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The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon

Those Latter Day Saints won't know what hit 'em with 'Book of Mormon' tickets

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Wicked

Wicked

Make your friends green with envy with our tickets to this feel-good musical 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The Phantom of the Opera review

The Phantom of the Opera review

This multi-award winning musical continues to captivate audiences at Her Majesty's Theatre

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Les Miserables

Les Miserables

This storming revolutionary musical has been stirring up audiences since 1985.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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The Lion King
Theatre

The Lion King

Enjoy the evocative rhythms of Africa in this multi-award winning musical.

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The Book of Mormon review

The Book of Mormon review

Brace yourself for a shock: ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Broadway-munching musical is not particularly shocking. Sure, there are ‘fucks’ and ‘cunts’ and gags about baby rape – but most of it is deployed ironically; beneath it all, this is a big-hearted affair that pays note-perfect homage to the sounds and spirit of Broadway’s golden age. The strapping young Latter Day Saints missionaries in ‘The Book of Mormon’ are as cartoonish as any ‘South Park’ character, with the endearing alpha-male woodenness of the ‘Team America’ puppets. In other words, they are loveable, well-intentioned idiots, traversing the globe like groups of pious meerkats, convinced they can convert the heathen through sheer politeness. And if they have doubts, then as Stephen Ashfield’s scene-stealingly repressed Elder McKinley declares in glorious faux-Gershwin number ‘Turn it Off’, ‘Don’t feel those feelings – hold them in instead!’ His advice is ignored by the show’s heroes, narcissistic, highly strung Elder Price (Gavin Creel) and dumpy, lying Elder Cunningham (Jared Gertner). The pair are sent to Uganda in an effort to convert a village to Mormonism, a religion that essentially tells the penniless villagers how great distant America is. The locals are not keen: Price cracks and unwisely clashes with a crazed local warlord; Cunningham makes up his own version of Mormonism which involves fucking frogs to cure oneself of Aids. ‘The Book of Mormon’ is, above all, very funny, breath

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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‘Come from Away’ review

‘Come from Away’ review

Musicals don’t come much more low-key, wholesome or Canadian than ‘Come from Away’. Writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein cook up the straightforward world of the Newfoundland town of Gander using a very straightforward set of ingredients. The cast wear sensible shoes and lumberjack shirts. They tramp across a wood-decked stage that evokes the huge skies of their tiny island. They sing their way through a set of folk-tinged songs that tell stories of the five days after 9/11, when 38 planes made emergency landings on the island’s huge, disused airstrip. And it’s all totally, soul-feedingly wonderful. ‘Come from Away’ has been a massive sleeper hit across North America, Broadway included, and it’s easy to see why: it mixes down-home authenticity with the desperate intensity that comes in times of crisis. This is a moment where 7,000 temporary arrivals join a community of just 9,000 people. Logistics might not be the sexiest of topics for a musical, but one of the many surprising joys of this show is how gripping it makes things like the struggle to rustle up transport at a time when the local school bus drivers were on strike and had to be coaxed into crossing the picket line. Then there are beds, food, medication and interpreters to be sourced for passengers from across the world: one non-English-speaking couple communicates by cross-referencing Bible verses. Based closely on interviews with real Newfoundlanders, this is a picture of a community that stretches itself to bre

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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‘Rosmersholm’ review

‘Rosmersholm’ review

‘Rosmersholm’ by Henrik Ibsen is a play that few people have heard of and even fewer can pronounce (FYI the verdict appears to be ‘Rosmer’s Home’). So even with the presence of the ‘Avengers’-adjacent – not to mention terrific – Hayley Atwell in the cast, it feels spectacularly audacious of super-producer Sonia Friedman to just bung a production of this obscurity cold into the West End.And she’s pretty much pulled it off. Although clearly somewhat massaged by adapting playwright Duncan Macmillan, Ibsen’s depiction of a fragmenting, polarised society torn between extremes of right and left, faith and atheism, just on the cusp of a monumental election, feels spectacularly timely.John Rosmer (Tom Burke) is a respected pastor who has become a virtual recluse since the suicide of his wife. He lives with his servants, his wife’s former companion Rebecca West (Atwell) and his crumbling sense of self. His faith has deserted him; Rebecca’s progressive notions are beginning to make a lot of sense.Perhaps the most powerful idea of the play is that of a single man embodying a national malaise. Although Rebecca and Rosmer’s erstwhile brother-in-law Andreas (Giles Terera) literally represents the play’s political extremes, it is Burke’s Rosmer who is torn between them, spiritually and politically divided and barely functional, poisoned by society.Erstwhile ‘Hamilton’ star Terera steps comfortably into West End drama almost-leading-man status: his local governor Andreas is disarmingly likab

