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  • Official London Theatre's New Year sale is back again, rounding off the year and taking us into 2020 with some jazz hand-worthy bargains.

    You're able to get £10-£40 tickets for more than 50 London shows, for performances between Wed 1 Jan and Thu 13 Feb 2020. As of Mon 6 Jan, there are still almost 76,000 New Year sale tickets up for grabs.

    This year's 50+ participating shows originally included big-hitters such as Disney's The Lion King, Wicked and festive favourite The Snowman, though some of these have now sold out.

    Don't assume that Official London Theatre will be the cheapest around - you should always make sure to price match with sites like From The Box Office, ATG, TodayTix, Ticketmaster and London Theatre Direct to make sure you're getting the best deal.

    Which performances can you get the deal on?

    Here are some of the top shows participating this year (see 'More info' below for a full list):

    • Disney's The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre)
    • Matilda the Musical (Cambridge Theatre)
    • Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre)
    • A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic)
    • The Mousetrap (St Martin's Theatre)
    • The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre)
    • The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre)
    • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre) - pictured below
    • The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (Bridge Theatre)
    • 9 to 5 the Musical (Savoy Theatre)
    • Come From Away (Phoenix Theatre)

    Tickets for specific performances are limited, so it could be pot luck finding the show you want on a particular date.

    The cheaper tickets are likely to be snapped up first, so go quick if there's something you've got your eye on. Seats are discounted based on their price tier, so the amount of saving on the normal price will vary per show and per seat. £10 tickets will usually be the cheapest normal-priced seats in the theatre, and £40 tickets will be the top-priced (non-premium) seats.

    For other ingenious ways to bag cheap theatre tickets, see MSE Jenny's blog on The top theatre lotteries.

    If you're coming to London for the day, check out MSE's Cheap Train & Coach Deals to save on your journey.

    • Full list of shows and ticket prices available (a strike-through denotes that there are no more tickets left in that price band):

      & Juliet: £20, £30, £40
      9 To 5 The Musical: £30, £40
      Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt: £20, £30
      Amélie The Musical: £10, £20, £30
      An Act Of God: £10
      RSC: As You Like It: £10, £20, £30, £40
      A Christmas Carol: £20, £30, £40
      Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith): £20, £30
      Cinderella (The Vaults): £10
      Circus 1903: £20, £30, £40
      Come From Away: £20, £30, £40
      The Comedy About A Bank Robbery: £20, £30
      Coming Clean: £20, £30
      Le Corsaire (English National Ballet): £10, £20, £30, £40
      Dick Whittington: £20
      English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala: £10, £20, £30 SOLD OUT
      Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: £10, £20, £30, £40
      Fame: £10, £20, £30 OVER
      Faustus: That Damned Woman: £20, £30
      The Gift: £20
      Girl From The North Country: £30, £40
      Goldilocks And The Three Bears: £20, £40
      Kunene And The King: £20, £30, £40
      Disney’s The Lion King: £30, £40
      The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe: £20, £30, £40
      Mamma Mia!: £30, £40
      Matilda The Musical: £30, £40
      RSC: Measure For Measure: £10, £20, £30, £40
      A Midsummer Night’s Dream: £20
      The Mousetrap: £20, £40
      Opera Undone: Tosca & La Bohème: £20, £40
      The Play That Goes Wrong: £30, £40
      Potted Panto: £10, £20
      The Prince Of Egypt: £20, £30, £40
      Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes: £20, £40
      School Of Rock – The Musical: £20, £30, £40
      Showstopper! The Improvised Musical: £20
      The Snow Queen (Park Theatre): £20
      The Snow Queen (Rose Theatre Kingston): £20
      The Snowman: £20, £40 OVER
      RSC: The Taming Of The Shrew: £10, £20, £30, £40
      A Taste Of Honey: £20, £30, £40
      Three Sisters: £20, £30
      Thriller Live: £20, £40
      The Tiger Who Came To Tea: £10
      Tina – The Tina Turner Musical: £20, £30, £40
      Touching The Void: £10, £30, £40
      Uncle Vanya: £10, £20, £30, £40
      The Visit: £40
      Waitress: £30, £40
      The Welkin: £30, £40
      Wicked: £20, £30, £40
      Witness For The Prosecution: £40
      The Woman In Black: £20, £30

  • The whole family can get cheap cinema tickets on weekend mornings at most Empire cinemas. With Empire Jnrs screenings, you'll pay just £1-£1.75 each, depending on the venue, as long as one of you is aged 15 or under. If not, or the film you want to see isn’t included in this offer, there’s currently a way to get a kids' ticket for £2.49 as part of Vue Cinema's Mini Mornings.

