Hamilton. It’s been dubbed the ‘game changer’ of 21st century theatre and has received countless five star reviews (even from me). But how are you meant to get your hands on tickets without breaking the bank?
So don’t throw away your shot and have a read of these top ticket buying tips for the West End show.
1. Don’t buy tickets from unofficial sources
Touts are always trying to sell tickets on resale sites for extortionate amounts. If you don’t manage to secure tickets this may seem like a good alternative, but don’t be tempted. You will be caught and your tickets could be cancelled, which means money spent and no Hamilton. Not worth the risk!
There may be other legit websites offering Hamilton tickets. These are often called third-party agents. Most of these agents are members of STAR (the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers). They will display the STAR logo on their site or you can search for members on the STAR website here so you know you’re buying tickets safely. However, the golden rule is if in doubt, never risk it. Just use the official site.
Watch out, as agents often charge an extra fee on these tickets (it’s how they make their money) so you could end up paying more. They may have tickets that aren’t available elsewhere, so if you’re set on a particular seat then go for it, but the official source is usually the cheapest option.
2. Be flexible on dates
Organise a list of potential dates that you and your guests can see the show. You may not be able to get the seats you want for your first choice date, so have several options in mind.
The closest dates will likely be busier as fans will wants to see the show as soon as possible. It might be better to try the later dates first if you’re not desperate to go right away.
3. Be flexible on prices
Hamilton is a hot ticket and some of the seats will set you back around £100! From personal experience of buying tickets and looking at the official site, here’s a rough guide to how the seats were priced.
This is not 100% accurate and of course subject to change.
|£20||eight grand circle slip seats (severely restricted view)|
|£37.50||several seats at the sides and back of the grand circle|
grand circle inner aisle seats (restricted view)
grand circle boxes (side view)
four slip seats in the royal circle (restricted view)
|£50||one row at the rear of grand circle|
some royal circle boxes (side view or restricted view)
|£65||seats towards the front of the grand circle|
selected seats, rear of the royal circle (restricted view)
centre-back royal circle box (restricted view, butler service)
|£75||seats at the back edges of the royal circle|
selected seats, front row, royal circle (restricted legroom)
back and edges of the stalls (some restricted view)
front two rows of the stalls
|£95||most of the stalls and royal circle|
some stalls boxes (restricted view, butler service)
|£100||usually some of the best £95 at peak performances|
(Fridays and Saturdays)
4. Work out where you want to sit
The view is pretty important when seeing a show. If you don’t want to miss anything, but also don’t want to spend a lot of money, it’s worth doing your research beforehand on the views from seats in the theatre.
Generally, any top-price seat should give you a perfect, unobstructed view. Anything less than that price may be considered ‘lacking’ in some way although some people may still consider those views good ones. It depends what you want to prioritise.
The front few rows of the stalls are quite low in comparison to the stage so you may miss the floor and find yourself looking up for most of the show. The view from the back few rows of the stalls and royal circle will be affected by the ‘overhang’ (the floor above you obstructing the view of the stage) so you may miss moments at the top of the set. The boxes at the side of the stage are very side on, so you may miss action on one side of the stage. Some seats in the upper circle may have a rail in view. Row G backwards in the upper circle seems to miss the upper part of the stage, however views in the upper circle have been considered quite good for the price.
5. Get good value for money
My best bets judged against price are:
- On a budget – go for the seats on the central aisle of the upper circle between rows D and G at £37.50. Although marked as ‘restricted view’ because of the rail, it hardly affects your view of the show as it sits just at the bottom of the stage. Seats D19/20 and E19/20 are my favourites as you still feel quite close to the stage. Legroom in the upper circle is very tight, but these aisle seats mean you can rotate your legs to the side for comfort during the performance.
- Got a bit to spend – I’d opt for the handful of £75 seats in the front row of the royal circle. It’s a fantastic view there with no-one in front of you. At a £20 discount compared to the central ones in the same row, it’s definitely worth going slightly to the side – you don’t miss anything major in the show. Watch out for legroom again though as there’s a solid wall in front of you, and if you’re worried go for the aisle seat.
- At top price – the centre front of the royal circle is my pick. The circle at this theatre feels very close to the stage and not too high above it. The rake (how steep the floor is) is better than in the stalls, so there’s less trying to look round someone’s head in front of you. Don’t go for the boxes at the back of the stalls – they may come across as exclusive due to the price and butler service but the view is not great in comparison, with it actually being restricted in many of the seats.
6. Check out the view
If you want to see actual pictures of the views from seats, there’s two places to go:
- Seat Plan – a great website that shows views from seats all over the West End.
- Hamilton West End Facebook group – this is for fans of the show and they also help you to find tickets (such a nice bunch!) They have a dedicated post where members have been posting photos from their seats, so join the group and take a look.
7. Look at other options
Although tickets have come down in price since it’s early days, it’s still pretty pricy! Fear not though – there is a daily lottery via the Hamilton app where you can buy tickets for £10 if you win. There are also a handful of standing tickets at the back of the grand circle that are around £10. They usually release these on the day if they’re available and sometimes you can only get them in person. Remember though, the show is almost three hours long and you aren’t allowed to sit on the the floor if you’re struggling.
Don’t forget as well that you can watch the live recording of the original Broadway production on Disney+! I prefer watching it live of course, but when a subscription starts at only £7.99 per month, it’s a great low-cost alternative.
Good luck and do not throw away your shot!