West End theatre on a student budget

Image credit: Photo by Ikin Yum © RSC

Though it is difficult to beat the value for money of the theatre put on by Cambridge students, some of the West End blockbuster shows make it very tempting to take a trip down. However, with the cost of seats in West End shows going up and up, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see these shows on a student budget. Luckily, some of this year's most exciting shows have schemes and systems that we students can take advantage of to see them for considerably less.

One of the most exciting shows coming to the West End this year will be the Imperium double bill, Conspirator and Dictator at the Gielgud Theatre (pictured). An adaptation of Robert Harris' Imperium Trilogy, the production follows the rise and fall of Cicero and the Roman Republic. It already has a string of top reviews from its run in Stratford-on-Avon and is sure to be a success in London as well as a hit with Classicists up and down the country.

The London production will run from 14th June to 8th September 2018. Tickets were released last Friday and have already been popular but be sure to take advantage of their student offer if you would like to go. For students aged 16-25, each performance has 20 £5 tickets (10 in advance and 10 on the day). 

Mary Stuart at the Almeida West End has also received great write ups. A play about the political drama between Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, the actors select on the flip of a coin who gets to play each role on the night. Luckily, this sold-out London show will be coming to the Cambridge Arts Theatre for a week's run from the 23rd to the 28th April. With tickets starting from £25, it saves you the cost of the train ticket.

What about the smash hit broadway musical Hamilton whose prices are notoriously high with top band tickets costing £250? For each performance there are a limited number of tickets at £10 each available through the ticket lottery. Though there is no guarantee you will get the tickets, but from this editor’s own experience it is well worth the effort of putting your name down.

A similar system is available for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the ‘Friday Forty’, where 40 tickets are released for the following weeks shows at lower prices. The Book of Mormon also run a ticket lottery where top seats are made available to lottery winners for £20 each.

Don’t mind standing? Some performances such as Les Misérables sell standing tickets on the door on the night for as little as £12.50 while the Shakespeare’s Globe, whose season opens on the 25th April with Hamlet and continues with The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, As You Like it and Othello, have 500 standing places at £5 for each performance. If you miss out on booking but happen to be in London, it is always worth getting in the queue for returns as many often come through.


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