    Select your nearest cinema online to see a PDF of all the qualifying family films, then you can make your booking online (there's a 70p per ticket booking fee) or at the box office.

    Make sure to select a morning weekend slot to take advantage of this offer. You'll see the 'Empire Jnrs' symbol beside the film listing which will confirm you'll get the discount.

    • The offer excludes Birmingham Great Park.

      It's available on 2D movies only.

  • Film fans, this might be of interest. If you register for Showcase's free Insider membership, you can get £7.30 tickets (norm up to £12.25). The discounted entry can be had every day at certain locations, and on specific days and times at others – see 'More info' below for a list of locations and their available days. If you’re thinking of going on a Sunday, there’s currently a way to get two cinema tickets and sweets for £2.

    Fill out the online form to register and you'll be sent a membership card by post (you can print off a temporary card to use before this arrives). You can book by showing your card at the box office, or online by logging into your account and selecting the ‘Insider’ ticket option (60p booking fee).

    • You must be 16 years old or above to become an Insider member.

      The offer applies to 2D films only, but you can pay the difference for 3D, XPlus, IMAX, Gallery, XLR and Director’s Hall tickets.

      Discounted admission every day until Mon 30 Sep 2019 at: 

      • Bristol Avonmeads 
      • Bristol Cinema de Lux 
      • Derby Cinema de Lux 
      • Derby Foresters 
      • Leiscester Cinema de Lux 
      • Manchester 
      • Walsall

      Discounted admission applies Sun after 7pm and all day Mon-Tues at:

      • Bluewater Cinema de Lux 
      • Cardiff Coventry Cinema de Lux 
      • Dudley 
      • Glasgow 
      • Leeds Cinema de Lux 
      • Liverpool 
      • Newham 
      • Paisley 
      • Peterborough Cinema de Lux 
      • Reading Cinema de Lux 
      • Southampton Cinema de Lux 
      • Teesside Cinema de Lux

      Membership also gets you 25% off your meal at Frankie & Benny's and Chiquitos – though we often see bigger discounts available, so take a look at our Restaurant vouchers.

  • A host of West End shows offer free-to-enter theatre lotteries which give you the chance to buy seats that can cost £100+ (depending on the show) for just £10-£25 including Disney's AladdinHamiltonMatilda and more.

    See MSE Jenny's blog on the top theatre lotteries.

  • If you go online to Vue, you can get a code for £3.99-£5.49 cinema tickets on Mondays (prices differ per cinema – see 'More info' for the full breakdown).

    How to get the cheap tickets

    Register at Vue Super Mondays and click 'Activate' to be emailed a unique code. Enter the code online (there's a 75p booking fee), or quote the code to staff at the cinema box office (find your nearest). Tickets can only be booked up to seven days in advance of the film screening.

    This ongoing offer applies to all 2D screenings on Mondays, excluding bank holidays and Leicester Square West End cinema. The discount can't be used with any other promotion or event cinema screenings, movie marathons, mini mornings or senior screenings. Additional charges apply for 3D screenings and glasses, seat upgrades and films shown in Xtreme screens.

    How good is this deal?

    Full-price Vue cinema tickets usually cost £5-£14 depending on the location, so you can save a decent amount with this Monday offer at many cinemas, and at some it will beat the saving you can make with Meerkat Movies on a Tuesday or Wednesday. There are 38 Vue cinemas which charge £4.99 per ticket all day, every day, eight which charge £5.99 and two which charge £6.99 all day, every day – see £5 Vue cinema ticket for 'any film, any day' – but you'll still save £1-£2 at several of those cinemas with this Monday deal.

    • You can get £3.99 cinema tickets on Mondays at these Vue cinemas:

      Carmarthen, Hull, Romford, Stroud and Thurrock.

      You can get £4.99 cinema tickets on Mondays at these Vue cinemas:

      Accrington, Altrincham, Basingstoke, Bicester, Blackburn, Bolton, Bromley, Camberley, Cambridge, Croydon Grants, Croydon Purley Way, Dagenham, Easleigh, Edinburgh Ocean, Edinburgh Omni, Exeter, Finchley Road, Fulham, Harrow, Newbury, Newcastle Under Lyme, North Finchley, Piccadilly, Preston, Redditch, Rhyl, Scunthorpe, Shepherds Bush, Staines, Torbay, Watford, Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City, Wood Green, and Worcester.

