You will always need to talk to the company from whom you bought your seats originally. If you bought them from the theatre or the box office telephone line, call them, online - email them at the address given on their websites. If you purchased them from any agency mentioned on this site either online or by phone or in person, you will need to talk to that agency directly, again by telephone or email as appropriate.
For tickets purchased from the "Theatremonkey Ticketshop" ONLY: Questions can be dealt with by the shop's owner, "LoveTheatre". They may be contacted Monday to Friday 10am until 8pm (Saturday 10am to 6pm) on 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom). (quote "theatremonkey ticketshop" when calling), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collecting Tickets at the
How do I find out about ticket availability?
If the monkey could post such information, it would, but since it is a regular theatregoing member of the public it is not privy to box office information.
The best way to find out about availability is to go online and find the official box office "select your seat" booking page for that day. Sometimes, they hold back unsold seats, so checking at random intervals will help.
You could also call the box office direct and ask. Mention specific seat numbers and see if they can offer them to you. Even ask directly if seats go to Leicester Square TKTS to be sold at half price. They will often tell you.
Leicester Square TKTS booth posts its own day's ticket availability, and for up to 7 days ahead online. Go to www.tkts.co.uk, and look for the "What's On Sale" option in the top menu.
Overseas visitors might also try using the online ticket agency systems to see what they are offered. The monkey notes, however that on occasion these systems only offer poor quality tickets. An international phonecall can prove a good investment.
What is the difference between "preview" performances
and "normal" performances?
I don't have a credit card to make a booking?
For U.K. based people, a few theatres will still accept a written booking with a cheque or postal order. Sadly, many agencies do not allow you to do this and will not hold theatre tickets while they wait for your money. If they will not hold an option, then you are best off writing to the theatre itself and stating the seats and date you will be willing to accept.
For payment you could also send cash in banknote form. The theatres do not like getting cash in the mail, and the post office discourage it, but if it is not detectable to thieves then you could consider it. Likewise you could buy theatre gift tokens from the theatre and use those - but you'd need a card in the first place.
Overseas visitors face similar problems, without the luxury of postal orders. For them the monkey suggests trying either an international money order or sending English ponds sterling banknotes.
Overseas visitors could also try local ticket agencies who will often be linked to an international company e.g. Ticketmaster. These will let you buy in your own currency, over the counter. They may even have tickets when London is sold out! The downside is that they do charge a higher commission fee than usual. Considering the cost of exchanging money though, you may still find it a reasonable option.
Do London Theatres take the "Euro" currency?
At the moment, only the TKTS Official Half Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square takes Euros. The only other way to buy other tickets in Euros is to use a ticket agency in a Euro using country before you arrive in London.
What are "Day Seats" and
what does "Personal Callers at the Box Office" mean?
Those seeking them should go direct to the theatre box office counter on the day of the show. Unlike Broadway's "Rush" seats there is no ballot system at most shows. The tickets go on sale when the box office opens (usually at 10am) on a "first in line gets the most central seat" basis, and when they are gone, they are gone. For this reason, the line can form much earlier on popular shows at busy performances. Tickets may be limited to 1 or 2 per person, and take both credit cards and cash, as the box office may require one or the other. To beat the touts / scalpers, you may be asked to pay by credit card at the time, be given a receipt, then have to call back and exchange the receipt for actual tickets just before the show, by producing the same credit card used earlier.
See the day seat page for details.
I'm larger than average, can you help on locating suitable seats?
Where can I find more information about captioned performances?
The Society of London Theatre website www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk also has a comprehensive listing, together with an opportunity to download the "Access Guide to London's Theatres" book in PDF format.
For London Theatres
There is NO formal dress code in any London Theatre.
Once when this monkeys' uncle was a monkeys' great-grandson, the term Dress Circle meant just that - full Evening Dress for all seated there, or else. Now dress is almost always informal - think "what would I wear to dine in a favourite local restaurant" - and there you will have the maximum folk usually rise to when attending the theatre.
Theatremonkeys can get away with jeans, sweatshirts and trainers at all performances except first nights and the first Saturday evening of a new show when a sober lounge suit should get an airing. Comfort is first on the list. In general, suits, jackets, slacks or casual wear are acceptable for men at almost all times - casual especially during the afternoons. Suits really are only compulsory at openings, but are frequently seen on weekend evenings.
Monkeyesses as usual have a sartorial minefield to negotiate. Dress for comfort and to embarrass any hairy companion to look good for you. As for theatremonkeys, casual is fine at most performances, dresses, slacks, jeans and sweatshirts all acceptable. First nights require a smart but comfortable evening attire, not elaborate unless you are a celebrity though! Weekend evenings too can be a bit dressier than a weekday.
On a Saturday evening, denim is not really appropriate for either gender if one is sitting in the Stalls or Dress Circle. The monkey does not know why, but finds it to be so, based on observation!
One tip though, if sitting anywhere but the Stalls, monkeyesses should consider skirt length carefully. Your knees will often be at head height to the person in front. A monkeyesse of the theatremonkey site's acquaintance wore a microskirt and spent the performance in mortal terror of offering a view to the gentleman in front which he hadn't reckoned on. This is passed on purely for information. But Theatremonkey thinks it is worth knowing.
