London's West End is, along with Broadway, one of the two centres of the theatre world, renowned for its serious drama and popular musicals alike. Theatre bookings can be made in person at the box office, over the phone, or online, and all of these methods have certain advantages. There are also discounts to be had for those willing to take a chance and wait until the day of the performance.
The first thing to bear in mind is that the most popular West End shows can be booked out weeks or occasionally even months in advance. Theatre bookings should therefore, be made as far in advance as possible.
One way of making theatre bookings is directly from the theatre box office. Having decided what you want to see, find out where it is playing and then you can either phone up or visit the box office in person (most are open all day during the week). Telephone bookings using a credit card may attract a small administration fee. If you are booking in advance then buying online is a good option as often there are special offers on many shows.
Alternatively, you can go through a ticket agency, of which there are literally hundreds. Look in the newspapers and you will find a plethora of agencies offering to make theatre bookings for you, often at significant discounts. Again, you will be charged an administration fee, so read the small print. It's worth checking that you are dealing with a reputable agency; most such agencies are members of STAR (the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers).
If you are making theatre bookings on the day of performance, the best way to do so is through the "tkts" ticket booth, which is located in the clocktower building in Leicester Square. This booth sells discount tickets on the day of performance, and while not all shows use "tkts" to sell surplus seats, you will find a wide choice on offer here. Finally, if you want to take potluck, you could go to the theatre itself on the evening of the performance and wait for any returns at the box office. But be aware that you could find yourself waiting for nothing, and your journey may be wasted!
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