One of London’s best features is the many musical theatres, but sometimes it can be expensive to enjoy a production as a student. Luckily, many people in the arts want to encourage young people to get involved and know that it can be difficult to get students on a budget in the audience without some help.
That’s why many theatres have youth memberships. The English National Opera has an under 35 membership which I’ve recently signed up for myself. In general, this means you can buy discounted tickets in different areas of the theatre: £35 in the stalls, £25 in the dress circle and £15 in the upper circle. You can buy two tickets at a discounted price so you can bring a friend, but do keep in mind that they need to be under 35 as well. However, for people under 21, once you’ve joined the membership you can get one free ticket per production – even better! Similarly, the Royal Opera House has the Young ROH programme. If you’re aged 16-25, you can get £25 tickets to see beautiful performances right by the LSE in Covent Garden. They have 200 Young ROH tickets for all performances Monday through Thursday and Saturday matinees, but be sure to read any fine print as some performances may be excluded.
For better weather days, the open air Shakespeare Globe offers £5 standing tickets. Perfect for Shakespeare fans: save on tickets and splurge on their afternoon tea at the Swan, a separate but equally fun experience. I took my dad there when he visited London once, and it did not disappoint. The entire menu is based off one of Shakespeare’s works. For me, it was A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Another outdoor theatre is the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre which has their own youth membership, Breeze. This gives you access to £10 tickets if you’re between 18 and 25 years old.
These two options are better suited for warmer weather since these theatres are exposed to the outdoors, so you might want to wait until the summer to take advantage of these discounts.
Finally, always check your student discount apps like Student Beans. Student Beans sometimes offers time-limited discounts on ticketing websites like Stub Hub for various shows from Lion King to the Phantom of the Opera, my personal favourite. Since COVID-19 has hit the theatres quite hard, these discounts make it easier to experience dazzling shows while also helping to support the arts so that we don’t lose one of the highlights and defining characteristics of the West End.