Tickets for the best seats in the West End have risen to more than £80, with the price of the cheapest falling by nearly £1 to an average of £21.07.
These are the findings of The Stage’s second annual investigation into West End ticket prices, which also discovered that the most expensive seat in the West End is now £127 (including fees). This was for both The Book of Mormon and The Audience, and compared to a maximum of £97.50 in 2012 (for Billy Elliot the Musical).
Meanwhile, the cheapest non-discounted seats available for a musical are £14.50 for Les Miserables, while a number of commercial plays are offering bottom price tickets at £12. In the subsidised sector, the Royal Opera House is offering both the most expensive and the cheapest tickets – at £225 and £10, respectively.
For its investigation, The Stage attempted to book a single ticket for every show in the West End for the evening performance on Saturday April 6, through the production’s official online retailer. If no show was scheduled, tickets for the next available Saturday performance at the venue were counted.
On average, the best seat in the West End has increased from £72.12 in 2012 to £81.05 in 2013. However, it should be noted that the increase is exaggerated by the fact that last year’s ROH figures were unusually low. With the ROH not included, the average most expensive ticket is now £78.11 – still a significant increase. All these figures include all fees.
When it comes to the best seats for musicals, the average price has gone up from £86.53 to £95.09
As defined by membership of the Society of London Theatre, the West End includes both commercial and subsidised venues. When the subsidised venues, including the National Theatre and Barbican, are excluded, the best seat for a show in the commercial West End costs an average of £86.43, which is more than £5 up from last year. When it comes to the best seats for musicals, the average price has gone up from £86.53 to £95.09.
Cheapest seats in the commercial West End, though, have fallen more than the overall average drop and are now more than £1 cheaper at £22.57.
Commercial plays are still significantly cheaper than musicals, when it comes to both the most expensive and the cheapest seats. Plays are £78.24 and £19.63, while musicals are on average priced at £95.09 and £24.44, respectively, including fees.
A full table of prices for all West End theatres is available in this week’s print edition of The Stage.
Deputy editor Alistair Smith reflects on the results of the ticketing investigation