A guide for going to the theatre by yourself
Going to the theatre is often seen as a social event; something you have to do with friends, family or in a large group. However, seeing a show by yourself can be just as exciting. It may be that you and your friends don’t have any days free together for the next few months, or that you’re desperate to see a show when it comes out, but going to the theatre alone can give you a different insight into a show. Soak up the atmosphere and relax on a solo trip to the theatre and read on to find out why going to the theatre alone will change how you see productions.
Going to the theatre alone
Will people judge me for going to the theatre by myself?
Absolutely not! Everyone else who is at the performance will have bought their tickets and be looking forward to the production. The fact that you are going there by yourself should not deter from your excitement for the show.
As people around you may be sharing a drink at the theatre bar with their partner or friends, don’t feel self-conscious that you are alone. Many people around you will not even notice that you have bought a ticket just for you. Whether you’re by yourself or in a large group, everyone in the auditorium will see exactly the same performance, so don’t be frightened to go to the theatre by yourself if there are shows on that you have been dying to get tickets for. Don’t let anyone else take away the enjoyment of your trip to the theatre.
What show should I see?
One of the biggest perks about a solo trip to the theatre is that you’re not restricted by what others in your group may want to see. If you’re planning a self-date to the theatre, take this as an opportunity to check out a show that you’ve always wanted to see. Or, why not beat the crowds and see a newer production that’s coming to town.
The West End has a variety of musicals, plays and events that change throughout the year, so it’s worth checking our website regularly to see what’s on and find the best show for you.
If you’re stuck for choice for what shows to go and see, take a look through our bucket list of musicals and bucket list of plays. Appealing to audiences of all ages, there’s guaranteed to be an excellent show for you.
When should I go to the theatre?
There are shows in the West End every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day. Many shows have matinee performances throughout the week as well as evening performances, with many West End productions playing eight times a week. So, whatever day you are free, there will be performances for a variety of shows.
If you are planning on seeing a matinee performance, it’s worth checking the show schedule to see when there are performances available. We’ve put together a handy guide with all the West End matinees on during the week.
Where should I sit in the theatre?
When going to the theatre by yourself, you won’t be restricted by anyone else’s budget, so you’ll be able to book your seat wherever you wish to sit in the auditorium. Whether you want to sit up close to the action, or further back to save a few pennies, you’ll be able to choose where you sit to make your visit to the theatre as comfortable as possible.
When should I buy my ticket?
As you’re buying a ticket just for you, you can book when you want. Take advantage of day seat offers and rush tickets for productions across the West End and be spontaneous with what you see.
Need help trying to secure last minute tickets? Filled with information about how to nab a day seat for a show later that day, or secure front row “rush” seats, our guide is packed with tips and tricks to help you on your way to finding the best seats in the West End at the cheapest prices.
What should I do before the show?
London can feel intimidating if you are walking around by yourself, however it’s full of street performers and exciting places around every corner. Before the show, enjoy a meal at a restaurant near the theatre, or take a walk through the city streets that are filled with history. You may want to take a moment to read about the production or listen to the show’s soundtrack to give you some background insight before seeing it for yourself.
Where should I go before the show starts?
Just because you’re at the theatre alone, it doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence. Even though you may be treating yourself to a solo night out, talking to people around you may ease you into the experience of seeing a show alone. Small talk about the show you’re about to see or what other productions they may have seen recently could inspire you to check out even more productions.
What should I do during the interval?
You may not be with anyone else to talk about the show during the interval, but take this as an opportunity to marvel in your surroundings. Many West End theatres have held performances for hundreds of years, such as the Garrick Theatre which opened in 1889.
In the interval, walk around the theatre to see artwork from previous shows and get a feel for the rich history of Theatreland.
Should I rush out of the theatre straight away?
When you’re with others, you may have to leave the theatre straight away in order to catch a train home. But when you go to the theatre by yourself, you have the luxury of being able to stay at the theatre as long as you wish.
If you’re going to see a production with a large orchestra, this may be the perfect opportunity to sit in your seat and listen to the exit music. As crowds flock back on to the streets of London, enjoy a few more minutes in Theatreland and take in the final few chords of the show.
As well as this, you can spend as long as you like at the stage door. Waiting at the stage door to congratulate performers on an excellent show can give your experience at the theatre an extra bit of sparkle, so seize the occasion to meet the cast! There is no guarantee that going to the stage door will mean you see every performer, but it can be a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse of your favourite West End stars.