10 most expensive West End shows

As Elf opens in the West End charging £240 for its best ticket, we look at the musicals with the highest ticket prices in 2015

Is the musical Elf begins its 10-week run in London’s West End, it has caught the attention of theatregoers for the high cost of its tickets.

Will Ferrell in the 2003 Hollywood film

The musical comedy’s priciest ticket will set you back £240, making it the most expensive show in West End history.

The show, based on Will Ferrell’s popular Christmas film, follows one of Father Christmas’s elves as he travels to New York to find his biological father. It stars Ben Forster and former Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh at the Dominion theatre.

But Elf is not alone in charging high fares for its best seats – this year West End shows broke the £200 mark for tickets for the first time, with the previous record being set by The Book of Mormon at £202. And with the countdown to the start of the festive season underway, online touts are reselling tickets for far more than their face value.

A spokeswoman for Elf said premium prices were introduced as a means of eradicating the ticket touts on the street. She said: “What we’re seeing is people electing to buy at the higher prices to guarantee their being able to see the show on the day they want to.

“Ticket prices are set according to the commercial terms and budgets for the show. These prices – like all things – will fluctuate depending on supply and demand.”

She added that the production had reduced ticket prices for schools and for groups and that only a very limited number of performances offered premium tickets at over £200.

The good news is that while the most expensive seats continue to increase, cheaper seats have fallen in price. The average West End ticket is £20.13, down from £20.36 last year. Elf’s cheapest ticket is on sale for £51, and booking fees range from £3.30 to £15 depending on the face value of the ticket.

The most expensive musicals on the West End this year

1. Elf £240

2. The Book of Mormon £202.25

A satirical tale of two American Mormons who go to Uganda in an attempt to convert the locals. The show picked up nine Tony awards in its first year on Broadway alone, and has been a regular feature in theatres across the globe since it opened in 2011.

3. Wicked £128

Wicked is about an unlikely friendship that forms between two girls who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University. It has been seen by over 50 million people in 13 countries and has won over 100 international awards.

4. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical £127.50

Beautiful follows the life of chart-topping music legend Carole King and her attempts to break into the record industry as a teenager. Despite only hitting the West End this year, the show has already picked up an Olivier Award.

Musical magic: The Lion King is now in its 16th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre

5. The Lion King £125, Miss Saigon £125

Based on the Disney film of a young lion who struggles against his evil uncle and grows up to take control of the pride. Now in its 17th year in London, it is one of the highest-grossing stage shows in history, having already grossed more than £4 billion globally.

6. Matilda £122

The musical behind the popular Roald Dahl story of a precocious young girl with uncaring parents. As well as the West End, it has been to Broadway and Australia, and has been watched by a few million people and picked up over 10 Tony awards.

7. Jersey Boys £114 (includes VIP lounge entry and benefits)

The show tells the story of the lives of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as well as their music. It has been seen by over 20 million people worldwide and won 57 major global awards.

8. Let it be £102.50 (includes a brochure in the price)

Let It Be showcases The Beatles’ rise to fame from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club and the Beatlemania that led to their iconic status in rock history. It has been watched by over a million people across the globe in the three years since it opened and has been performed in Germany, Japan, Moscow, and France.

9. Billy Elliot £102

Set in a northern mining town during the 1980s strikes, Billy Elliot is about a teenage boy’s attempt to become a ballet dancer while his family struggles to survive during the miners’ strikes. The show has been on stage for a decade now, and has been seen by around 10 million people.

10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory £100

The tale of a young boy who wins a golden ticket to Wonka’s weird and wonderful Chocolate Factory recently celebrated its 1000th performance and has already won two Olivier awards since it opened in 2013.

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