The most expensive shows in London

It has always been easy to spend your money in London but, when it comes down to it and, contrary to a lot of rumours, theatre-going in the theatre capital of the world is not necessarily that expensive: with special offers, meal deals, last minute tickets and upper circle seats you can “do” London’s Theatreland for very little money… of course no-one will be looking across at you and saying “wow, how did they get those seats: I must engineer an introduction at the interval!” So if your wallet is uncomfortably fat and your entertainment budget woefully under-used, read on and let me spend your money…

At the top of the pile is London’s Royal Opera House. Nothing says “ker-ching” like a trip to the world’s premier opera house. Of course you could sit in the cheap seats but what you can’t do is get a deal. Sit in the best seats and pay! In the 2013 Autumn season, the operas to splash the cash at are: Puccini’s “Turandot” and Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro”. The great thing about opera is that you can really see where they have spent your money: from the theatre itself to the huge orchestra, the endless chorus with their multiple costumes and the stunning sets. If you really want to save money then sit at the back, or on the side, but why would you? Top price seats are £178 each.

Royal Opera House

Sticking with Covent Garden, the next on our list of budget busting tickets is the Royal Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece set to Tchaikovski’s stunning music is one of life’s “must sees”. And don’t think that catching one of the live screenings in a cinema somewhere near where you live is a suitable alternative. £112 is what the best seats cost and £112 is what you should spend.

Romeo and Juliet

The West End has long underpriced its very best tickets: especially when you compare it to Broadway. So it was not a surprise when, a few years ago, producers started to sell the seats right in the middle of the stalls and dress circle at a premium. These were originally packaged with a complimentary programme or maybe a drink, but nowadays just the best seat in the house will be all that you get in return for your hard earned cash – oh, and the admiring stares of everyone in the theatre as they try and work out how you got such brilliant seats!

So what are the 10 most expensive West End shows?

1. The Book of Mormon £127
2. Wicked £98
3. The Lion King £97.70
4. Jersey Boys £97
5. Les Miserables £97
6. Mamma Mia! £97
7. The Phantom Of The Opera £95
8. Once £95
9. Stephen Ward £95
10. The Body Guard £95

Finally, the Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s premium venues with a wide range of shows, concerts and events taking place there each year. Probably the most famous single event is the Last Night of the Proms. This potentially provides us with London’s most expensive event.

Royal Albert Hall

Although tickets can be as little as £5 each, because of the Five Ticket Ballot system, you could be buying tickets for the other promenade concerts, to qualify for the last night, for years without actually getting a ticket for the last night. You could of course camp out or turn up on the day and queue but what, in either of those options, implies luxury! Sitting tickets for the performance, should you buy sitting tickets for 5 other proms and get lucky on the ballot are £87.50.

Simon Harding is Editor at Theatre Breaks.

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Comments (1)

  1. Grant says:

    We went to see Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago. Paid £90/ticket by going through a ticket broker, but buying them at the theatre were around £120 as you write. It’s absolutely brilliant however

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