      You can get £3.99 cinema tickets online (+75p booking fee per ticket) or £4.49 tickets at the box office on Mondays at these Vue cinemas:

      Cramlington and Doncaster.

      You can get £4.99 cinema tickets online (+75p booking fee) or £5.49 tickets at the box office on Mondays at these Vue cinemas:

      Acton, Glasgow Fort, and Islington.

  • If you go to 40 selected Vue Cinemas (find your nearest), there is now a policy of charging one fixed price of £4.99 per adult ticket - all day, every day. This is notably cheaper than the £8-£12 most cinemas would charge for a full-price adult ticket.

    This ongoing offer applies to all 2D screenings at 40 participating Vue Cinemas:

    Aberdeen, Barrow, Bedford, Birmingham Star City, Bristol Cribbs Causeway, Bristol Longwell Green, Bury, Carlisle, Cheshire Oaks, Cleveleys, Darlington, Eastleigh, Farnborough, Gateshead, Halifax, Hamilton, Hartlepool, Hull, Inverness, Lancaster, Leamington Spa, Leeds Kirkstall, Leeds Light, Leicester, Livingston, Manchester Printworks, Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Romford, Scunthorpe, Southport, Stirling, Swansea, Thurrock, Torbay and York.

    The offer's not valid for special events and premieres (full exclusions in 'More info' below), however, it can be combined with Meerkat Movies on a Tuesday or Wednesday - so you'll get two tickets for £4.99. See the Vue Cinemas website for full T&Cs.

    Several other Vue Cinemas run the same promotion with a higher fixed price. It's £5.99 at Altrincham, Bicester, Croydon Purley Way, Edinburgh Omni, Harrow, Staines, Watford and Wood Green. It's £6.99 at Fulham and Westfield Stratford. If in doubt, call your local Vue to check first.

    There's a 75p booking fee when buying tickets online and VIP seating costs extra.

    • This offer is not valid in conjunction with the following ticket packages/screenings:
      - Big Screen Events including but not limited to live, encore and recorded screenings of Anime, Comedy, Dance (including ballet), Events, Family Animation, Film Festivals, Foreign Language Films, Innovation (such as lectures/talks), Knowledge (such as documentaries), Limited Releases, Music, Opera, Re-Releases, Special Previews, Sport, Theatre and TV.
      - Premieres
      - Special events 
      - Private screenings
      - Vue Xtreme performances
      - Mini Mornings 
      - Parent and Baby screenings
      - Last Chance to See
      - Our Screen
      - Senior Screenings
      - Movie Marathons (multiple films for one price)
      - All Inclusive Family Package
      - Scene Performances
      - Gold Class
      - IMAX Screenings
      - Scene bar upgrades at Manchester Printworks
      - Any other screenings which Vue shall determine to be excluded under this Promotion

  • Odeon cinemas has an ongoing promotion called ‘Screen Unseen’ which offers exclusive preview screenings of upcoming movies for just £5 a pop if booked at the cinema, or £5.75 if booked online. There’s only one twist… you don’t know what film you’re seeing until the curtain goes up.

    Sign up to its email list to be notified of the next showing.

  • Children aged 2-12yrs can get cinema tickets from £2.49 at Vue with Mini Mornings screenings every Saturday and Sunday after 10am, and every morning during school holidays. What's more, accompanying adults get in for £2.49 too - so as long as there's at least one child in your group, the whole family pays the same price of £2.49 per person.

    You can buy tickets on the day, but seats can sell out, so go early if possible. To be safe, book online or over the phone in advance, though you'll pay a 75p booking fee per ticket (90p for phone bookings).

    Vue says the screenings take place in every cinema except the West End and Piccadilly branches.

  • If you sign up for Odeon's Limitless Card for £17.99/month, you can watch as many 2D films as you want (it's £19.99 for central London cinemas). There are a few exclusions, see 'more info' for details.

    As full-price adult tickets cost between £3-£13 depending on location, this could save you money if you normally see a few films a month. However, you should check prices at your local cinema to make sure it's worth it for you.

    Important: You'll be signing up to a minimum 12-month subscription. If you don't want to continue after the 12 months is up, make sure you mark it in your diary to cancel. You'll need to call Odeon on 0333 004 4411 to end your subscription.

