London’s West End is famous for being the place to go for musicals, drama and comedy as well as art galleries, museums and chic little eateries. But although the West End is one of the world’s hippest and most expensive places to visit, with a little forward planning you can take in a show and enjoy the buzz of the big city without blowing your budget.

West End Musicals Day Tickets

If you fancy seeing one of the long running musicals in the West End but baulk at the ticket prices, then do a little research into their day seat tickets. Each show does something a little different, for example Wicked at the Victoria Theatre reserves its whole front row for people who queue up at 10am on Friday morning for that evening’s show. Best of all the tickets cost just £25 each. Remember if you are going to do this, wrap up warm, go to the bathroom before you start to queue (you could be there for a few hours) and do a head count. If there are more than 24 people in the queue then you are too late as there are only 24 seats in the front row.

New West End Dramas for 2014

But it’s not just the long-running shows that deserve your attention. Seeing a brand new production can be just as exciting. Take a look at our list of the top new dramas on in the West End for 2014.

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist has already been adapted into a film and now the stage version opens at the Apollo Theatre on 26 March 2014. If you aren’t already familiar with this vampire-coming-of-age-saga (where have you been?) then the plot centres around a young boy called Oskar who senses a kindred spirit in Eli, the girl next door. However, Eli has been a teenager for a surprisingly long time.

This show is definitely scary and is not for kids and adults should accompany teens. The show played at the Royal Court Theatre over Christmas 2013 to rapturous reviews and sell out performances so book ahead.

Another Country

Another Country by Julian Mitchell is revived at the Trafalgar Studios Theatre and tells the story of two public school boys in the 1930s dealing with being outsiders in a world of rigid hierarchical power structures. The play examines themes of betrayal and revenge that will leave you thinking that school days were surely never the happiest days of anyone’s life. It is however, as funny as it is painful to watch. The play originally launched the career of Rupert Everett and who knows what careers it might launch this time around.

Small Family Business

Small Family Business by Alan Ackybourn is playing at the National Theatre from April 1st 2014. Despite being penned by Ackybourn in the late 1980s this play is as relevant today as it was then. The main character, Jack, takes control of the family business only to find that transparency and honesty are harder to come by than he would like. Ackybourn makes a lot of sharp observations about Thatcherite Britain and is the perfect play for those that want to see something that will stimulate a great conversation about life, politics and our society afterwards.

Make the most of a day in London

If you are in London on a budget make sure you make the most of your day by buying an all-day travel pass (remember it can be used on buses too) and planning where you are going to eat. If you are in the west end then walk over to Soho and grab a bite to eat in one of the many Asian restaurants. You can get a steaming hot bowl of Pho or a plate of sushi for the same price as a cheese bap in a branded coffee shop. Entrance to many of the world’s best art galleries and museums is also free. Take a few hours to wander around the V&A or the British Library and remember there are free tours to help you get the most out of a limited time.

From the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre London Heathrow you can get a 222 bus to Hounslow West where you can pick up the Piccadilly line all the way to Leister Square and the heart of the drama.

Which is your favourite musical?