Related to my post earlier this week about the best theatres for tickets under £20 I thought I'd write a guide to day seats as this is the other cheap way to see West End theatre.
It's easy enough to find out if a theatre does day seats using the magic of google. However it is worth clarifying with the box office the number of tickets available, whether it is one or two per person and where they are beforehand to avoid disappointment. Most theatres allocate seats on the front row but some choose to dot them around. Prices vary a little theatre to theatre from £10 to around £20.
How early you need to arrive on the day to queue will be entirely dependent on the show and who is in it. Again, a bit of online research or even better still use social media to get a rough idea. I've turned up 10 minutes before the box office opened and been successful, I've even had friends trot up at 4pm and still get a day seat. Equally I've turned up to queue two hours before only to have the person in front of me take the last ticket. The latter incident was a gamble that didn't pay off. I worked out the number of people in front of me versus number of tickets I thought available and knew I was on the cusp.
On the plus side there is the day seat queue camaraderie. If you are enthusiastic enough about a play to get up early and queue in the cold then invariably your fellow queuers are of the same mind. Often the wait can fly by in getting to know fellow theatre fans. Generally people are friendly and will hold each others spots for coffee runs and loo breaks.
Any other tips I've missed? Or day seat queue stories?