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The Stage’s West End survey reveals price for a programme, wine and ice cream

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The average total cost of a glass of white wine, a programme and an ice cream in London’s West End is £12.12, our research has revealed.

When added to the average price of the West End’s cheapest ticket (£20.36) and most expensive ticket (£81.68), according to The Stage’s ticketing survey in June, a theatregoer can expect to pay a total of  £32.48  and £93.80 respectively, when buying wine, a programme and ice cream on top of their seat price.

For the results in full, see the table below

When broken down by sector, the average combined cost of a programme, glass of white wine and an ice cream in the commercial West End is £12.42, compared with £11.34 in the not-for-profit sector.

In the commercial sector, the two theatres where audience members can expect to pay the most for a wine, programme and ice cream package are the Victoria Palace, where Billy Elliot is playing, and the Apollo Victoria, home to Wicked.

Owned by Stephen Waley-Cohen, the Victoria Palace charges £6 for its cheapest glass of wine, £3.50 for an ice cream and £6 for a souvenir programme, bringing the total to £15.50.

Similarly, the Apollo Victoria charges £5 for a glass of wine, £3.50 for an ice cream and £7 for a souvenir programme, also totalling £15.50.

However, the souvenir programmes on offer, while more expensive than most others in the West End, are described as a cross between a programme and a brochure. Also, the size of the cheapest white wine offered in both theatres is 187 ml, which is a quarter of a bottle of wine. Other venues typically offer 175 ml or less.

In the not-for-profit sector, the venue where audiences can expect to pay the most is the London Coliseum, which charges £14.80 for all three items combined.

The cheapest programme on offer across the whole of the West End is at the National Theatre, where the price is £1 at its temporary space. The cheapest wine is £3.90 at the Old Vic, while the cheapest ice cream is £2.50, at multiple venues.

The most expensive programme in the West End costs £6, at a number of venues. The most expensive ice cream is £3.80, at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Design: Adam McCulloch. Photo: Shutterstock. Some figures have changed since publication. See notes below.


For this survey, we assessed the cost of extras on performances taking place on August 2. We asked each theatre in the West End to state the cost of a programme, as well as the price of the cheapest glass of white wine available and a vanilla ice cream. The price of a glass of wine varies more than that of a programme. But so do the sizes offered, as the survey’s findings reveal. The Dominion Theatre did not provide prices, because it is currently being refurbished, and will assess its prices as a result of this. Where a venue had no show at the time of the request, they were still able to tell us what the cost of extras at their venues were

Design: Adam McCulloch. Some figures have changed since publication. See notes below.

UPDATE This article was amended on September 2, 2014, and due to incorrect figures supplied to us about the price of programmes, three productions’ results have now been amended. Wicked at the Apollo Victoria charges £7 for a programme, Once at the Phoenix Theatre charges £6, and Richard III at Trafalgar Studios 1 charges £4.50. As a result, the overall average for a programme, a glass of wine and an ice cream across the West End is in fact £12.10, and not £11.99 as previously stated.

UPDATE This article was amended on October 23, 2014 to correct some erroneous figures.