Seven Ways to Score Cheap and Discounted Theatre Tickets in Melbourne

Yes, it is possible to see a show for less than 30 bucks — you just need to get in at the right time.
Leisha Kapor
Published on February 01, 2021

Ever wondered how that one friend on your Instagram feed is always seeing shows even though they're always complaining about a lack of cash — surely they don't have enough for rent and regular spenno theatre tickets? Well, chances are, they've just got the inside scoop on where to score cheap tix.

And now you do, too. Having a student ID, a concession card or being under 30 will help you here — but even if you don't, there are heaps of discounts out there to help you score cheapies. Check 'em out below.


Visit Victoria/Roberto Seba


As the central hub of Melbourne's arts community, Arts Centre Melbourne wants to make sure its hundreds of performances a year are accessible to everyone. So, in the name of spontaneity and making things affordable, the tixatsix program slings at least 20 tickets for $30 a pop every night of the week (well, every night there's a show on). Just head to the big spire on St Kilda Road and find the Arts Centre Melbourne Level 5 box office, and from 6pm you can purchase a max of two tickets per person to a random performance happening that night. If you want to make sure it's something you're actually interested in, each night's offerings are revealed at the box office from 5pm.


Rene Valle


Australia's oldest professional theatre company is known for staging awe-inspiring productions starring the biggest names in Australian theatre — so it's no surprise that its performances sell out more often than not. Thankfully, there's a bunch of different options for a cheap or last-minute culture fix. Grab your concession, student or MEAA union card and make tracks to the box office two hours before any performance to buy concession rush tickets. Folks aged under 30 also get 50 percent off tickets to mainstay productions, and most shows offer concession prices. The Seat Savers program is also a good one — from 11am–4pm every Tuesday, concession or student card holders can access $25 tickets to the following week's performances, available at the box office or online.


Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by Manuel Harlan


If you baulked at the astronomical price of the blockbuster play about everyone's favourite boy wizard, you wouldn't be alone. The epic production is staged over two performances, doubling the cost if you want to see the whole show. Throw your pointy hat in The Friday Forty ring instead and you just might win the chance to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for under a hundred bucks. The digital lottery is open from Monday to Friday each week, with the winners notified between 1–5pm every Friday. Winners score the opportunity to buy tickets for $40 a pop (so $80 for consecutive performances of the two parts) for shows the following week.



Longtime theatre enthusiasts will be all over this one, so it's time the rest of you realised this gem is at your fingertips. Halftix Melbourne is our answer to Broadway's Times Square ticket seller — you can buy heavily discounted last-minute tickets here for shows happening that night. Plus, as well as standard plays and musicals, it sells tickets to other events and tours. The crew updates the website each morning with the day's deals, but you have to actually physically go into the Little Collins Street office to purchase. Pre-COVID, Halftix was selling cheap tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1.5 hours before showtime.

Note: Halftix Melbourne is currently on hiatus, but returns with limited hours (Tuesday to Saturday) from Tuesday, February 2.



If a night at the opera has always seemed completely unattainable — or an expense you just can't justify — here's your chance. The Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation Access Program supports heavily subsidised tickets to Opera Australia shows at the Arts Centre Melbourne. You just have to fill out a little survey here to enter the ballot, then you could win the chance to buy two tickets to the opera for only 20 bucks each. This year's season includes the debut Australian tour for Malta's 'young Pavarotti', Joseph Calleja. Time to get out your fancy clothes and dust off those heels for next week's date night.


Teresa Noble


For a show that's a little more independent, St Kilda's Red Stitch Actors' Theatre is front and centre in Australia's contemporary performing arts scene. And the tiny theatre offers pretty sweet deals for cheap tickets. Preview tickets (usually shows in the week leading up to the official opening night) for all Red Stitch productions are only $23 — less than half the standard $55 ticket price. There are also limited $15 rush tickets for those with a concession, full-time student or MEAA card, available from the box office half an hour before show time. Otherwise, full-time students and people under 30 pay just $29.


Visit Victoria/Josie Withers


Perfect for those that don't fall under the coveted concession/student/industry insider/under 30 category — and for those that want to secure a discount from the comfort of their own home — there are a few different authorised third-party sellers to keep an eye on. Once it returns post-COVID, check Lasttix for discounted shows and events (including films and other arty attractions), or head to Today Tix for last-minute deals to performances up to 30 days in advance of show time — these guys run the aforementioned Friday Forty for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Or, check out Tix to enter digital discount lotteries for big productions at venues like the Regent and Comedy theatres.

Published on February 01, 2021 by Leisha Kapor
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