Theatre breaks are one of the best ways of seeing the top London shows, even if you live near London. It might seem a bit mad to spend a night in a London hotel when your own bed is only 50 miles away but please hear me out 🙂
I was chatting to some folks in deepest Essex the other day and it soon became clear that for them, an evening trip to a West End show was not really a viable idea. They had been to see Warhorse and couldn’t speak highly enough of the show. But they said they’d think twice before going to the West End again.
They live just over 50 miles from the centre of London but getting in and out of the city at night is no easy matter. Usually they drive to a train station, park the car there and hop on a train. Driving in the city means congestion charges and parking nightmares so they try to avoid it if at all possible. However, travelling into the city centre by rail at the right time means going against the flood of commuter traffic and paying the peak time fare (4pm to 7pm).
You don’t really want to battle with the peak time tubes either so a black cab also adds to the cost. Most shows start around 7:30 but you want to be there a little early to pick up your tickets, maybe have a pre-theatre drink and order something for the interval. This means you need to eat early (a special pre-theatre menu in one of the West End restaurants perhaps). If you try to wait till after the show to eat then you’ll have much less choice and you may well be rushing to catch the last train home. The trains do run quite late but it can be 1am or even later before you get home.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
Here’s a glimpse of what Warhorse does best – some amazing life sized puppetry:
I gently suggested they might be better booking a theatre break next time and that was when I discovered people have some funny ideas about theatre breaks!
Three Myths about Theatre Breaks
My friends went to see Warhorse. A theatre break with top price tickets to see Warhorse a central hotel with breakfast the next morning starts from around £120 each. Most sites will let you book your rail fare with a good discount. With a hotel near the theatre you can walk and avoid paying for a cab and most sites offer a special price on a pre-theatre supper. By the time my friends had paid for all their little extras there really wasn’t much in it.
2. Bad seats
My friends could only get single seats that were not next to each other. They were top priced seats and very nice, but not together. Most theatre breaks websites have better access to seats than the general public. You can often choose from a range of seat prices. You always get to sit together. The lesser known fact is that these sites often have tickets for top shows (like Warhorse!) that are reserved for theatre breaks customers.
3. These internet sites are dead dodgy!
Buying stuff online is part of all our lives these days. My friends are sensible. They bought their tickets from a well known site that they have used before and trusted. That same site also sells theatre breaks! If you are worried about how secure a site is check out this advice. (Book Theatre Breaks On Line with Confidence)
So next time you are thinking about booking theatre tickets for the West End do check round first before you assume that theatre breaks aren’t a better idea.