Arts & Culture

West End ticket prices mellow after COVID-19 spikes – survey

Featured Image: Eamonn Wang on Unsplash

West End ticket prices have stabilised for the first time since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Stage’s recent ticket survey.

Last year, top-price tickets for productions across London’s West End saw a 20% surge in price compared to pre-pandemic. 

Now, The Stage has revealed that the average most expensive ticket for West End productions in 2023 amounted to £141.37 (€164/$177), just a 0.4% rise compared to £140.85 in 2022. The slight jump in price is also much less of an increase than inflation of 8.7% over the last 12 months. 

However, The Stage’s survey revealed that the West End’s cheapest tickets have soared by 12.8% from £22.56 in 2022 to £25.44 in 2023. 

The Stage surveyed the top and bottom ticket prices for shows running on June 24 at 51 theatre spaces eligible for main-category Olivier Awards as part of its ticketing survey. Taking away two anomalies from this year’s survey (the National Theatre’s annual youth theatre festival Connections and Operation Mincemeat) the average cheapest seat cost £24.59. 

This is a 9% increase on the 2022 figure and the average most expensive ticket was priced at £146.78, a 4.2% increase. The most expensive ticket was for Cabaret at the Playhouse, with top-price tickets setting back guests £303.80, while The National Theatre’s production of The Crucible at the Gielgud Theatre was the most expensive play at £150. 

The Stage also acknowledged that many of the lowest-priced tickets across the survey were already sold out when the data was gathered, or that the remaining seats had a restricted view. 

The cheapest ticket for a musical was for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic at £14.50, which also included the transaction fee. After removing Connections from the data, the cheapest ticket was £11 for Il Trovatore at the Royal Opera House. When broken down by genre, musicals saw the average top-price amount to £162.41 (an increase of 5.2% on last year) and the average cheapest ticket was £28.41, up 18.8% on 2022. For plays, the average most expensive ticket was £94.45, a decrease of 17.7% and the cheapest was £20.65, down 1.3%.