Since when did London theatre get so unaffordable?!

May 25, 2019


*Rant alert*


So. I’m just going to throw this out there. *Not like when you gently throw halved grapes out to the birds – because apparently bread isn’t a good idea any more. But more like when you’ve had 1 minutes sleep all night – and you are on the edge of throwing all YOUR toys out the pram if anyone so much as peeps at you again… that type of throwing.   




When did London theatre get so hugely unaffordable?




No. Really. When??



Since when did London theatre get so unaffordable?!




How much?!


To put this into context, do you remember when I wrote about family days out in May? Like… going to see Lion King the Musical?


It’s a show I’ve seen before, and I’ve been waiting for the little one to be the perfect age to take her. So, armed with my (old) knowledge of best places to sit and where to get tickets at decent prices, I went online to book. Just now.


And then.


Fell off my chair…


Because ticket prices are NOT what they used to be for the London West End shows.


What would have cost £35.00 a ticket (if you know where to book) a few years ago, is now coming in at £180.00 a ticket!


£180.00 a ticket?!


So. What would have been a family trip to the theatre for just over £100.00, now comes up at £370.00.



Are you pulling my leg?


I just don’t understand it. How can prices have jumped up so much in such a short space of time? And, isn’t theatre meant to be for everyone? Those prices are NOT for everyone!

Now. If we really REALLY wanted to go, I could pay the £370.00 for tickets. But I’m not going to. Because that’s what our hotel cost for our Disneyland Paris trip (actually, I think it was less than that!). And, given the choice to go to the theatre, or back to Disneyland, I know what everyone would pick.


Now. This is no way at all a pop at the most brilliant Lion King the Musical – which, is, absolutely incredible. I did a quick search and across the board, plenty of shows were coming in with this type of ticket pricing. *Tickets in prime viewing rows.



I could pay less sitting at the back?


It’s true. I could pay less sitting at the back. If we went for tickets towards the back of the Grand Circle (Stalls are on the ground floor, the Royal Circle the 1st floor and Grand Circle at the very top), I could be looking at a more affordable £52.50 a ticket, so in total £157.50.




£157.50 in my opinion is still A LOT to be sitting at the very top, near the back!


I want us to go out and really enjoy the shows that we see. I want to be able to buy good tickets, so my little one can see the full stage. So she’s not trying to see round a pillar or missing the stage because of overhang. So she gets the same chance as I did to fall in love with musicals.




So what now?


For now I’m going to wait until August to see if we can bag any of the ‘Kids Week’ tickets for the Lion King, where it’s buy one and get one free. But I’m also going to be doing a bit of digging to see if there are any other ways of getting fab seats for less than in the £100’s each.


I’ll let you what I find out!


*When I talk about London theatre, I do mean the big BIG musicals. Not the lovely children’s shows such as Bear hunt, The Gruffalo and The Tiger Who Came To Tea, which are, thank goodness, still priced in what I would call a more affordable price range.   




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Since when did London theatre get so unaffordable?!



What do you think… is £180.00 a ticket too much? Or am I just being unrealistic? 



28 responses to “Since when did London theatre get so unaffordable?!”

  1. that is extortionate – and it doesn’t really help getting kids into loving the theatre.
    I’ve not been to the theatre in London for a v long time – as I live in Manchester –
    I checked prime seats for book of mormon are 100, 60 or 30 – much more affordable… I was lucky that my uncle took us to the theatre often so I’ve had a life long love of theatre of all kinds. I hope you can find some cheaper seats in the summer

  2. Stephanie says:

    Its silly isn’t it, I would love to take my three but by the time we’ve travelled up on train and tickets we could go on holiday for that. I did see a show with my friend in London by using the ticket booth in London but that’s just for the shows on the day and what seats are left

  3. Yes I agree – the kids shows as you say are luckily still affordable but the big West End shows are so expensive, although I do get they have large overheads and actors to pay but I wish there was a middle ground

    Laura x

  4. Gosh, that is way over the top … I wonder is it a bit of a Catch 22, dwindling crowds mean prices are hiked up, but rising prices keep crowds falling … either way, it’s way too much when you consider the cost of the entire experience. This must be keeping “ordinary folk” away from such shows. #DreamTeam

  5. I’m going to the theatre in Plymouth this week, hardly London but it is still £70 for a ticket. It’s a treat but not an everyday one. I know things are expensive but theatre will close itself down if they can’t make it affordable. #DreamTeam

  6. Sadly this is also true in the U.S.
    In a season in which families really need to be exposed to life entertainment and music, most cannot afford access to it.

  7. I could not agree more! There are so many shows I would like to take my boys to but they’re just so expensive. We’ve even found the children’s shows are creeping up if we see them at our local main theatre. Thankfully we are very lucky to have a university theatre which has the same children’s shows touring around for a fraction of the cost! #DreamTeam

  8. Sam says:

    Insanely pricey however there are websites where you can rescued tickets in London off the Internet X #dreamteam

  9. This is so true! My mummy was brought up visiting shows in London and now they are ridiculously expensive for families. Going to keep my ears to the ground about the kids week offers x #DreamTeam

  10. Kate Holmes says:

    One thing I hate about the UK is how they over-commercialize things that should be accessible such as nature and the arts. It means only the well-off get access and that keeps the poorer neatly and sadly in a very bad place. Love the theatre- miss it! #DreamTeam

  11. I know, prices are getting so ridiculously expensive these days. #DreamTeam

  12. Nat at Awaybies Family Travel says:

    I totally agree. It is really very upsetting! Though all sorts of costs are mad in London, so it also doesn’t surprise me. I guess the running of a show and use of a major theatre, cost of living for the actors/stage crew must be madness as well… We did see Charlie and the Chocolate factory via kidsweek a few years ago, but I’ve heard it’s difficult to get anything and was at work on the day so haven’t tried it this year! #DreamTeam

  13. MotherGeek says:

    Blimey – that’s crazy prices! I wouldn’t pay it either!

  14. GirlsGospel says:

    I don’t know if it’s the same down there, but in Salford, our main theatre prices are, like £80 each. If you register with them, they email you last minute ticket deals. We saw Dr Dolittle at Christmas which would have been £250+ each for all of us, for £43 including booking fee. We got the tickets with 48 hours notice. Worth having a look?

  15. MumFounded says:

    The downside of increases to minimum wage. Each member of the cast and crew gets paid a lot more now, and they need more staff due to tighter security etc, so prices have skyrocketed. Such a shame.

  16. I think that both prices are extortionate! They are clearly praying on tourists who don’t realise they’re being ripped off! I think the price you originally expected to pay was more like it!

  17. Tracey Carr says:

    You would have to wonder what has happened for them to have risen so much? It is a little bit suspicious isn’t it? But that aside it is absolutely silly money and of course you are right not to pay it! I have never paid that amount of money to see any show or concert and I don’t think I ever would. It’s just such a pity that it has gone this way when all you want to do is have a nice day out together #dreamteam

  18. Heather Keet says:

    I won’t even go to concert or events any more due to the surging prices. I refuse to spend $500 on a seat to watch someone sing to me, I just can’t do it. #DreamTeam

  19. Crummy Mummy says:

    It’s bonkers isn’t it…that said there are lots of good discount sites where there are some great offers #DreamTeam

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