Updated: Jul 15
TodayTix is an absolute must-have for the regular theatre-goer. It's the best place for day seats at great prices.
Theatre Bee really isn’t one for evangelising apps, but it is impossible for the Bee to not talk about TodayTix.
First, it is an indispensable app for any theatre goer’s phone. Any theatre goer looking for cheap theatre seats AND great theatre seats simultaneously, anyway. How else do you enter theatre lotteries for Cabaret, Hamilton, Cock and the Harry Potter and Cursed child Friday Forty? Many theatre productions run lotteries through TodayTix exclusively, which means you cannot enter their lottery any other way. And you need the smartphone app specifically; the TodayTix desktop site or mobile site will not let you enter the lotteries.
Second, rush tickets! You probably know you can get on-the-day discounted tickets for shows from the Official London Theatre website or their physical booth at Leicester Square, but did you know that you can get even better same-day seats at even cheaper prices on TodayTix? For example, the Bee is writing this post from the Bridge Theatre, where it is watching Straight Line Crazy from one of the best seats in the stalls that it got this morning for just £25 (as opposed to the £70 it may have paid otherwise for this seat). All you need to do is open the app at 10 am sharp (which is when rush tickets go on sale) and be quick with your fingers.
If you are okay to pay £20-30 for a seat, never book before checking TodayTix because while this budget would have only gotten you an upper circle seat on the official website or another ticketing site, on TodayTix (if the show has rush tickets there, and so many do) for the same price you can get a seat in the stalls!
Note that it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll get a great seat just because it’s a rush seat. You don’t get to choose your own seat, but you do get to see the seat you are assigned before you pay. If the Bee isn’t happy with its seat (for example if the savings on the seat are not biiiiiig) the Bee abandons the purchase and starts again, hoping for a better allocation. And it does this indefinitely until it gets the kind of seat it likes.
The big risk is that your next allocation would be worse, or that rush tickets run out entirely before you’ve had the chance to make up your mind. Well, the Bee is fine with that and just tries again the next day. Once you do that a few days, you get a sense of how popular the show is, how fast the rush tickets run out, and how high to set your expectations for a good seat.
For example, the Bee has seen rush tickets for some shows sell out in just 5 minutes after they go on sale at 10 am. For other shows they are available until even 5 in the evening. Don’t get overexcited and book the first allocation you get. Be patient and wait for a few days, and you might get an even better seat for the same price. The Bee’s rule of thumb is to never accept anything less than stalls.
The final reason to check TodayTix before you book anything is that they sometimes have exclusive prices that you cannot get anywhere else. (That applies to most other ticketing sites so you might want to check as many as possible, depending on how much time you have, before booking.)
But wait, wait, wait. It’s also important to know when not to use TodayTix. In general, if you’re not booking a lottery, rush or exclusive-discount ticket, then TodayTix is unlikely to be your cheapest option because they usually (but not always) charge booking fees that you can avoid if you go to the official venue website. For example, standing tickets to the Globe theatre’s summer productions cost £8 on TodayTix but only £5 on the Globe’s official website (incidentally, TodayTix also lets you pick the exact spot in the yard where you want to stand, and the Globe theatre website doesn’t, so you might think that is an added benefit of using TodayTix, but it is not. Nobody gets to reserve a standing spot and the options TodayTix shows you are completely pointless.)
Theatre Bee makes it a part of its morning routine to open TodayTix every day to enter the daily lottery for shows it wants to watch (Hamilton, Cock and Cabaret). Then, at 10 am sharp, it opens the app again to see if it can grab a decent rush seat for a list of its bookmarked shows. It does not hope to be successful every day but has found that for every show it wants to watch, a day will come. Around 4 pm in the afternoon it checks its email for the customary rejection email from the various lotteries it entered that say it didn’t win that day. Well, even that rejection email is oddly reassuring, as it tells the Bee it was considered in the draw. And getting that email every day tells the Bee it is working hard and that makes it happy. As you know, bees are very hardworking creatures.