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.
Sydney Theatre Company has a cheap tix initiative called the Suncorp 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, by phone or in person. 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.
Belvoir offer a $10 discount per Upstairs theatre ticket for groups of ten or more (making it $62) or a $6 discount per Downstairs theatre ticket for groups of ten or more (making it $42). Tickets to preview performances are $40 upstairs and $30 downstairs. Plus there are student tickets at $37/$25 available for previews, Wednesday to Saturday evenings and Saturday matinee shows. And Belvoir schedules one ‘unwaged performance’ for each of its shows. Check their website for dates and times and if you want to go, get to the Belvoir box office in person from noon on the day of the show and show a Pensioner, Health Care, Veterans’ Affairs Card or MEAA card.
Opera Australia offers standing room tickets for only $45 for most performances. Tickets are limited, however, so best to book early to avoid missing out. They also sell $45 balcony box-restricted view seats – they’re sometimes known as ‘listening seats’. $45 student rush tickets for any remaining available seats are available (subject to availability) from one hour prior to the performance start time and can be purchased in person only, with a limit of one ticket per card holder.
Griffin Theatre Company are offering tickets at the bargain price of just $20 as part of their Monday Rush promotion. Tickets are available online and over the phone on Mondays from noon for that evening’s performance. There’s a limited number and a cap of two per person so you’ll need to get in quick. $35 tickets are also available for those 35 and under.
Sydney's home of independent musical theatre and cabaret offers discounted tickets to anyone who lives in the 2011 postcode, on certain conditions and for certain shows. If you turn up with a valid ID (showing where you live) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can purchase unsold tickets to the show that night for $20 (on sale from 30 minutes before the show starts).
Newtown’s favourite theatrical space has a number of deals for the thrifty culture hound: as well as the usual $30 concessions (from pensioners to MEAA Equity card holders), there’s a student rush deal for $20 tickets. The tickets are available half an hour before the show, are limited to one ticket per customer and subject to availability. Plus New Theatre has Thrifty Thursdays (excluding opening nights), where all tickets are $20.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra offer $20 student rush tickets, subject to availability and limited to one per person. Tickets may be purchased from the venue box office one hour prior to the performance start time upon presentation of a full-time student card. Those 30 and under can $49 tickets across all ACO performances.
We're officially in Autumn – but that's not going to stop Opera Australia from staging their spectacular harbourside outdoors production of Carmen. It's probably your last chance for outdoor theatre until the end of the year. Indoors this month, however, you're spoilt for choice.