Sydney Theatre Company has a cheap tix initiative called the Twenties, which makes $20 tickets available for every STC performance (excluding opening nights). Tickets are available each Thursday morning from 9am for shows in the following week and can be purchased online or by phone. They sell quickly though so you need to be fast. A discount also applies for under 30 year olds (not applicable on previews/Saturday nights), with prices varying depending on the show.
A dose of culture doesn't have to bust your budget; in fact, even the best theatre in Sydney can be seen for a song if you know the hacks and tricks to accessing cheap theatre ticket deals around Sydney.
Most venues offer discounts group bookings, many for groups as low as eight. That's, like, what? Four couples? Two families? One book club? Easy.
This is especially useful for those big musicals at the top end of town. Ticketek has their own group bookings department where you can expect to save between $5 and $20 per ticket depending on the promoter.
Duh. Of course, taking out a season or part-season subscription will save you money. But don't forget that subscriptions aren't just for STC and Belvoir. You can also purchase season tickets for ambitious independents.
Again, duh. You don't need us to tell you that most venues offer some kind of concession rate for "eligible card holders". But wait – there's more! Many companies also have rush tickets – discounted concession tickets available on the morning of the performance. That is, they have discounts on the already discounted concession tickets. Double win!
Believe or not, some companies think the performing arts appeal only to greyheads; in order attract the yoof dollar, many offer discount tickets to patrons under 30.
Previews and Matinees
Previews can always be relied on to save you a couple of bucks at least, be it indie theatre or a main stage production.
"Enter your promo code here." But where does one find said code? Usually Facebook, Twitter or the ol' email newsletter. Practically every company, as well as many artists, engage with their audience this way. Amongst the rampant spruiking, social media is also a veritable goldmine for giveaways and special offers. How else would you find out about the inevitable tight-arsed Tuesday specials?
There's a bunch of these online – like Lasttix – but it's curious how much a show's success depends on the image of success. If word gets around that a show is "selling out fast", people are more likely to front up for a ticket; but – as producers will tell you – if a show is advertised as two-for-one, audiences sometimes shy away, following the logic that a show must be pretty ordinary if they have to lure audiences in with discounts.
Same-day ticket lotteries are common for blockbuster shows in Broadway and on the West End, and if you've ever queued up to score last-minute theatre tickets in New York or London, you'll know they're super popular. Australia is new to the game – but Broadway blockbuster The Book of Mormon has dragged us up to speed, with a $40 ticket lottery.