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Is a WhatsOnStage Theatre Club membership worth it?

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Not in the slightest. Not if you're just looking for cheap theatre tickets, at least.

What is the Theatre Club, you ask? Check it out on the WhatsOnStage official Theatre Club page. It is an exclusive, almost secret, club for theatre-goers run by that promises exclusive discounted prices for Theatre Club members.

The catch? It is not free to join, although they say that your savings on tickets will more than cover the cost of membership. The cost of membership runs from £3.5 a month to £50 a year, depending on how many seats you'd like to buy each time.

That doesn't sound like a lot of money, does it? The Bee would have agreed that it's quite cheap and extremely worthwhile if Theatre Club had a decent listing of shows. Unfortunately, it just doesn't.

Now, you cannot see the listings unless you pay and become a member, because apparently the Club's arrangement with theatre venues and production houses does not allow non-members to view the discounted rates. So the Bee decided to find out what's inside by taking out the paid membership. And it was appalled.

Only 12 shows as of 18 May 2022.

Only 6 of them playing currently. The rest are yet to open.

Click on any show, and you are taken to the booking page where you're allowed to buy tickets for exactly one specific date, one specific time, one specific type of seat at one specific price. And the prices are all around £50 or higher, so if you, like the Bee, were hoping to get the best seats you can within a budget of £30 or so, this Club is not for you.

Date doesn't work for you?

Sorry, there's only this one date for this show.

Seat beyond your budget?

Sorry, you can't choose a different band of seats.

Okay, can you at least tell me which seat it is?

Sorry, you need to pay and book first, and seat will be allocated later.

Can you at least tell me which section? Stalls? Dress Circle?

Sorry, that will be allocated later as well.

So you want me to pay £60 for a seat, to watch the show on a date I cannot choose, and not even know which section the seat is in? All because you're promising me they're great seats and are discounted relative to face value, and you're throwing in a free souvenir or programme?

That's correct.

The Bee is unable to recover even the £3.5 she spent on her monthly membership because it cannot see even one show listed on the site that it likes and wants to watch, or a date that is convenient for it. For about half the shows listed on Theatre Club, you can get amazing day seats in the stalls on TodayTix for just £25. So why on earth would you pay £50+ for those same seats when you get zero flexibility w.r.t. date and can't even know what seats you'll wind up with?

This is a pointless membership. Save your money and avoid it.

1 Comment

Mar 02

I could not agree more. I paid to be able to buy 4 tickets. There has only been 3 shows since I joined and two of the shows are terrible (I’ve already seen both) and the discounted price for the other is £70 per ticket. On top of that you have to check the website as I’m not emailed when new shows are added (it could just be my set up).

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