In general London nights are cool, even in summer. It is worth remembering a warm garment if you have a long journey home after the evening performance as temperatures will have plummeted while you enjoyed the show. This tip also beats an over enthusiastic air conditioning system too.
But what about Pop Concerts?
The Royal Albert Hall?
For the classic pop groups and singers which attract an older audience, and events like popular classical concerts and popular opera, dress is smart / casual. Denim is rarer unless in the "cheaper seats" of the venue, and the thinking is dress as for a casual "evening out at the local restaurant" - i.e. a little smarter but not "ambassador's luncheon" formal. A comfortable equivalent of your everyday office attire is the level.
Other Classical Music Concerts and venues?
Actors currently performing can be reached by addressing letters "c/o Stage Door" at the theatre addresses the monkey lists for each show.
I want to be in Showbiz:
Remember: when looking for a job, do not agree to meetings in private homes / hotel rooms - stick to offices and public places. Also, do not hand over money for anyone to find you work unless you are CERTAIN you will get some benefit from it. A legitimate company normally makes money by placing you in a job and being paid by your employer....
Another book suggestion is "So You Want to Tread
The Boards" - The 'everything-you-need-to-know insider’s guide to a career in
the Performing Arts' by Jennifer Reischel. A J.R. Books Ltd paperback ISBN.
978-1-906217-02-0, it is available from Amazon.co.uk priced £16.99, this guide
deals with all those questions that are seemingly impossible to find answers to,
and provides an authentic first-hand account of the pitfalls and difficulties
encountered in the pursuit of a career in the performing arts. Outstanding
reading, the monkey recommends it highly.
Behind the scenes
Not many theatres offer this facility, so it can be VERY difficult indeed - and only the most persistent and flexible might succeed. The most popular producers and venues get around fifty applications a day! Lists of theatres and producers are published in the annual "British Theatre Directory" (Richmond House Press) expensive, but many libraries do have it in stock; or "Contacts" (spotlight.com) much cheaper and updated annually - the full title includes the year e.g the book will be called "Contacts 2015" for the year 2015 etc. Addresses are also on company websites, so hunt around on the web.
Think laterally too and apply to local TV and radio offices, as well as suppliers to the industry - costumiers, ticket agencies etc as you may be luckier there.
When writing, a simple single (or at most two page) CV / Resume is enough, with a covering letter explaining what you are looking for and what you can offer the company. Including a stamped, self addressed envelope for a reply is good manners, and will more likely ensure a response to your application.
An article that theatremonkey wrote on the subject of working in theatre is available by clicking here.
Please note that theatremonkey website cannot accept any work experience people at any time, as it is too small.
How do I get a donation for a charity event / can you
Obtaining items from theatres is sadly difficult simply to the demand. Most shows now have a particular charity that they support and limit free tickets / goods to that exclusively. The same is true of many production companies - simply because there is no way any of them could give away anything to everyone who asks, without going out of business themselves! One major chain of theatres, for example, limits itself to just two tickets per month - and those are mostly to charities with whom it has historic links.
The only way to seek donations, alas, is to just keep writing. The books "Contacts" and "The Original British Theatre Directory" (both add the current year in the title if you are searching online) list addresses of all major production companies, venues and marketing organisations, and approaching them is the only way.
Should any theatrical organisation have items it IS willing to donate, the
monkey would be happy to put it in contact with deserving causes, of course...
What else is there to do in London?
Is London Safe For Visitors?
Can you recommend anywhere to eat in London?
Do also note that "Meal Deals" combining restaurant dining with a theatre ticket are often available too. The monkey sometimes lists a few on the "Current Special Offers" page, and sites like www.whatsonstage.com and Encore Tickets often feature great deals too.
www.theatremania.com offers some comments about seating, highlighting the best seats by price. http://www.talkinbroadway.com/eopinions/browse.php?cat_id=3 offers a public forum to post opinions of seats they have had www.nytheatre.com is a near equivalent, offering listings, general seating plans and a little advice on disabled access and air-conditioning etc. Sadly, the few comments about seating have disappeared from their site. For simple listings and disabled access advice, www.livebroadway.com and www.ilovenytheater.com are also helpful.
www.broadwaybox.com like theatremonkey's "current special offers" page, lists local discount offers to Broadway shows and how to obtain them. http://home.roadrunner.com/~frugaltheatergoe/ is an excellent summary of what must surely be almost all possible discount sources and sites about shows on Broadway. www.tdf.org lists the shows likely to be available at Broadway's TKTS Half-Price Ticket Booth for the week. www.bcefa.org and www.actorsfund.org offer donated tickets to sold out shows at high prices, with the funds going to charity.
The book, "The Back Stage Guide To Broadway" by Robert Viagas (Back Stage Books) published in October 2004 is also worth a look. Available at www.dresscircle.com online in the U.K. It contains many useful tips and hints, plus a VERY brief guide to best / worst seats in theatres (sounds familiar!). For seating plans, "Seats - 150 seating plans to New York Metro Area Theatres, Concert Halls and Sports Stadiums" by Jodé Susan Millman (Applause Books) may prove helpful. Amazon.com stock this one.
Deadly sharp re-written versions of shows are available at: www.broadwayabridged.com.