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All you need to know about day seats

We take you through the facts about buying theatre tickets on the day of the show


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Have you ever seen a queue of people outside a theatre in the morning and wondered why they were there? Here's our run-down of everything you need to know about day seats

What are day seats?

Day seats are a number of tickets that many shows hold to be sold on the day of every performance, often when the box office opens in the morning.

How can I get them?

Simply go to the theatre and wait for the box office to open - with popular shows people tend to get there early, so be prepared to wait a while - and dress up warm in the winter! People are often happy to save your place if you pop off to get a coffee, but be sure to be considerate with others waiting. You have to buy the tickets in person, and sometimes with cash only.

How much are they?

The price of day seats vary from show to show, but are typically no more than £30, and can be as little as £10.

How many can I get?

Tickets are limited to one or two per person, so don't expect to be able to buy five for your friends waiting back at home - make them come and queue with you!

How long will I have to wait?

Certain shows always have people queuing from the early hours for a box office opening at 10am, so you could have to arrive around 7am, although some queues only tend to form from 9am - best to ring the box office beforehand, as they usually have an idea of what sort of times people queue from. And note that on Sundays box offices tend to open at 12pm.

Where will the seats be?

Again, this varies from show to show, but many West End productions have their day seats on the front row of the stalls, or best available. Others may be at the back of circles, or at box office discretion.

What if there are no tickets left when I arrive?

It's always worth asking at the box office in case the show isn't sold out and they have availability, but bear in mind that the deals might not be as compelling as day seats - so get to the theatre as early as possible.

I don't want to queue. Is there another way?

Instead of day seats, some shows hold a ticket lottery, which involves putting your name into a draw, generally two hours before the show starts, and crossing your fingers that you're a winner - examples of this include The Book of Mormon. There area few shows that run online lotteries, too. These include Aladdin, Hamilton and the Harry Potter Friday Forty. Just like day seats, the prices vary from £10 to £30.

Are there any other restrictions?

Some shows, for example Matilda, have day seats that are only available for 16 to 25 year olds or students, so be sure to look on the show/venue website before you go to make sure.

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