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London Theatre Weekend Guide

London theatre guide

A London theatre weekend is a great way to enjoy one of England’s most special cultural attractions. Theatre lovers and aspiring thespians with stars in their eyes flock to England’s capital to experience all that the West End has to offer. 

Arranging a London theatre weekend can seem a little overwhelming. There are so many theatres, so many wonderful plays to see and so many accommodation options to choose from.

With London’s high accommodation costs and its sheer size, it’s important to plan ahead so that your weekend in London goes as smoothly as possible.

London theatre weekend guide - where to eat and stay

London Theatre Tickets

When you are heading to London for a theatre getaway, the price of tickets vary greatly, depending on the play and the day of the week. Matinee shows are usually cheaper.

The newer and more in demand the production, the more expensive tickets can be. Students and under 26’s can get discounted tickets.

Preview shows are a great way to get cheap tickets, and to see new productions before most people. Bear in mind that the performance may not be as perfect as if you wait until the official opening.

If you aren’t too fussed about seeing the latest show, you can choose one that’s been running for a while to help keep your costs down.

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If you are headed to London for a theatre weekend, you may want to purchase your theatre tickets before you come. Websites like London Theatre DirectLastMinute and TimeOut sell discounted tickets, so it’s a good idea to check them out.

LastMinute has a section with offers for theatre tickets and a meal, as well as an under £15 section. Just make sure you click right through to see the date, time and seats that are being offered before you commit! With theatre tickets going for as much as £100, a £15 ticket could have a restricted view of the stage.

However, buying online may not be the cheapest way to experience the West End.

Buying London Theatre tickets in London

London theatre weekend - where to buy tickets for west end

The Leicester Square ticket booth, TKTS at the Clocktower Building offers cheap tickets. It’s run by the Society of London Theatre and you can score up to half price tickets. You may have to queue, but it’s worth it.

You can also try your luck at individual box offices before a show starts. No-shows and other tickets may be available for cheap prices, but you may not get lucky at all, so it’s a little risky!

Where to Stay in London for a Theatre Weekend

London theatre black cab

As London’s West End is in Central London, accommodation prices nearby are very high. When I went to see Mamma Mia at the Novello theatre in February, we stayed at a Travelodge that was a 6 minute walk from the theatre.

A double room at the Travelodge Central Covet Garden cost £141 for two nights, between two people. The rooms were really clean and the hotel had a bar and offered breakfast. It was convenient and had all that we needed.

If you are travelling in a group, an AirBnB is always an option.

It’s important to realise how spread out London is. If you book somewhere far from Central London, you could find yourself spending a lot of time on public transport making your way from one side of the city to another. If you are only visiting London for a weekend, you don’t want to be spending half that time riding the Underground.

London theatre guide

Eating in London

There’s a Pret-a-Manger on almost every street in London, or so it seems. They sell breakfast and lunch items which are really tasty. I have such a weakness for their bircher muesli and any kind of pastry, so we ate breakfast there each day during our weekend in London.

England is famous for its breakfasts, and you can get delicious traditional breakfast fries and brunch offerings for under £10 in London.

London is home to an array of flavours and prices to match your budget. Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Chinese and Middle Eastern restaurants can all be affordable.

British supermarkets are handy for picking up lunch items and snacks during the day.

Pre-Theatre Dining in London

In London’s theatre district, there are lots of restaurants that offer reasonable pre-theatre menus. We discovered an amazing place between our hotel and the Novello theatre that I can’t wait to tell you about!

A post shared by Sarastro (@sarastro_london) on

Sarastro is a magical find, and sure to excite any theatre lover. Inside is an explosion of colour and atmosphere, with lots of little theatre box dining nooks that offer intimate dining with theatrical flair.


We sat in one of the upper levels and had to climb a little ladder to reach our table. It was a lot of fun!
Unfortunately, I only had my phone with me, so the photographs I took are bad really quality.

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The pre-theatre set menu cost £17.50 per person. For starters, we got hummus, samosa-like parcels filled with oozing melted cheese and a tzatziki like yoghurt and cucumber dip.

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The main course options were more traditional. I got a lasagne, my sister got salmon which came with an almond potato croquette shaped like a pear! My mom went for the chicken.

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The combination of Middle Eastern cuisine and more traditional food was ideal, as there’s something for everyone.

The service was really efficient too, and we didn’t feel rushed. All in all, I couldn’t recommend this place any more for a pre-theatre dinner!

 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Travelling Dany
    May 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I always wanted to go but the whole bundle, flights, hotel, public transport and tickets is so expensive :/

  • Reply
    claire
    May 6, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    no-where beats London for a little theatre, daaahling! I wish I was there right now after reading this.

  • Reply
    Danik
    May 6, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    As a local I love going to the theatre. Its a great way to get an insight of London life and check out some of the big shows. 🙂 Great write up .
    Danik recently posted…Happy Boat: Koh Phi Phi’s Non Booze Cruise OptionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    May 7, 2017 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for the tips on how to save money on tickets. I really like the look of Sarastro theatre. It really does look magical with its little nooks!
    Jennifer recently posted…Robot Restaurant in Tokyo: A MisadventureMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jade Mortimer
    May 7, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I do love a theatre trip in London! Your pre-theatre dinner looks amazing too, for a really good price?! Will definitely be checking that out when I next see a show!

  • Reply
    Brianna
    May 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    The second time I saw The Phantom of the Opera was in London! Seeing a show is a great way to spend the evening if you aren’t looking to hit the bars all night. I’d love to take my younger brother to London for a theatre getaway!

  • Reply
    Elisa
    May 7, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    This is something that I would like to do but I am not sure my level of English is good enough for the theatre. I tried Shakespeare when I was 18 and it was a total disaster, lol. But I can always try a pre-theatre dining option (like the one that you propose) without the theatre after 😉

  • Reply
    Nathan
    May 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I would love to go to London just to visit the theater! I wouldn’t be too fussy about which one I saw- I think the experience would be enough. I’ve seen several in NYC while I was there so it would be nice to see how they differ.

  • Reply
    Teesh
    May 9, 2017 at 3:25 am

    One of the things I plan to do if ever I get my ass to London is to go on a theater trip! Thank you for the tips!

  • Reply
    Paul
    May 9, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Great guide! We’ve been to London a few times but never got the chance to go to the theatre. It’s always been too expensive for the shows we want to see but it definitely sounds like it’s best to plan ahead! Thanks for sharing
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  • Reply
    Angelique
    May 13, 2017 at 3:39 am

    This is an interesting guide! London is one of my fave and most frequented cities, but I definitely haven’t done a lot of these things. Great ideas for my next trip.

  • Reply
    Jeannette Paladino
    May 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

    It is a dream to go to London, but it costs a lot and I can’t afford it right now, may be in future, I will visit theaters for sure.
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  • Reply
    Agness of eTramping
    June 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    London is spectacular! However, I haven’t been to this theater and it is a great idea!
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