Okay, the principal issue with this, is that you can’t always guarantee that you will get to buy a ticket to see the show that you want to see. It is brilliant if you are in London for the day and are ready to take a gamble and also get to the theatre early to be close to the front of the (likely) queue.
However, a few people buy their tickets on the day of the show and make their travel arrangements to accommodate that, but if you want peace of mind this alternative may not be for you.
Where to buy some of the cheapest tickets on the day of the performance that could be for the front row? Okay, basically there are two principal options. Many shows will offer ‘Day Seat’ tickets with a designated number of cheaper seats for sale on the day of the show. Be organized to get there early as queues for some shows may start to form overnight. In the summer it isn’t uncommon to see a queue at 8:00am for popular shows.
The next target to get cheaper tickets on the day is at the Society of London Theatre Official Leicester Square Half Price Theatre Ticket Booth.
The first two alternatives will give you a good opportunity for getting some of the cheapest tickets that might be for sale for a particular show, with day seats often in the front row. But for general sale tickets you can generally also book online up to within an hour of show-time and for shows that are not completely booked there may be discounted or cheaper tickets still for sale, although likely to be for the Upper Circle or Balcony and not the front row as with a ‘day seat’.
Returns can often be purchased from the theatre’s box office, originating from people who have cancelled their booking at the last minute. It is worth finding out at the theatre on the day to see if there are any returns for sale at a cheaper price.
The last option to buy on the day is for personal callers to the box office who are over 60, unemployed, a full-time student or a theatre union member. Most London theatres have a standby rate selling unsold seats for about 70% discount, and commonly an hour before the show. Take relevant valid ID student cards or pension book / entitlement card. If in any doubt then contact the theatre staff beforehand.