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
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The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

If you’re a plucky producer hoping to get your new show into the Criterion Theatre, you’re flat out of luck once again. Because less than nine months after 'The 39 Steps' shuttered after almost a decade glowering over Piccadilly Circus, it’s now home to the brand new comedy by Mischief Theatre, which, if there’s any justice in the theatre world, will run for even longer. 'The Comedy About A Bank Robbery' is the latest play by the bogglingly prolific and talented team behind 'The Play That Goes Wrong' (or more accurately the 'Play That Goes Wrong' franchise) and it’s their best and funniest work yet. A genre pastiche, screwball comedy and classic farce that’s as clean and clear as its brassy branding, it spins with a manic energy from Two Ronnies-esque wordplay through surreal set-pieces to slapstick stunts prepped to bring the house down. The story of a bungled jewel heist in a sleepy Minneapolis bank branch, it features a host of hilarious but well-drawn characters who roar across the stage and tumble into disaster after disaster, each one more elegantly drawn than the last. The writers’ ability to snatch a laugh out of every line, and to intricately prime each scenario with zinging punchlines and pay-offs is stunning, as call-backs and running gags pile up into teetering edifices of absurdity. The entire cast is bang on the money, but Mischief Theatre’s own Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer are the standouts as booming bank manager Robin Freeboys and hapless loser (and eter

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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‘Waitress’ review

‘Waitress’ review

Lucie Jones has now taken over from Katharine McPhee in the role of Jenna in 'Waitress'.  The specials board in the diner in ‘Waitress’ advertises a bacon and blueberry pie. Most of the pies in Diane Paulus’s Broadway-conquering show are allegorical: their lurid lists of ingredients are flights of fancy in the mind of Katharine McPhee’s titular heroine Jenna, a pie-making prodigy who dreams of escaping her abusive marriage. However, as far as I can tell, the show is serious about the bacon and blueberry one. Bacon. Blueberry. Individually these are reasonable things, but with apologies to American readers, I cannot conceive why anybody in their right mind would even put them on the same level of the fridge, let alone lock them inside a pastry crust. Similarly, ‘Waitress’ is made from the very finest ingredients, but often they don’t actually feel like ingredients that should have been put together. Adapted from Adrienne Shelly’s cult 2007 indie flick of the same name, ‘Waitress’ is a moving musical full of flawed, morally compromised characters of the sort you so rarely get in this type of glossy Broadway show. Everyone, on some level, lets us or themselves down: indeed, the big showstopper, ‘She Used to Be Mine’ – delivered with exquisitely controlled sorrow by McPhee – is Jenna’s bitter ode to her disappointment in herself. There are no heroes here: not Jenna, not her hunky gynaecologist love interest Dr Pomatter (David Hunter), not her workmate and best friend Becky

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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What's on at

National Theatre

National Theatre

The concrete-clad, 1960s modernist grandmother of them all: no theatrical tour of London is complete without a visit to the National, whose three auditoriums – Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe – offer a rolling repertory programme, often with a choice of several productions in a week. The National Theatre may have once had a fiercely inaccessible reputation, but the arrival of maverick artistic director Nicholas Hytner in 2003 rocked theatreland as he set about changing the venue's staid ethos with daring productions such as 'Jerry Springer the Opera' and an ambitious adaptation of Phillip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'. The change of tack proved a success, attracting audiences of mixed race, age and class – and Hytner's budget £10 Travelex-sponsored tickets still help pull in the crowds in the summer season. The home stable for Michael Morpurgo's 'War Horse', which opened here in 2007 and went on to break West End records, the National is now developing a reputation for family-friendly blockbusters, cue its current production of Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time'. Meanwhile the National Theatre Live initiative has extended the theatre's reach by broadcasting high-publicity productions such as Danny Boyle's role-swapping smash-hit 'Frankenstein' and the comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors', which introduced James Corden to the stage, live to Picturehouse Cinemas. A recent run of the post-modern musical 'London Road' proved it hasn't lost its edge. You don't have to buy a ticket to get a feel for the National's atmosphere – the alfresco stage, National Theatre Square, routinely lays on free and inclusive performing arts, gigs and exhibitions, especially during the Watch This Space summer festival.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Barbican Centre
Cinemas

