In collaboration with Classic FM, Wigmore Hall is offering tickets to a huge range of performances for just £5.00. The only catch is that the cheap tickets go to under 35s. Looking for somewhere to unwind afterwards? Be sure to check our guide to London’s secret bars.
About Wigmore Hall
Wigmore Hall has been a respected performance space for over a century, but recent renovations have brought the venue back to its former glory. With incredible acoustics, lavish decor and plush velvet seats, it’s comfortably one of Europe’s best intimate concert halls. If you don’t usually get the chance to see classical music, it’s a fun evening out, and an insight into how people got their kicks in the not that distant past. Of special note is the magnificent painted cupola above the stage, which is hard to miss. The domed mural apparently reflects humanity’s ongoing efforts to distil the elusive beauty of music. The naked chap in the middle is the Soul of Music, holding aloft the Genius of Harmony. The people feverishly working away at his feet are musicians, held back from the source of inspiration by a web of thorns.
What to see
You really can’t go wrong—the hall boasts some of the world’s most acclaimed performers, playing just about any instrument that doesn’t need plugging in. There’s a real wealth of options, and unsurprisingly, classical recitals are the mainstay. Recent shows have included performances of the usual well-known composers, including Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Handel and Bach. That said, you’ll also see frequent appearances from prodigious contemporary musicians of all stripes.
Ticket Prices at Wigmore Hall
The £5.00 tickets are available to anyone under 35—you’ll just need to register on the website first. Be prepared to show ID to prove your age on the door when you arrive. If you’re not able to snag £5.00 tickets, worry not. There are usually other reasonably affordable tickets available if you book early—with prices usually ranging between £10.00 and £60.00 depending on the performance. The hall is cosy enough that even the back seats get a great sound a reasonable view. And let’s be honest, you’re not really there to see that harpsichord player up close, are you?
Bar and restaurant menu
It’s not just the tickets that come cheap. Under 35 ticket holders will also have access to a limited cocktail and food menu—perfect for a light, pre-show meal. If you’ve a date to impress (and who doesn’t love a thrifty Casanova?), the mezze and charcuterie sharers are especially good value. You can also grab a beer for £5.00, while the 2 for £15.00 cocktails are simple, classy (and sufficiently boozy) affairs. Do take it easy though. Once the doors are shut for the performance, they’re closed for good (except of course for medical reasons). So you may need to wait until the intermission to run to the loo.
Tips, tricks and etiquette
- Worried you’ll be late getting seated while you eat or drink at the bar? A loud bell will sound throughout the buildings about five minutes before the performance. Don’t worry about sauntering over until then
- You may be pleased to know that dressing up is no longer required or expected for most events—smart casual is very much the norm. Of course, if you fancy an excuse to dust off your white tie, nobody’s going to stop you
- You can’t take drinks or snacks into the performance, but you can leave the bar with them. That gives you a couple of extra minutes to finish your prosecco in the lobby while you wait for the crowds to file in
- The view over the hall from the balcony is well worth a look. It’s generally for ticket holders, but if you ask nicely during the interval or after the performance you may be allowed in briefly
- Catching an opera? Fork out for the programme. You’ll find a complete translation of the lyrics to help you follow the action. The historical explanations are also invaluable if you’re as culturally illiterate as I am
Getting to Wigmore Hall
The glass-fronted building hides in plain sight on Wigmore Street in Marylebone. It’s a quick walk from Bond Street and Oxford Circus Station, and a fairly easy walk from about a dozen others. That makes the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines your best bet.