Are you one of those people who goes to the theatre once in a blue moon? Do you pay £65 for a ticket on a Saturday night and think to yourself, ‘how do people afford this more than once in a blue moon?’
Sit back, readers. Prepare, for the wisdom.
Booking a ticket:
- If you can afford a £65 ticket on a Saturday night, then please stop reading. You are my favourite type of person. Please go buy more full price tickets, preferably for one of my shows.
- If you are part of the other 98% of the population who aren’t rolling in disposable income, you can do one of the following things; get your ass down to Leicester Square to the TKTS booth, show up at 10am for a day seat (usually on the front row but still worth it because they’re usually around £20), sign up to every discount site in the world (Groupon, Travelzoo, Money Supermarket.com, Kelkoo, there are shed loads and they do 241′s ALL the time), or head over to Lastminute.com for their 24 hour sale or Ticketmaster for their countdown offers.
- Or get a job like mine where people give you tickets for free. I wouldn’t really advise this option, unless you like eye bags and premature aging.
At the theatre:
- Please do not buy a bottle of wine in the incoming. You will bankrupt yourself and your entire family. Instead, why not pick a nice pub near to the stage door and buy a slightly less extortionately priced bottle, and do some people watching while you wait.
- Unless you want to be tempted into buying malteasers, icecream, souvenir brochures and very expensive magnets, stay the hell out of the theatre until 5 minutes to curtain. Here’s a hint – those bells? The 3, 2 and 1 minute calls? 3 means 5. 1 means 3. When they start saying ‘tonight’s performance is about to begin’, well, that’s when you nip to the loo and beat the crowds before dashing down to your seat – just please god make sure you know where it is first.
- Be interval savvy. When you feel it’s getting close, take a look over your shoulder. Do you see ushers with icecream trays? If you do – well done, it’s the interval! Clock the nearest loo and GO, lest you sacrifice the entire interval. If you’re going to get a drink, order it before the show. Use that 3/5 minute call for something useful. If you’re really savvy you can get out of the theatre for 15 minutes – the Nell opposite Drury Lane, for example, do their own interval drinks so you can nip across the road and not even have to queue. Genius.
After the show:
- You really don’t need to go out the way you came in (unless you left something in the cloakroom. Don’t be that guy.) and I highly recommend heading straight for the nearest fire exit. It’ll take you straight out to the street and there no annoying queuing to be done.
- If you went to see a show with some famous peeps in it (as most have these days) and you’re not a programme signing theatre geek but still quite fancy seeing David Tennant in the flesh, find the stage door and do a hop, skip and a jump. Look up and head to the nearest pub. Actors are not too resourceful. They won’t stray far. You may have to take up smoking to have an excuse to catch a glimpse of the REALLY famous ones mind you.
And so there you have it. My advice for theatregoers everywhere. Use it wisely!