    • Can't be used on Odeon Event Cinema, special or private screenings, BFI IMAX and The Lounge at Whiteleys. You'll need to pay extra for 3D screenings, 3D glasses, IMAX, ISENSE, The Gallery, D-Box, premier seating and any premium screening or seat type.

      It's £19.99/month for these central London cinemas: Leicester Square, Leicester Square Studios, Panton Street, Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road, Marble Arch and Whiteleys Camden.

      You need to be 16 or over to sign up to Limitless. The monthly payment is by direct debit.

  • If you're a student with an NUS Extra/Totum card you can get an extra 25% off student ticket prices at Odeon cinemas, Mondays-Thursdays. Simply show your NUS Extra/Totum card at the box office to get the discount. Ticket prices vary, depending on location and the time of the film, and there are some exclusions - see full T&Cs.

    • The offer is only valid at cinemas which offer student pricing. It can't be used with any other offers. It's not valid at Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon Studios, The Lounge at Odeon Whiteleys or BFI IMAX.

      Not valid for Premiere Seating, Club or D-Box seats, IMAX, iSense, The Lounge, Gallery performances, Odeon Silver Screen, Odeon Kid’s, Odeon Plus, Odeon Screen Unseen, premieres, special events or any events not open to the public.

  • If you're aged 55+, you can get tickets to Odeon Silver Cinema showings (previously known as Odeon Senior Screen) for £3. See 'more info' below for the prices at different cinemas. You'll also get tea, coffee and biscuits before the film starts.

    Odeon says the films selected for Odeon Silver Cinema are aimed at a 'mature audience', aged 55+, but there is no formal age restriction on the tickets.

    • Tickets for Odeon Silver Cinema are £3 except at the following cinemas:

      Ayr, Banbury, Bournemouth Odeon, Bournemouth ABC, Dunfermline, Guildford, Kilmarnock, Kettering, Lincoln and Mansfield tickets are £3.50.

      Aylesbury, Bridgend, Chelmsford, Harrogate, Hastings, Newark, Port Solent, Putney, Salisbury, Southend and Tunbridge Wells tickets are £3.95.

      You'll need to pay extra to upgrade to other seat types. Odeon Silver Cinema special screenings tickets may cost more - check the cinema's film listings for more information

  • From Mon 22 Jul, the price of Cineworld's Unlimited membership will go up by 50p a month. That'll make it £18.40/month or £220.80/year. Cineworld tells us it's emailed or written to all existing members notifying them of the impending increase. Current members will remain on the £17.90/month tariff until their year of membership renews.

    If you sign up online for Cineworld's Unlimited card for £17.90 a month, you can watch as many films as you want at its cinemas. It's £20.40 a month if you want to visit London's West End cinema in Leicester Square too.

    This card should save you money if you normally see more than two films at the cinema a month. You'll also get 10% off food and drink at the cinema, though you're allowed to bring in your own cold food which will work out a lot cheaper. See 'More info' below for other offers you can get with an Unlimited card.

    Important: If you choose to pay monthly, you'll be signing up to a minimum 12-month subscription. If you don't want to continue after the 12 months is up, make sure you mark it in your diary to cancel.

    You can also pay a one-off charge of £214.80 for 12 months (£244.80 with West End), which works out the same as paying £17.90 a month for 12 months. This could work out better for you if you'd prefer not to sign up to a subscription. 

    If you collect Tesco Clubcard vouchers, you can exchange them for a 12-month Unlimited card if you've enough points – every £10 in vouchers gets £30 towards Cineworld Unlimited.

      • The Unlimited card can be used with the Meerkat Movies 2for1 offer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Your Unlimited card ticket counts as the paid-for ticket, which means the second ticket is free.
      • 10% off all in-cinema food and drink (25% off for subscriptions over a year), and at 28 Starbucks licensed by Cineworld – see participating Starbucks. Just show your card at the counter and the discount will be applied.
      • 25% off food at Pizza Hut, Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito any day when ordering a main meal. For Pizza Hut, the discount can't be used at Sheffield High Street, Coventry Precinct, Norwich Chapelfield, Trafford Retail Park and Jersey Waterfront. The 25% off is valid for dine-in only and a table of up to four people. For Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito, the 25% off is valid for a maximum table of six and can't be used with any other offers. Before using the Unlimited card offer, check our Restaurant deals page to see if there's a better offer available.
      • If you recommend the Unlimited card to a friend and they sign up, you and your friend will both get a free month of membership. You'll need to request a unique referral code to do this, and the free month is added to the end of your subscription. You can refer a maximum of 12 friends, so you could get up to a year's Unlimited membership for free – see the full info on how it works.
  • Every 500 Nectar points is worth £2.50 at Vue Cinemas. To get the offer, simply hand over your Nectar card at the box office and tell them how many points you'd like to convert.

    You have to pay in multiples of 500 points - if you don't have enough you can part-pay with points, a debit card or cash in the same transaction.

    • You can't use Nectar points to book tickets in advance by telephone or via Vue's website. Points can't be redeemed in conjunction with any other offer, promotion or discount, unless otherwise stated.

  • On weekends and school holiday mornings, adult and kids' tickets at participating Odeon cinemas are £2.50 for selected movies. Showings vary between cinemas - see Odeon's website for full listings.

    At a few cinemas, tickets are even cheaper. For example, they're £1 at Worcester, Telford, Dorchester and Exeter, £1.50 at Dundee, Bristol and Belfast, and in Weston-Super-Mare tickets are £2.

    You can either just turn up at the cinema on the day and hope there'll be seats available, or you can book online in advance – where there's a 75p booking fee per ticket. Either way, as long as there's at least one child (12 and under) in your group, the whole family pays the same price - in most cases £2.50 per person.

    • Screenings are obviously aimed at a younger audience (kids are classed as 12 and under), so you won't find anything above PG certificate.

  • If you use comparison website Compare The Market*, or if you've used it in the past year, you can get 2for1 cinema tickets* every Tuesday or Wednesday, as well as 2for1 restaurant meals* every Sunday to Thursday for 12 months from the date you use the site to get a credit card, loan or insurance, or switch energy, broadband, TV or phone provider.

    The offer expires 12 months after the date of your purchase or switch, not 12 months from when you activate it. Note: Activation can take at least 48 hours, so you have to be patient and may struggle to set it up at last-minute.

    How much do I have to spend?

    Compare The Market isn't always the cheapest place to buy insurance (see our insurance guides for the top deals), but you can get Meerkat Movies & Meals by spending as little as £1ish on single-trip travel insurance for one person within the UK. For more on this trick, read our Meerkat Movies & Meals blog.

    What do I get?

    For cinema tickets, you're entitled to one voucher per week (so you can't go both days) and to get it you can either download the Meerkat app (iPhone and Android only) or log in at the website. You can then simply print the code or show it on your smartphone at the box office. 

    If you fancy an IMAX screening, want to upgrade to premium seats or see a 3D film, you'll be asked to pay the price difference between this and a standard cinema ticket.

    For 2for1 meals, you can select a restaurant via the app when you want to dine out as many times as you like Sunday to Thursday (there are some exclusions such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day) and you'll get 2for1 starters, mains and desserts.

    Some restaurants require you to book in advance, while others you can just walk in and say you want to use the Meerkat Meals offer – you'll need to present your digital Meerkat Meals membership number via the app. Take a look at the Meerkat Meals site to see which restaurants near you* are participating.

    Where can I use it?

    Meerkat Movies is valid at most cinemas across the UK – the big chains (eg, Cineworld, Odeon and Vue) as well as lots of independents – but not all of them. If in doubt, check with your local cinema before turning up.

    Meerkat Meals can be used at lots of branches of big chain restaurants such as Pizza Express, Zizzi and Pizza Hut as well as independents.

    Important: 2for1 cinema tickets and meals should never be your reason for choosing a product like insurance. Use other sites to check it's a good deal and don't be swayed by freebies that could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

    • To qualify for Meerkat Movies & Meals membership, you need to purchase one of the following products via Compare The Market: car, motorcycle, home, van, pet, landlord, life, home/content or travel insurance. You can also qualify by taking out a credit card or loan or switch energy, digital TV or broadband supplier.

      You can only hold one Meerkat Movies & Meals membership in any 12-month period.

  • You can keep your nippers (and yourself) amused on weekend and school holiday mornings with Movies For Juniors kids’ films at Cineworld. It’s £2.50 per 2D showing for both adults and kids - so as long as there's at least one child (14 and under) in your group, the whole family pays the same price of £2.50 per person.

    If booking online, there's a 70p per ticket booking fee. The offer's available on selected films only and will vary per cinema. See the Cineworld website for current listings.

    • Adults can't get this offer unless they are accompanied by a child. A child is classified as aged 14 or under, though films are aimed at under eight audiences.