No trip to London is complete without a visit to a West End theatre. Here are some helpful London theatre tips from our panel of theatre experts.
Where to Sit
One of the biggest questions we get asked is where to sit at a performance, and the answer very much depends on your own preferences. Some people prefer being up close to the action in the front of the stalls, while others prefer the panoramic views afforded from the Dress and Royal Circles. Many people also prefer the best value for money, which can often be in upper levels. SeatPlan is a fantastic site which offers audiences the opportunity to review their own seats, so be sure to check out their guide to each theatre before booking your tickets.
All of London’s main theatres are in tube zone 1. When you arrive in the capital the tube is the easiest way around and for just the day we recommend buying a one day travel card for zones 1-2 and not just zone 1 (they are equal in price). A London travel card can be used all day for unlimited journeys on any tube and bus within the zones you have purchased it for. You can buy one at any London Underground tube station.
For information on which tube station is nearest to the theatre you are visiting and which tube lines it is on, please refer to our theatres page. We advise buying and using your ticket after 9.30am to get the cheaper rate of £5.60.
If your trip to London is for more than a day then it is worthwhile buying an Oyster card at any London Underground station for £3. Oyster cards cut London transport fares considerably and you will save a lot of money with one. The most you will pay for a days travel in zones 1-2 is £5.60. If you hand in your card to a staff member at any tube station once you no longer need it they will refund you the £3 and any existing money on your Oyster card.
For getting home, most theatre performances finish at around 10.30pm and the last tubes are generally between 12 and 12.30am. To ensure you do not miss your tube, check in advance on the official Transport for London website: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
Meet The Cast
When a celebrity is performing at a West End show, they are usually happy to sign autographs and take photos when they exit the theatre. It is a good idea to ask a member of staff in the foyer which exit the celebrity will come out of and how long they usually take to come out. For bigger stars, barriers are placed outside the stage door behind which you can line up to get autographs. Not all celebrities will sign things but the nice ones certainly will!