Day Seats are the best chance to go to theatre in London for a good price. These tickets are the first on my list when I’m planning going to see a show. Some theatres release a few amount of tickets for a reduced price when they open, from 10 o’clock (most of them).
Depending on the show, some people go very early on the morning just to buy a Day Seat. It’s really hard to wake up early just to go to the theatre but it’s worth it. Some shows are very popular, like ‘Wicked’, so people get there very early and wait until 10 o’clock. In that case, I recommend having a look at Twitter, because people usually post if they are queuing. So more or less you can see if people go very early or you can go a little bit later.
The price depends on the theatre. In the case of ‘Wicked’, for example, is getting more expensive every time because is a very popular show. It costs £29.50, but people will go and buy it anyway (I include myself). It’s true that, even being expensive, it’s cheaper than a regular ticket. But usually, the Day Seats cost about £15, £20, £25 or even £5 in the case of ‘Matilda’ for those aged 16 to 25 only.
The seats are located in different places; it also depends on the theatre. Some theatres have rows and special seats only for Day Seats, like ‘Wicked’, ‘Memphis’ and ‘Miss Saigon’ (front row). But in some theatres they have like a kind of box office discretion, which means that the location of the seat will depend on how busy is the performance that day. Don’t worry; they are usually on the stalls and maybe restricted view, but nothing serious, you can watch the show without any problem.
The best way to be informed about Day Seats is checking the Theatre Monkey webpage. It’s great because it’s updated by the users and people who is going to see shows in London. They write reviews about their seats, if they were happy with the views and the price. Also, there you can check the price, the location and you can know when does the people usually go queuing.
Basically, Day Seats are a great deal but you need to organise yourself: get some information, be prepared to wait in a queue on the door of the theatre (so wear the appropriate clothes, you know that weather in London changes all the time) and know that you can’t book in advance, you’ll book for the same day performance. But you know that sometimes the improvised plans are the best.
I think that all the inconvenient about Day Seats disappear once you can watch the show, enjoy it and love it for a reasonable price. Once you are sitting have a look around you and think that most of the people paid more than the double than you. Just wake up early and then enjoy the show.