at that time (and probably still do in a lot of hotels in the high end of the market)  would explain the booking fees as a 'service charge' enabling clients to book simply and easily through them and avoiding having to queue up at ticket booths in Leicester Square or at the theatre releiving stress and offering an 'easy option'.

The rise of the internet and online operators along with deals done through west end theatres with overseas tour operators has now dramatically changed all that meaning that now the average  consumer has an abundence of choice of where to obtain cheap London theatre tickets at bargain prices as the big players in the market for  theatre tickets in the UK and beyond all try and jockey for position in the search engines and increase market share in what has always been a lucrative industry.

And when it comes to the actual product on offer it's hardly suprising especially now with customers getting more and more internet savvy and learning through the world wide web that they can get London theatre tickets cheap.  Great London stage shows such as Les Miserables, Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You and Blood Brothers have been playing to packed houses for years and years and even after showcasing their shows all over the world they still command a major draw to the capital selling thousands of theatre tickets in London every week. 

All of these shows despite their seemingly everlasting popularity though are now starting to offer discount theatre tickets for at least selected performances of the shows as the big suppliers of theatre tickets in London buy up massive advance allocations from the theatre at a discount which they now thanks to market forces and competition they actually pass on to the consumer.

This is great news for the theatre going public and looks set to continue for years to come as the 'Pandora's Box' has now been opened and hopefully London theatre tickets will never be overpriced again with major suppliers beginnig to offer the public not only cheap London theatre tickets but also value packages such as west end theatre breaks incorporating both hotel room, breakfast and tickets and also dinner and show offers for nearly all of the top stage shows in London.  Never again should people have to buy riduculousely overpriced tickets off touts on street corners as the industry has changed beyond recognition in the last few years and the balance of power is now firmly in the place of the consumer.

In the depressed financial climate that we now find ourselves in it is nice to know that at least we now have the benefit of being able to obtain a little value for money for a good night out to forget about the stress and strain of daily life.  London theatre tickets will continue to sell like hotcakes as long as the venues are up to a certain standard, the theatres and agents don't get greedy and the producers can continue to stage shows, musicals and plays that the public want to see.  The future for the industry though does seem bright as the balance now seems to suit everyone...for now!
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