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THE TICKET OUTLET WALKING TOUR
Part 2 - Piccadilly, Covent Garden, Shaftesbury Avenue,
Charing Cross Road / Charing Cross

 For outlets in and around Leicester Square, click here.

An easy way to ensure that you will be buying tickets from a retailer who adheres to this good advice is to pick one who is a member of Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers scheme (S.T.A.R for short), of which Theatremonkey.com itself is an Affiliate Member. Look for their symbol:

With so many outlets all looking alike, though, how can you spot a S.T.A.R? This simple guide may help you choose. Simply click on the area of London below to help you easily locate S.T.A.R member outlets.

DO NOTE THAT some booths do change ownership over time. ALWAYS CHECK FOR the above symbol, and also that you are happy with your seats (pointed out to you on a proper seating plan) and the price you are paying, before actually handing over your money!

Piccadilly Circus
S.T.A.R Member outlets.
non-S.T.A.R member outlets.

Shaftesbury Avenue
S.T.A.R. Member outlet.

Charing Cross Road / Charing Cross
S.T.A.R Member outlets.
non-S.T.A.R member outlets.

Covent Garden
S.T.A.R Member outlet.
non-S.T.A.R member outlet.

Trafalgar Square
S.T.A.R Member outlet.

Bond Street West One Shopping Centre
S.T.A.R Member outlet.

 

For outlets in and around Leicester Square, click here.

 

 

Piccadilly Circus:

S.T.A.R. Member Outlets:
and inside...
This desk, advertised by the sign board and located inside the Criterion Theatre (see right hand photo, featuring "Sam", a member of their team!), is run by Encore Tickets. 


A booth near Boots The Chemist on Piccadilly Circus. It is run by London Theatre Bookings, a S.T.A.R. member.

 

Not S.T.A.R. Members:



 Inside the Trocadero Centre, and advertised by a sign board. Often, somebody with a placard on a stick reading "Theatre Tickets" (with a large arrow pointing to this doorway) also stands next to this entrance. 




 

 

Shaftesbury Avenue
S.T.A.R. Member Outlet:



The main office of London Theatre Bookings Ltd, at the top (St Giles / Shaftesbury Theatre) end of Shaftesbury Avenue at the junction with Monmouth Street. Theatre guide leaflet available to take away.

 

Charing Cross Road / Charing Cross:
S.T.A.R.
Member Outlets:

Next to the Wyndhams Theatre, at the Leicester Square end of this street. Run by London Theatre Bookings Ltd. Theatre guide leaflet available to take away.

There is also a branch of Encore in the glass cubicle opposite the Garrick Theatre. No photograph at the moment.

 

 

Not S.T.A.R. Members:

 

 

Covent Garden:
S.T.A.R. Member Outlet
:

On the south side of the Piazza, under the portico of Jubilee Market Hall. Run by Abbey Tickets. A whiteboard lists discounts, and the seating plans on the counter are particularly clearly marked with the "face value" of the tickets they can offer.

 

A branch of Londontheatrebookings (not pictured) is at 21 James Street, WC2E 8NS. DO NOT confuse this with the outlet pictured below...

 

 

 

Trafalgar Square
S.T.A.R Member outlet.

At the
Original London Sightseeing Visitor Centre, 17-19 Cockspur Street. Run by Encore Tickets Ltd, a S.T.A.R. member.


Bond Street West One Shopping Centre
S.T.A.R Member outlet.

Opposite “M&S Simply Food,” West One Shopping Centre, 381 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2JS.
Run by Encore Tickets Ltd, a S.T.A.R. member.

 

 

For outlets in and around Leicester Square, click here.

 

CONCLUSION: 
It is fairly hard to spot the S.T.A.R. members initially. Every outlet has a huge sign, and no wonder people get confused. Most important - look for the S.T.A.R. sticker or TKTS sign. CHECK that the company meets the guidelines that the Society of London Theatre suggest...and if you feel unsure, just walk away.

Do remember, if things go wrong when buying from a S.T.A.R. member, you have the assistance of S.T.A.R. itself in resolving the problem. Buy from the worst tout or scalper, and at best the local police officer will attempt to retrieve your money for you - but don't rely on it. As a local officer who patrols Leicester Square notes, the rogue will deny all knowledge of you or any wrongdoing on his part; and worse, there is nothing much the police can arrest anyone for.

Finally, NEVER buy from the folks who can't even be bothered to buy a booth, but just stand on the pavement outside theatres or in the streets - some even around the TKTS booth ticket line. Think about it, these "business people" can't even afford premises…what type of stock could they possibly have that is worth buying???

Shop safely and enjoy the show!!!!



A list of S.T.A.R. members' websites is available by clicking here - Theatremonkey.com is itself an Affiliate Member. Worth looking for as many independent sites - including others who claim to list "discounts" are not. A prominent West End Theatre Box Office manager asked the monkey to pass on the following story in May 2007 too*:

You have now been warned by the best in the business...

*note that the above company is referred to specifically, and is not to be confused with any other bearing a similar name. Any co-incidence or confusion is not intended and cannot be implied. Opinion expressed is that of the reporting person of an actual event only.

ALSO WORTH KNOWING:
An emerging trend in 2008 is the buying up of website names that LOOK LIKE, BUT ARE NOT the official theatre website. For example, the official site to buy tickets from the Prince Edward Theatre is that of the owners - delfont-mackintosh.co.uk. A search engine result, though, brings up sites like "ThePrinceEdwardTheatre.com" (example, not an actual or genuine site) before the official one in the listing. Sites like the fictional "ThePrinceEdwardTheatre.com" are owned by agents - either STAR members, STAR sub-agents or even touts / scalpers. Whoever, they are NOT the box office website and you'll pay more than you would via the official site. Theatremonkey advises strongly that you check exactly who you are booking through. On its listings pages, the monkey always shows the official sites first, followed by legitimate agents. It urges all guests to take care, as this trend is trapping even the wariest in the jungle.

 

 

 

 

 

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