Barbican Centre

The Barbican Centre, a vast concrete estate of 2,000 flats and a leading arts complex, is a prime example of brutalist architecture, softened a little by time and rectangular ponds of friendly resident ducks. The lakeside terrace and adjoining café are good spots to take a rest from visiting the art gallery, cinema, theatre, concert hall or library within the complex. The art gallery on the third floor stages exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture, while on the ground floor, the Curve is a free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art. At the core of the music roster, performing 90 concerts a year, is the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO). The annual BITE season (Barbican International Theatre Events) continues to cherry-pick exciting and eclectic theatre companies from around the globe. The Barbican regularly attracts and nurtures experimental dance, and the Pit Theatre is a perfectly intimate space.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Old Vic

Old Vic

The combination of double-Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and top producer David Liddiment at this 200-year-old Waterloo theatre continues to be a commercial success – though Spacey's controversial artistic leadership has frequently come under critical fire. Still, the Old Vic's a great place to catch high-profile actors – Ian McKellen, Robert Lindsay and Neve Campbell have all trod its boards. David Mamet's 'Speed-the-Plow' thrilled audiences in 2008 and was followed by a winning revival of Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests' – a show that saw the venue spectacularly remodeled into a theatre-in-the-round. Summer 2009 heralded the first of Sam Mendes's The Bridge Projects, an Anglo-American collaboration between Mendes, the Old Vic and Joseph V Melillo's Brooklyn Academy of Music, that enticed Ethan Hawke to the British stage for its Shakespeare/Chekhov double bill.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Young Vic

Young Vic

The Young Vic finally returned to its refurbished home in The Cut in 2007 with acclaimed community show ‘Tobias & the Angel’. As you would expect, it’s got more verve and youthful nerve than the grown-up Old Vic down the road and attracts a slightly younger more multicultural – yet still discerning – crowd. Director David Lan’s eclectic programming of rediscovered European classics has proved popular with the critics, while a stage adaptation of DBC Pierre’s ‘Vernon God Little’ was standing ovation material. Three venue spaces – the main house and studio spaces Maria and Clare – allow for flexible scheduling and more intimate works such as Tarell Alvin McCraney’s moving ‘The Brothers Size’. The Young Vic also provides its Waterloo home with a popular split-level bar and restaurant complete with an open-air balcony terrace.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Piccadilly Theatre

Piccadilly Theatre

Though set back slightly from the chaotic Circus, the Piccadilly theatre is no stranger to crowds. ‘Guys and Dolls’ (directed by golden boy Michael Grandage of Donmar Warehouse) attracted hordes of Ewan McGregor fans in 2005 as the actor pitched up as playboy Sky, while ‘Grease’ in 2007 played the reality TV card by casting winners of ‘Grease Is the Word’, Danny Bayne and Susan McFadden, as Danny and Sandy. A more sober claim to fame: the Piccadilly operated for a short time as a cinema and was behind the screening of the first ‘talkie’ in Britain – Warner Brothers’ 1928 film ‘The Singing Fool’.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Hackney Empire
Theatre

Hackney Empire

Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Marie Lloyd all trod Hackney's boards during its time as a music hall. It's since been used as a television studio and, rather quaintly, as a bingo hall, before opening as a theatre proper in 1986. Today, it's a much-loved East End institution whose pantos have become the stuff of legend. High art does feature (the English Touring Opera presented Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' in 2009) as does issue-heavy theatre, often with an emphasis on class and multiculturalism. But the focus tends to be on fun: comedy, children's theatre and music all featuring large on its programme. Tours of the Grade II-listed auditorium take place during Open House London weekend in September.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars