Under 26? Nab theatrical bargains galore for a tenner or less

Hi. My name’s Rosie and I’m a theatre addict. There, I’ve said it. And while I love sitting in a dark room full of strangers watching people pretend to be other people, I’m not a fan of the hefty price tag that often comes with it.

With premium tickets for West End shows sometimes topping £100 a piece, it’s no wonder that many – especially younger – people are put off going to the theatre.

But, if you’re lucky enough to be under 30, you might be surprised to know that there are a plethora of schemes out there offering tickets to shows for rock-bottom prices.

It helps if you live in, or are happy to travel to, the capital, as a lot of the cheap tickets to be had are in London (though sadly most West End shows don’t have young people’s discounts available). It’s always worth asking at your local theatre, though, in case they do a deal for students or young people.

We’d be here forever if I listed all offers out there, but here are some of my favourites…

The National Theatre on London’s South Bank offers £5 tickets to all of its productions for anyone aged 16 to 25 through its Entry Pass scheme, which is free to join. With three separate theatre spaces, often with multiple shows in each, there’s always something good to see, and the Entry Pass seats tend to be right at the front with great views of the stage.

Just up the road, you can get £10 tickets if you’re under 26, or a full-time student, at the Young Vic. And if the West End’s more your thing, you can join education charity Mousetrap Theatre Projects which offers £5 tickets for various shows to 15-18-year-olds in state education, and £10 tickets for 19-23-year-olds and full-time drama students.

For those who like a bit of the Bard, 16-25-year-olds can see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s shows in Stratford-upon-Avon and London for a fiver, or buy a ‘Shakespeare Pass’ to get five shows for £20. This is a great way of seeing West End musical Matilda, which is an RSC show, for £5, though these tickets are only available in person at the box office on the day, so you may end up queueing for a while.

Outside the capital, 16-25-year-olds can bag tickets to pretty much anything at Chichester Festival Theatre for £8.50 or £5 tickets at Sheffield Theatres (available to 26-year-olds too).

If you’re cursing because you just turned 27, there are still a couple of options for you. The Hampstead Theatre in London, a personal favourite of mine, offers £10 tickets for under-30s for all its shows. Or you could join Masterclass, another education charity based in the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket which has regular London ticket offers, as well as workshops and apprenticeships, for those aged 16-30.

This is just the tip of the MoneySaving theatrical iceberg, with plenty more ways for you to nab a bargain out there. So, with the knowledge it’s possible to see a show for less than the price of a cinema ticket or a meal out, hopefully your next night out will involve a trip to the theatre that won’t break the bank.

Have you used any of these schemes, or others? Let us know in the comments below.