West End theatre ticket costs soar with top-priced seats reaching £300

A new survey carried out by The Stage concerning theatre ticket prices has found that top-price West End tickets have increased by 9.3 per cent in one year.

The recent survey determined that the average most expensive ticket for plays rose by 50 per cent in 2024, from £94.45 in 2023 to £141.61. Last year the most expensive play was the National Theatre’s rendition of The Crucible where top-price tickets were £150.

The worst offender for theatre ticket costs this year is Jamie Lloyd’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet starring A-lister Tom Holland with the most expensive tickets being sold at £298.95 per person. This is closely followed by Player Kings with Ian McKellen in a leading role costing £230 and Stranger Things: The First Shadow at £228.80.

A similar trend can be seen for musicals, which have seen a smaller increase across their highest-priced tickets with 3.9 per cent. The priciest West End production of all was for the musical Cabaret, starring model Cara Delevingne with top-price tickets at a staggering £304.

Cara Delevinge making her West End debut in Cabaret, where top priced tickets cost over £300 (PA)
Cara Delevinge making her West End debut in Cabaret, where top priced tickets cost over £300 (PA)

Despite this soar in the high-end ticket prices, at the other end of the scale, there was a decrease in the average cheapest West End ticket prices, costing £28.58. In comparison to 2023, this was a 3.4 per cent decrease, so it’s not all bad news for theatre lovers.

The research from industry newspaper The Stage used the top and bottom ticket prices for productions on 15 June across 50 venues that are members of the Society of London Theatre. The survey did not include “package” tickets, which can include extra perks such as drinks and access to private lounges.

The most common reason for people not visiting the theatre was the cost of tickets, a YouGov survey found in March. The President of the Society of London Theatre, Eleanor Lloyd defended the price increase. She told The Stage: “Despite the rising cost of theatre productions, theatre works hard to offer affordable tickets to encourage a vibrant theatre-going community.”

Lloyd continued: “Almost a quarter of the tickets sold in the West End last year were for under £30, and just 13 per cent were bought for more than £100.” She further highlighted the venues having to deal with rising costs and that many theatres are still recovering from the pandemic when they were forced to close.

Lloyd also stressed that expensive tickets enable access schemes for theatres to reach new and diverse audiences. For example, Romeo and Juliet starring Holland made 5000 tickets available at £25, including in the front row, for key workers, under-30s and those receiving government benefits.