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Tickets for Matinee Shows in London

Enjoy top-class theatre while keeping your evenings free by booking matinee shows in London. This is great for families with children, for whom the late finish of an evening performance might not be ideal. Midweek matinees can even save you money, as they’re often a little bit cheaper than weekend performances.

Most plays and musicals in London have daytime performances 2-3 times per week, so almost any show can be seen in the afternoon. Below, we have an up-to-date list of matinee performance times for the most popular shows in London, so you can plan your perfect afternoon of theatre at a top West End show.

1. The Lion King

The Lion King London
The Lion King London
Booking tickets for The Lion King in the afternoon is a fantastic way to get the whole family along to this hit Disney musical. Take in the awe-inspiring puppetry and hear the incredible “Circle of Life” and “He Lives In You” performed live on stage all before 5pm, so you can have an early dinner. This is a very popular show for families and tourists visiting the capital, so booking a matinee early is recommended.

Schedule: Wednesday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm | Sunday - 2.30pm
from £35.00
Theatre week

2. Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical London
Matilda the Musical London
This mischievous musical, based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, is an absolute delight for all ages but especially perfect for families. Afternoon performances in the week are slightly earlier to accommodate a 7pm evening start time, so you are less likely to get caught up in the post-show crowds from other theatres at 5pm.

Schedule: Wednesday - 2pm | Thursday - 2pm | Saturday - 2.30pm | Sunday - 3pm
from £23.80
Theatre week

3. Frozen the Musical

Frozen the Musical London
Frozen the Musical London
This enchanting adaptation of Disney’s hit film is a firm family favourite, so much so that extra afternoon performances are added over the summer! Matinees are usually on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays all year round, and Tuesday performances are currently at 2pm from May - August.

Schedule: Tuesday - 2pm | Thursday- 2pm | Saturday - 2.30pm | Sunday - 1pm
from £35.00
Save up to £24.50

4. Wicked

Wicked London
Wicked London
London’s gravity-defying story about the two young women destined to become the Witches of Oz is a fantastic show for children and adults alike. Weekday afternoon performances are often on a Wednesday but during peak periods like school holidays you might also see Thursday afternoons added to the musical’s performance schedule.

Schedule: Wednesday - 2.30pm | Thursday - 2.30pm | Saturday, - 2.30pm | Sunday - 2.30pm
from £25.00
Theatre week

5. Les Misérables

Les Miserables London
Les Miserables London
The West End’s longest-running musical is a spectacle to behold, and afternoon performances are very handy if you don’t think you’ll be able to keep up with its almost 3-hour long running time in the evening. For the best prices, especially on a Saturday afternoon, book in advance.

Schedule: Thursday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm
from £29.80
Save up to £13.00

6. The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera London
The Phantom of the Opera London
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s titan of the West End is a must-see for anyone visiting London, and return visits are just as rewarding. Phantom has retained a classic schedule of one afternoon performance in the week and one every Saturday, although extra weekday performances are often on sale during peak periods like summer and Christmas.

Schedule: Wednesday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm
from £29.80

7. Hamilton

Hamilton London
Hamilton London
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical is still one of the most popular in London, with locals and tourists all clamouring to book tickets. Saturday afternoons sell out quickly but have a great atmosphere, while Thursday matinees are often a little bit cheaper than the evening performance in certain price bands.

Schedule: Thursday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm
from £23.80

8. Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Moulin Rouge! The Musical London
Moulin Rouge! The Musical London
Dive headfirst into a world of excess and doomed bohemian lovers at this Olivier Award-winning adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s film. Afternoon performances leave plenty of time to enjoy a decadent evening of drinks, good food and dancing once the show has finished.

Schedule: Wednesday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm
from £30.00

9. Back to the Future

Back to the Future the Musical London
Back to the Future the Musical London
True to its time-travelling theme, this musical has plenty of performances that start in the afternoon - perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a DeLorean handy if they miss the last train home! Boasting spectacular special effects and rocking music, this is an eye-popping spectacle with all the best moments from the film bursting off the stage.

Schedule: Thursday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm | Sunday - 3pm
from £23.30
Save up to £30.00

10. Tina! The Tina Turner Musical

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical London
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical London
This acclaimed musical about Tina Turner’s rise to stardom is a very popular choice for theatregoers who want to enjoy a midweek trip to London with friends or family, not least because of its electrifying performances of her greatest hits. Perfect for a sing-a-long standing ovation before heading out for dinner and drinks.

Schedule: Thursday - 2.30pm | Saturday - 2.30pm | Sunday - 3pm
from £11.90
Save up to £15.00

What are the most popular days for West End matinees?

Saturdays are the most popular matinees because more people are free on Saturday afternoons, so almost every West End show includes Saturday afternoon performances. These tend to sell out quickly, especially if you are watching a family-friendly show, so it is always best to book well in advance.

Monday, Tuesday and Friday matinees are less common, so you should plan your theatre trip on a Wednesday or Thursday. Midweek matinees are often cheaper than weekends, and sometimes even cheaper than evening performances in the week, so well worth checking if you're able to attend.

See all matinees by day of week:


Matinees by Show Genre

Find a matinee by show genre (Matinee musicals, Matinee plays, Kids matinees or Opera matinees) or cheap matinee tickets on our cheap London theatre page.

What time are matinee shows in London?

Most daytime performances begin between 2pm and 3pm, and 2.30pm is a very common start time. This can also vary depending on what day you are attending, so always double-check performance times in advance.

Some productions for younger children such as The Tiger Who Came To Tea do not have evening shows at all. They instead have morning and afternoon performances, with start times ranging from 10am to 4pm.

What time do matinees finish?

Most will finish between 4pm and 5pm. For more information on specific shows, running times are listed on our production pages when they become available.

What London theatres are open on Sundays?

The majority of West End theatres are open on Sundays and for many it is the only day they host matinees. Sunday afternoon can be an excellent choice for children's theatre in London such as The Lion King or Frozen the Musical.

What should I wear to a London theatre matinee?

There is no formal dress code for any London theatre performances. Some theatregoers like to dress up whether they are seeing a show at 2pm or 7pm, but you should wear whatever you feel most comfortable in.
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