Students / Under 26

Young people and students have several ways to get cheap and even free tickets…

National Theatre Entry Pass

Because of the high-price of tickets for most of London’s theatre shows and the belief that a night out at the theatre is only for the middle class and the middle aged, there have often been schemes to encourage young people to buy theatre tickets. This is done by providing reduced or even free tickets to those under the age of 26. The National Theatre London has an Entry Pass scheme which allows those under 26 to join for free, once providing proof of age. Then, a limited amount of tickets to see most shows are only £5 each, with your first ticket being completely free.


 Access all Arias – English National Opera

The English National Opera (ENO) run a similar scheme, offering fantastic discounts to fans of Opera and Ballet bewteen 16-25 years old. All performances take place at the London Coliseum, and are available for in house productions only. Ticket prices range from £10-£30, depending on the quality of the seats, and you can even bring along a friend for the same rate. Sign up for the scheme at the ENO’s website:

The Royal Opera House – Student Standby Scheme

The ROH in Covent Garden is one of the most amazing venues in London. Tickets for performances can sometimes cost up to £200, but with their Student Standby Scheme you can experience a touch of glamour at a fantastic price. Visit the ROH website [] and sign up for the scheme, and you will receive emails letting you know when the £10 tickets become available. Performances are usually advertised 24 hours before, and you have to act fast in order to get hold of the best seats. The company also offer a number of performances specifically for members of the scheme throughout the year, giving Opera lovers and first timers the chance to experience a world class performance for a fraction of the price.

Theatre Tickets Offers

Other similar schemes for young people are TheatreFix which has great offers for cheaper London theatre tickets if you are aged between 16 and 26:

Mousetrap Theatre Projects offers tickets for £5 if you are aged 15-18, and tickets for £10 if aged between 19 and 23. They are a fantastic arts charity who are dedicated to bringing the magic of theatre into the lives of young people. They aim to inspire those who may not otherwise be able to afford to go to theatre, as well as act as a resource for teachers and educators looking to engage young people in a creative way. Their informative website tells you all about the charity as well as how to sign up to access their ‘West End for £10’ program:
Free Tickets for 16-25 Year Olds at the Barbican

The Barbican Centre in London participates in a scheme which allows them to allocate free tickets for lots of different events if you are aged between 16 and 25. Check out their website for more details!


The Royal Shakespeare company offer a “Key Card” that allows 16-25 year olds £5 tickets to all of their Stratford and London Shows. The card also allows the holder discount at RSC Shop and Swan Theatre restaurant and cafe as well as exclusive offers in the West Midlands area. Check out for details on signing up.

Returns and Stand-By

If you are a student, you can often get discounts to certain theatre shows. Sometimes, returns are only available to people in one of these age groups, and are much cheaper then usual as they are very last minute. As well as returns, students can also get great discounts on tickets by purchasing a ‘standby’ ticket. These are tickets purchased directly at the box office on the day of the performance. Be advised, however, that you are not guaranteed a seat this way, and should bear that in mind to avoid disappointment.

Got Any Student Tips?

Are you a student? Do you know of any other ways to get cheap (or even free!) theatre tickets? Please add your comments in the box below and share your advice with other theatregoers!


  1. Could the Barbican offer dicounted tickets to more events. The ones on offer are rather not interesting.. or perhaps on the day half price tickets.

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